The newly sworn-in Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Commissioner Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria will join other commissioners to conduct the third circuit of countrywide tribunal hearing sessions slated for May this year.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission has the Constitutional mandate to conduct tribunal hearings under Article 52(1) (a) and 53 (1) and (2) which give it powers to investigate complaints of human rights violations and order compensation or any other legal remedy or redress where it is satisfied that the victim’s rights were indeed violated. In exercise of this Constitutional mandate, the Commission has powers of a Court to summon anyone and can commit anyone, found in contempt of its orders, to a civil prison.
Dr. Achan who was sworn-in on Friday 5th April 2019 by the Deputy Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dolo will conduct tribunal sessions in UHRC regional Offices of Mbarara, Kampala and Gulu which will be her first ever, following her recent appointment to the Commission by President Yoweri Museveni.
“The May sessions which will mainly be jointly sponsored under the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) and the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) budgets, will run for three weeks from May 6th to May 21, 2019. The hearings will be conducted at the UHRC Regional Offices of Soroti, Jinja, Gulu, Moroto, Kampala, Fort Portal, Mbarara and Gulu” the Commission’s Acting Registrar Dorcus Musiimenta stated while issuing the Cause List for the month of May.
Dr. Okiria joins other Commissioners at UHRC who include Dr. Katebalirwe Amooti Wa Irumba, Mr. Meddie B. Mulumba and Ms. Victoria Rusoke Businge who have been on hand to conduct the first and second sessions of tribunal hearings held earlier this year in February and April.
The first week of the May tribunal sessions will see Dr. Katebalirwe preside over hearings in Soroti from Monday 6th to Tuesday 7th May, 2019. He will then conduct other tribunal hearings in Jinja on Wednesday May 8th and Thursday 9th May, 2019 before proceeding to Gulu for more tribunal hearings that are scheduled to be held on Monday May 13th and Tuesday May 14th, 2019.
On his part Commissioner Meddie B. Mulumba will also preside over tribunal hearings in Moroto on Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th May, 2019 and conduct other hearings on Monday, 13th to Tuesday 14th May, 2019 at the UHRC offices in Soroti. Commissioner Mulumba will wind up the May tribunal sessions in Kampala at the UHRC Central Regional Office where he will preside over hearings slated for Monday, 20th and Tuesday 21st, May 2019.
Commissioner Victoria Rusoke is scheduled to preside over tribunal hearings in Fort Portal from 6th to 7th May 2019, from where she will proceed to Masaka where she will conduct tribunal hearings from May 13th to May 14th, 2019. She will end her May tribunal sessions with hearings that will be held in Jinja on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st May, 2019.
The new Commissioner Dr. Achan will conduct tribunal hearings in Mbarara for four days from May 6th to 10th, 2019. She will then return to Kampala and hold hearings at the Kampala Central Regional Office on 13th and 14th May 2019, before heading for her last hearings which will be held at the UHRC Gulu Regional Office from 20th to 21st May, 2019.
These recent appointment and addition of the two new Commissioners to UHRC who are the only ones with the legal mandate to preside over tribunal hearings has greatly boosted its capacity to facilitate service delivery. UHRC is currently in position to offer legal redress by availing access to justice for victims of human rights violations across the country.