NEBBI. The local leaders in Nebbi district have been urged to empower the communities they lead with rightful information regarding the different government programs so that they can effectively demand accountability.

Speaking during a meeting organized for district leaders and civil society organizations (CSOs) at the district planning unit boardroom on Wednesday, Mr Paul Twebaze, the chairperson Uganda contracts monitoring coalition said the time has come for leaders to improve on public participation by providing information to the citizens if the value for money is to be realised.

“The problem is that most leaders especially politicians don’t want to give the right information to the people they lead for fear of being followed up for accountability,” Twebaze said.

He noted that government engagement with members of the community and CSOs on access to information about government activities and service delivery in today’s society should be key since it will help to promote transparency and accountability.

Twebaze said as citizens and CSOs, there is a need for access to information and records on government programs from state actors and any other public servant if informed decisions are to be made on the development of the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Mathias Mwesige, the project officer of Africa Freedom to Information Centre (AFRIC) urged districts to consider focusing on increased level of citizen participation in government activities.

He added that since the constitution of the Republic of Uganda allows every citizen the right to government information except where the release of the information is likely to jeopardize national security, there is a need to improve on the mid-set of the citizens to take part in government activities.

However, Mr Christopher Omara, the Nebbi resident district commissioner proposed that the government should start concentrating on children and youths if the different developmental programs in the country are to succeed in the near future.

“This mindset can be changed through giving the right information to the relevant leaders who can later disseminate it to the people especially the young generation,” he said.

Mr Geoffrey Okaka, the Nebbi Chief Administrative Officer said as a district, they are committed to proving better service delivery to the citizens for a healthier livelihood.