As part of the efforts to reduce the existing backlog of human rights complaints, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) is conducting a series of successive tribunals at several of its regional offices.
The tribunals which are chaired by the Chairperson Hon. Mariam Wangadya along with three members of the Commission commenced in Masaka Regional Office on January 23, 2024. This heard 15 complaints in the week of January 23rd to Friday January 26th, 2024. The other members of the panel were; Hon. Col. Steven Basaliza, Hon. Crispin Kaheru and Hon. Jacklet Atuhaire Rwabukurukuru.
Early this week, the Commission travelled to Lira Field Office to hold sessions there for the first time since this former field office was elevated to a Regional Office by the current Commission. The tribunal hearings began on Tuesday January 30, 2024 to Friday February 2nd, 2024, handling 15 complaints.
The panel was composed of the Chairperson and members; Hon. Simeo Muwanga Nsubuga, Hon. Shifra Lukwago and Hon. Lamex Omara Apitta.
The Human Rights Tribunal will be moving to Moroto Regional Office in the week of February 26th to 29th, 2024 to handle 16 complaints in the Karamoja Sub-region. It will then move to Jinja Regional Office in the first week of March. It will handle 15 complaints of human rights violation from March 4th to 6th, 2024.
All these cases are filed against government (Attorney General) and some are part heard while 11 (eleven) are coming up for hearing for the first time hearing. Only one is for making a decision.
The Commission has the Constitutional mandate to conduct tribunal hearings under Article 52(1) (a). Under Article 53 (1) and (2) it has 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.
The Commission has powers of Court to summon anyone and can commit anyone, found in contempt of its orders, to civil prison.