By Hillary Turyasingura
The State Minister for National Guidance at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku has revealed that every parish is set to get 17 million Uganda Shillings for parish model, this financial year.
The Minister made the revelation on Friday 3rd December, 2021 while closing a one-week Access to information training for Government officials and citizens in Namutumba and Kamuli districts organized by the partnership of Twaweza, Africa Freedom for Information Centre and the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance.
The closing function was held at Century Hotel in Kamuli Municipality, Kamuli district.
Hon. Baluku said that some parishes have already received the 17 million Ugx, while others are soon receiving, and this money is expected to spur social economic development. He added that the money will be raised up to 100 million shillings per parish in the coming years. He noted that the biggest challenge for government is effectively sensitizing and empowering the people to eliminate the information gap and achieve social-economic transformation. ‘’Some implementers of such Government programs take the advantage of the ignorance of the people and end up swindling the money’’, the Hon. Minister noted.
The Minister said that Government is determined to do effective communication for all its programs so that there is no speculation thereby giving citizens firsthand information.
The Minister also implored the participants to responsibly enjoy the Christmas festivals, bearing in mind that Covid-19 is still around and a killer. He noted that the Standard Operating Procedures are in place and should be carefully followed for Covid-19 as well as other killers like HIV/AIDS.
The training was a result of a 2020 Twaweza study inn selected districts that sought to find out the citizens’ and civil servants’ perspectives on Access to Information in which, civil servants reported that they have not been given any training or guidance on Access to information, while most civil servants reported that they don’t know that they are legally obliged to release information.
As a result, the Access to Information act has had minimal impact on civil servant’s process of disclosing information to citizens.
While speaking at the same function, the Assistant Commissioner in the department of Communication and Information dissemination at the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, Sylivia Biraahwa said that Government is working on a Communication Policy with which Government institutions will be empowered to share more information.