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“You are the government” – Dr. Milton Mutto
On 12th and 13th February 2020, 35 elected and appointed leaders from Otuke, Alebtong and Lira attended the workshop in Lira. Dr. Milton Mutto who was the main facilitator of these two days, discussed the role of civic education for nation building with the participants. He highlighted that “civic education unlocks the civic potential of a community nation. It enables people as major stakeholders in society to effectively play their roles in shaping their destiny”.
Mr. Ssango Ssali Richards from the ministry of ICT and national guidance emphasized the importance of the realization of “Vision 2040” and that it “requires the wholehearted support of all stakeholders” to achieve the vision. “The implementation will depend on the actions and measures that we undertake as a government, private sector and as individuals through short and medium-term national development plans.” He encouraged the leaders to be a responsible citizen and to espouse values like, integrity, transparency, accountability and sustainable development, human dignity, equity social justice and inclusiveness to mention but a few.
During the session on day two the appointed and elected leaders were divided into two groups in order to have fruitful group discussions about their roles, what challenges they face and how to deal with them. The lack of adequate resources, limited knowledge in the communities, conflict of interests and especially corruption were identified as challenges among others. Dr. Mutto encouraged that the role of appointed and elected leaders is to use their power to promote the change in their districts and help their communities; “democracy offers you choice, the power of choice is the beauty of democracy.” Moreover, that they should use the power which is in their hands and guide people and shouldn’t forget that they are the ones who sit at a decision making place.
At the end of the session Mr. John Oyambi (DNG) provided interesting insights about peace building and conflict management at the leadership level aimed to educate the leaders about the use of conflicts for effective policy making.
The open discussions, the given space for criticism at the workshop and the free contribution of ideas were appreciated from the participants. “The helpful democracy workbook underlines the basic principles of democracy and give a better understanding of democracy in a multiparty environment. We need more regular workshops to educate and improve us as leaders” one participant mentioned.