The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) on Monday 10th September 2018 received a donation of a motor vehicle from GIZ to boost its operations as the national human rights institution charged with the protection and promotion of human rights in the country. The seven seater Toyota Land Cruiser station wagon ear-marked for the UHRC Hoima Regional Office was officially handed over to Dr. Katebalirwe Amooti Wa Irumba who represented the UHRC Chairperson by Dr. Wolff Michael Mors, the GIZ Head of Governance and Civil Society Programme, at the Commission’s Head Office in Kampala.
Speaking shortly after the official handover ceremony of the motor vehicle, Dr. Katebalirwe Amooti Wa Irumba lauded the GIZ office in Uganda and the government of the Federal Republic of Germany for their un wavering support to the human rights cause in Uganda. ‘I am glad that today the process of seeking to equip UHRC with equipment to offer timely interventions to the increasing emerging human rights issues in the Abertine region due to the new oil and gas activities that started one year ago following the visit of Dr. Fred Brandl, the Head of GIZ East African Department to our Hoima office which included a visit to Rwamutonga village hosting one of the displaced communities in the region, has finally yielded results,’ he said. The Acting Chairperson, who expressed gratitude to GIZ for the support to the Commission over the years, noted that the gesture was a true demonstration of their commitment to the human rights cause.
Dr. Wolff Michael on the other hand reiterated the strong relations between the people of Germany and those of Uganda in empowering and enhancing the capacity of institutions such as the Commission as well as civil society organisations. He commended the Commission for the good work it continues to do in the country and for maintaining the partnership with GIZ through programmes that he noted to have been satisfactorily implemented. He said he also looked forward to visiting the UHRC Hoima Regional office in the near future and was eager to hold more engagements with the Commission’s Chairperson Mr. Med Kaggwa, as a way of strengthening the cooperation between the two organisations.
Commenting on the importance of the Commission in monitoring the human rights situation in the vast Albertine region which is facing new challenges occasioned by the new oil and gas industry and their attendant impact on enjoyment of human rights by the affected communities of the region, Dr Wolff was optimistic that the newly acquired motor vehicle would go a long way in easing the mobility of UHRC staff and therefore enhance its ability to provide the much needed services to the affected communities. ‘Whereas the decision to continue with the cooperation is made by my government and that of Uganda, I am optimistic that the cooperation between our governments which has grown stronger over the years will continue to yield even greater benefits for the people of Uganda,’ he added. He commended the Uganda Human Rights Commission for the partnership and its contribution towards the new motor vehicle by availing funds required to meet the local taxes component from its own resources which ultimately enabled registration of the vehicle as a property of the Uganda government.
The Secretary to the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mr. Patrick Mabiiho Nyakana, who had earlier welcomed the team from GIZ to the Commission and thanked them for the generous support also assured them that the newly donated motor vehicle will be immediately dispatched to Hoima Regional Office and will be used for the very purpose for which it was requested for. Others present during the brief handover ceremony were Ms. Joyce Freda Apio, the GIZ Human Rights and Governance Advisor, Mr Kamadi Byonabye the UHRC Director for Research, Education and Documentation, Ms Ida Nakiganda who is the Director in charge of the UHRC Complaints, Investigations and Legal Services as well as Ms. Florence Munyirwa, the Commission’s Public Affairs Manager.