Breaking

CSOs in Acholi Root for Increased Civic Awareness of Voters

The CSOs that operate in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lamwo, Agago, Omoro, Nwoya and Amuru districts asserted that educating the electorates is the surest way to increase motivation to turnout so that election results might better match the will of the people.
A group of excited youth during 2019 FDC party procession in Kitgum Municipality - Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 4

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating in Acholi sub-region are advocating for increased civic education among electorates ahead of the country’s 2021 general elections.

 

The CSOs that operate in Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Lamwo, Agago, Omoro, Nwoya and Amuru districts asserted that educating the electorates is the surest way to increase motivation to turn out so that election results might better match the will of the people.

Geoffrey Okello, the Executive Director of Gulu District NGO Forum stresses that CSOs should embark on developing the knowledge of voters, their skills, values and motivation to make informed choices during elections.

 

Okello says 2020 is an election preparatory year for all Ugandans to scrutinize politicians capable of delivering transformative and accountable leadership right from the President to Members of Parliament, district council leaders and village representatives.

 

//Cue in: "Let’s make 2020...…   

Cue out... discharge this duty."//   

 

Robert Babu, the Programs Coordinator of Kitgum District NGO Forum contends that a deep-rooted civic competence enables electorates to elect viable leaders who can legislate on critical policies to narrow the widening income disparity among the rich and poor.

 

//Cue in: "What we would...…

 

Cue out... anti-gov’t or anything."//     

 

Whereas George Odong Otto of Pader District NGO Forum emphasized that an empowered populace will elect responsible leaders who can spur equitable development that minimizes resource-based conflicts.  

//Cue in: "It is elections...…   

Cue out... services and appreciate."//   

According to Andrew Ogwetta Otto, the Program Officer, Governance and Accountability for Gulu cluster under Action Aid Uganda, voting is the most important contribution every single eligible voter can make to ensure a healthy democracy.

 

//Cue in: "If we have...…   

Cue out... work for them."//   

   The CSOs highlighted a mixture of uncertainty and insecurity threats that hinder qualitative progress for the citizens based on the promise of the 1995 Constitution among which they cited partisan parliament defined by transactional culture.  

 

They further pointed out the unceasing environmental injustices, land grabbing and land evictions as well as the absence of meaningful electoral reforms as some of the challenges if not amicably addressed, will make citizen participation in elections meaningless.