Stake holders in the justice law and order sector in Uganda have attributed the increased violation of human rights in the country to poor investigation techniques and lack of effective institutions.
They made the statements at the Judicial Symposium on Wednesday at Imperial Botanical Hotel in Entebbe, Wakiso District. The symposium under the theme; “Human Rights in the Context of Criminal Justice; Rethinking the Workings of Justice process in Uganda,” was graced by the Chief Justice, Bart Katureebe and attended by judges from the high court and prosecutors.
The judicial officers castigated the country for failing to adhere to international human rights standards, saying some of the causes are very avoidable.
They said that the system is now marred by intentional prolonged detentions and remand, inefficient case handling characterised by poor investigations and weak forensic evidence gathering and use of excessive use of force during arrests.
Justice Martin Mwambutysa said that basing on his experience in court, there is very little scientific investigation which leads to investigators using assumed knowledge, inefficiency and finally resort to torture. He said this all goes down to lack of effective institutions such as an investigation department.
His colleague Justice Kutosi Wamgutusi, the head of commercial court also condemned the security institutions for violating bail terms for suspects.
‘The situation is even worsened when people are released on bail but forcefully rearrested over supposedly new charges after failure to produce evidence in the old charges,” he said.
The judges also noted concern over people being paraded to public as criminals which breaches the provision of presumption of innocence before trial.
However, Katureebe moved the symposium to advocating for the protection of human rights for every citizen and not only accused persons and victims, if we are to achieve good governance and rule of law as a country.
“Protection should be to victims and society too because some suffer life long effects,” he said.
The comments by the judges come against the heels of the recent events where suspects in the Kaweesi murder case were rearrested shortly after being released on bail by Nakawa Magistrates court.
In a specific case, one of the suspects, Ahmed Ssenfuka was trailed by a Toyota corolla car before its occupants jumped out, brandished pistols and wrestled him in broad day light, then whisked him away to an unknown destination that police would later claim is Nalufenya detention center.
Ssenfuka’s pleas to his conscriptors that he had been granted bail were as baseless as his efforts to wade them off.