By Uganda Vanguard
KAMPALA – Oxfam Uganda country director Moses Dombo has told non-governmental organizations to mobilize the public demand for social accountability, a condition where everyone in society is answerable for the public asset or funds entrusted with.
“We have named and shamed the corrupt but there is no change. We should empower the community to share the pain. Let us create a movement of informed masses. These are the people who know a person who earns a salary of Shs2 million and is building a stories building. Use religious leaders, social cultural functions like introductions to spread the campaign,” he said.
If our voices are not heard, let us change tactics, Dombo told members of civil society at the social accountability learning symposium organized by Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) at Hotel Africana Wednesday 3rd, 2019.
He further explained, “We should stop lamenting, we need legal advocacy. If requests are not working, can we ask court to order them (leaders) to produce those contracts they are hiding.”
The space for civil society is shrinking, one time we organized a meeting on the shrinking space of civil society, Mr Dombo noted. Adding, “The second day we were raided by security agencies. They asked many questions, who fund you, what makes you feel you should speak on behalf of civil society among other question.”
He said so long as one demand for social accountability, the individual is branded opposition. “You are either FDC (Forum Democratic Change) or People Power.”
Dombo however told them to learn to appreciate and commend government when it has done good work.
Reading out the resolutions of the meeting, Elon Natumanya, Senior Programe Officer Afic said there still a challenge to differentiate social accountability from politics.
“Government policies are easily seen on paper than in practice. Torn down language even if you are communicating negative messages,” she said.
While closing the meeting, Antony Thomason, Country Manager, World Bank – Uganda commended government.
“I have been in Uganda since October last year, budget is more transparent than other countries in the neighborhood,” he said.