Members of the civil society, human rights activists and the academia on Tuesday criticised Uganda’s human rights violations and called for quick implementation of the various legal regimes stipulated in the 1995 Constitution and other laws.
This was during a dialogue on Enhancing State Accountability and Ending Impunity for Human Rights Violations, organized by Uganda Human Rights Commission in Kampala.
Dr Busingye Kabumba from Human Rights and Peace Centre, School of Law at Makerere University while giving a presentation said: “We have an appearance of democracy but it’s not in existence.”
“Bail and Bond are fundamental human rights enshrined in Article 44 of the Uganda 1995 Constitution”, he added.
He criticised media houses which don’t expose telecom companies that violate Ugandans rights to affordable communication by levying taxes on social media and mobile money. He said such media Houses keep silent on such issues in order to get adverts from the said telecom companies.
The former president of the Uganda Law Society, Francis Gimara, hinted on the importance of the Access to Information Act, to keep Ugandans updated with the affairs of the state.
“Ignorance of the law on the right to information is very high among government institutions and without information, Government cannot be held accountable”, he said.
Uganda Prisons spokesperson Frank Baine said law implementers need guidance to reduce on the rates of crime and thereby reduce over congestion of inmates in prisons.
He queried: “Why should we congest our prisons, when crime can be prevented?”
In his closing remarks, the chairman of the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Medi Kaggwa said accountability issues in Uganda have been neglected and the remedy to this should be found.
“Article 1 of the Constitution says; power belongs to the people, yet violations of human rights continue to take place, why?” he asked.