Hate speech on the rise in central region - human rights report

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Hate speech on the rise in central region - human rights report
Kimanya-Kabonera MP Abed Bwanika has accused his own party NUP of indulging in insults against certain persons

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has decried the alarming rise in hate speech amongst Ugandans, indicating that the central region was the most affected.

The Commission made the revelations while presenting to its 26th annual report on the state of human rights in the country to Parliament on Thursday.

Handing over the report to Speaker Anita Among, UHRC chairperson Mariam Wangadya said their findings indicate that the hate speech has mainly been propagated in the central region by a section of politicians and some social media users.

"The issue of hate speech of not handled well may land the country into anarchy," Ms Wangadya said, "we need to fight the negative vice for the betterment of our country."

The Commission has been at loggerheads with the Opposition, who accuse it of being partisan and taking no action when report are made.

On Monday, the fallout reached a head when National Unity Platform president Robert Kyagulanyi ranted during a tribunal chaired by Ms Wangadya and withdrew a case he had filed in 2018 that was only first being given attention this week.

Mr Kyagulanyi's party is accused by its own members such as Dr Abed Bwanika of fanning abuses against targeted individuals.

The party has not officially denied the allegations but its principal at the weekend said he does not set any of his supporters out to insult anyone.

Speaker Among urged the Commission to act professionally as a bridge between the Opposition and government.

"As Parliament we shall also ensure that in all the bills we process we involve the public," Ms Among said.

Ms Wangadya also said that in spite of significant developments in infrastructure, the quality of roads mainly in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono is wanting.

The report also pinned government entities for hiding or delaying public information whenever contacted by the media Houses.

The report also raised the issue of the stateless communities who are being denied government services and rights including the right to vote, education, land rights, marriage rights among others.

Some of the stateless communities include the Maragoli, Sabaot, Bakingwe, Benet, Bagaya, Baziba among others.

"On the issue of the stateless communities, I will also talk to the Minister for Constitutional Affairs to fast-track establishment of the Constitutional review commission to handle the issue of these stateless communities, recently there is a petition we received from the Uganda-Banyarwanda community complaining about the same," Speaker Among said.

The report also revealed the dire situation in the Ugandan police cells and prison facilities with majority still using the bucket system in addition to being overcrowded.

"Can you imagine the bucket system is still in use in most of these detention facilities? As government, we need to work hard and have better facilities established," Ms Wangadya appealed.

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