KABAKE! - Foundation Office Uganda and South Sudan
A Radio Debate Programme by MegaFM in conjunction with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
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Northern Uganda and the 2-decade long LRA Conflict
Northern Uganda and Acholi sub region in particular is recovering from the brutal LRA civil strife that caused a lot of mayhem and led to abject poverty in the region since 1986. About a half a million people were forced to leave their homes to which they are only returning with the end of the conflict after 2-dacades. This is, however overwhelmed with land disputes and in certain instances a feeling of injustice. On the other hand, some people are refusing to return home for various reasons.
Set up in 2002 as local radio station MegaFM has played a crucial role in the rebuilding on northern Uganda. It has provided the Luo communities in their access to relevant timely and accurate information aimed at increasing opportunities for engagement in peace building and development. The station reaches effectively to the districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Agago, Amuru, Nwoya, Oyam, Lira, Apach, Abim, Adjumani, Yumbe and parts of Nebbi and Masindi.
MegaFM broadcasts focus on social political development and peace building. As a result of its contribution a great number of rebels denounced rebellion to benefit from the amnesty law existing in Uganda. With the end of the LRA insurgence the station has played a crucial role in mobilising IDPs to return home.
KABAKE! The Village Debate Programme
Kabake is an Acholi word which means a platform where community members go to debate solutions to problems affecting them. MegaFM and KAS considered as important providing a platform where communities in the war-ravaged northern Uganda can debate and suggest solutions to the area’s problems. A village debate programme was born in this context. Dubbed Kabake MegaFM with sponsorship of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung records debates from villages on topics pertaining to the social political reconstruction of northern Uganda. The pre-recorded debates are broadcast on radio every Sunday of the week for 90 minutes. This programme has been running since 2003.
This intervention by KAS as a trusted partner of Mega FM has been to give the voiceless a chance to express their views on issues that affect them. The programme has proved to be one of the most participatory and popular in the region.
Objectives of the village debate programmes
-To promote free debates on relevant issues affecting the communities in northern Uganda including resettlement and social political development.
-To improve the lives of vulnerable people through identification and discussion of development priorities and process.
-To encourage reintegration and peaceful coexistence among the people formerly in IDP camps
Benefits and impacts
The Kabake has emerged to be the most serious and credible public debate programme in northern Uganda. An evaluation conducted in 2010 revealed that the programme is extensively popular with a wider listenership. Local leaders in the area take serious community views and complaints raised o the programme. It has, for example, been a basis on holding local leaders and civil society organisations to account. Through the debates and broadcasts, communities mobilise themselves to engage in development programmes including resettlement and peaceful co-existence.