Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) has launched its local governments SMS platform in Hoima and Buliisa districts, triggering concern from local leaders. The SMS Platform helps to freely link citizens with their elected local leaders via phone Short Messaging System-SMS. Under the arrangement, citizens will freely report mishaps in service delivery to their local leaders for attention.
The SMS Platform helps to freely link citizens with their elected local leaders via phone Short Messaging System-SMS. Under the arrangement, citizens will freely report mishaps in service delivery to their local leaders for attention.
During the platform launch in Hoima town on Monday, local leaders from Hoima and Buliisa were taken through the messaging process. The leaders who included district chairpersons and councilors would in turn pass on the knowledge to their electorate.
Taking the leaders through the process, Phoebe Atukunda, a researcher at ACODE said under the platform, the citizens will SMS service delivery concerns and send to 7300 for directly elected councilors, District Chairpersons, People with Disabilities, Women and Youth councilors.
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Meanwhile ACODE has made a telephone databank for all the district leaders in the 26 project districts on which they would readily return the citizen messages to the concerned leaders. The SMS platform is free for the people on MTN, Warid, Orange and Airtel telephone networks.
Representing the secretary General Uganda Local Governments Association-ULGA, Charles Opolot, said easy communication between local leaders and citizens would translate into improved service delivery.
However, local leaders have welcomed the SMS platform with concern. Fred Lukumu, the Buliisa district Chairperson, says the system empowers citizens to demand but does not take issue of their responsibility in service delivery.
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Edward Kusiima, Hoima district councilor representing People with Disabilities says the platform may likely empower citizens to demand for even unbudgeted for projects. He says this portrays leaders as non-performers because they cannot readily provide what the citizens want.