The Uganda Human Rights Commission(UHRC) has decried lack of funds to run it activities following the suspension of their biggest donor the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) early this year.
In February, President Museveni directed the immediate suspension of the activities of DGF which was the largest pool of donor funding to non-governmental organisations in Uganda over what was termed as financing of subversive activities.
DGF was financed by the governments of Denmark, Ireland, Austria, UK, Sweden, Norway, and the European Union to facilitate equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long term stability in Uganda.
On Tuesday, the commission paid a courtesy visit to the Attorney General’s chambers to find ways of working closely together.
Meddie Mulumba, a commissioner at UHRC, told the attorney general, Kiryowa Kiwanuka that the gap in funding left by DGF has exacerbated an already unpleasant situation at the commission to the extent that they lack funds to pay for salaries and allowances of their staff.
“The situation is not good at all Hon Attorney General, the president wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance saying that the commission should be weaned off funding from donors because he said if we are getting donors funding us, then maybe we may be losing our independence,” he said.
He explained that due to lack funds ,a lot of things have been crippled Including their move to extend services to regions and districts in different parts of the country, something he said needs immediate attention.
“Before we have been having DGF funding the commission as our biggest funder, but now it is not in operation and our contract elapsed. We have that deficit that we need if we are to smoothly run our activities. The commission employees are not well remunerated, which has increased the rate of staff turnover, ”he said.
Kiwanuka,explained to the commission that at the moment the country is channeling a lot of money to the health sector to help in the fight against Covid-19, meaning there is little money to fund other sectors.
UHRC is mandated with promoting human rights in the country lacks funds to conduct investigations into human rights violations, carry out education on human rights and conduct staff training.