Local Councillors urged to fulfil expected role in a pluralistic and democratic setting

KAS-Workshop in Kasese district



Dr. Yasin Olum, Head of Department of Political Science at Makerere University, has urged local councillors in Kasese district to improve their performance as democratically elected representatives of the people and to become credible and effective promoters of democracy and pluralism at the local government level. Dr. Olum facilitated a workshop for local councillors in Kasese, organised by KAS as part of the ongoing EU-funded programme on “Strengthening Political Pluralism, Democratic Participation and Representation at Local Government Level in Uganda”. Kasese is the fourth district that has so far benefited from the training that will now continue in Arua, Gulu and Mbarara.

The participating councillors commended KAS for bringing such a training workshop to Kasese and described it as very timely and relevant. While analysing the state of pluralism in the district and also assessing their own performance the participants expressed a number of concerns with regard to problems and challenges for the proper functioning of democratic pluralism at local government level. One of the major challenges identified was the lack of civic education and the lack of awareness about the concepts and principles of democracy and pluralism in the population. However, it was also admitted that even on the side of the elected leaders there is often inadequate knowledge about the right democratic principles and procedures. It was confirmed that in particular the element of party pluralism is still not reflected sufficiently in local government affairs.

During the highly participatory workshop the participants showed high commitment and discussed the existing challenges and ways to overcome these, for example by enhanced dialogue and cooperation with other stakeholders like the media and civil society. By the end of the workshops they had successfully identified concrete steps and measures to be undertaken in order to ensure democratic standards and a functioning pluralism in the district.

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Rwenzori International Hotel, Kasese