Human rights experts have weighed-in describing the recently launched Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) 25th Annual Report describing it as very rich in content. The Chief of Parté of USAID Rights and Rule of Law Dr. Donald Rukare, the Deputy Inspector General of Government Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria, Senior Citizen Miria Matembe, top leadership of security agencies have all appreciated the uniqueness of this report. While giving his assessment immediately after the launch at Protea Hotel Kampala yesterday (May 19th, 2023), Dr. Rukare wondered what plans the UHRC has to disseminate “this very rich and important report across the country.”
On her part, Dr. Achan said: “I see significant improvement in the structure, quality and content of this Annual Report. The report adopts a creative approach and unpack significant human rights thematic areas and points out major concerns that require swift and robust action on the part of government of Uganda.”
Senior Citizen and former Minister for Ethics and Integrity Dr. Miria Matembe also appreciated the UHRC especially the Chairperson for having set up a diligent team that saw the production and publication of such a good report.
The report’s critique of security agencies was also received in good faith by the top leadership as evidenced by comments of approval from the Director of Human Rights in the UPDF Col. Deo Karikona and the Head of Human Rights Department in the Uganda Police ACP James Kisemererwa.
“I would like to give Ugandans an assurance about our commitment to human rights. We are inherently an accountable force and open to public scrutiny, therefore we take this report in good faith and undertake to implement all the recommendations,” Karikona said.
CP Kusemererwa: “I also want to take this opportunity to, first of all, thank the Uganda Human Rights Commission for this report. I want to report to this sitting that I am taking back all the voices I have heard today and of course to reinforce on the programs we have been implementing in the institution to ensure that as a force and sister institutions, we all respect human rights,” he said.
In his speech before launching this report, the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Nobert Mao praised the UHRC for having inspected places of detention including army detention centers as highlighted in the report.
“Inspecting places of detention is very important because those who violate rights thrive in the dark. I thank the Commission for shining the light in the dark [inspecting places of detention]. By shinning that light, you are extending the boundaries of freedom,” he said.
The report is composed of eleven chapters whose highlights were given by Commissioners; Hon. Lamex Omara Apitta, Hon. Simeo Muwanga Nsubuga, Hon. Col. Steven Basaliza and Hon. Shifra Lukwago as well as the Director Monitoring and Inspection Ms. Ruth Ssekindi, respectively. (See copy of the highlights)