“I had a case of my brother who was arrested by police and was asked to pay UGX 100,000. But after the community meeting by UHRC, I learnt that police bond is free.” A participant in a community meeting in Luweero District (UHRC, P: 64, 2016).
As there been a hectic year for Uganda, with the preparation for the General Election of 2016, the report from Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), should have lots of instances where the breaches of violations towards political opponents and dissidents from the NRM-Regime. As the system is to uphold the status-quo and respect Mzee. I will today look through the Report and find the most staggering numbers and tales. To show what kind of actions the government does against their own citizens, in the name of the Executive and his reign to keep rule all for himself!
Alone alleged violations in Uganda that we’re registered in 2015 we’re “Torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” total of 345, “Deprivation of personal liberty/detention beyond 48 hours” total of 247, “ and kind of violation in 2015 we’re 909 to all the offices of UHRC. As seen the registered complaints to the UHRC; the respondents are the once claimed to be responsible for the violations. Here is the one usually behind it:
“The top five respondents over the past six years (2010-2015) have remained the UPF, private individuals, UPDF, local governments and the UPS. In the six years, the UPF had a total of 2,646 (the highest number of complaints registered against a respondent), while private individuals had 1,271. The UPDF had 622; UPS, 205; and local governments, 200” (UHRC, P: 15, 2016). This here proves the level of violations from the Army and Police; the once that are surprised by that haven’t followed how the Modus Operandi of the security organizations in Uganda.
One testimony to the UHRC:
“I was told by the investigations team they would follow up my complaint of being detained for eight days at Kakira Police Station. Indeed the Uganda Human Rights [Commission] team did so. I was never at any one point in time asked for facilitation to conduct the investigation until it ended. I now await the outcome of the investigation. By the way, it is upon the Commission’s intervention that I was released immediately. Investigations were conducted objectively and thoroughly to the extent that the perpetrators asked for my forgiveness.” (UHRC, P: 15, 2016).
Second testimony to the UHRC:
“I was arrested by the police from Adjumani Central Police Station on allegations of theft. During detention, my money [amounting to] UGX 200,000 was taken and kept by the police. After conviction and serving my sentence in prison, I went to claim my money, but police told me it was an exhibit in court. When I reported the matter to UHRC, it was registered and investigated and all my money was paid back.” (UHRC, P: 16, 2016).
Complaints completed in 2015:
“In 2015, UHRC closed 382 complaints after investigations. Of these, 287 were backlog files and 95 were fresh complaints registered during the year. 382 complaints were closed for various reasons, including successful mediations, insufficient evidence, receipt of remedy by the complainant, requests from the complainants, referral to other institutions, cautioning of respondent and not revealing any human rights violation. Other reasons included merging of files, failure to trace respondents and death of complainant” (UHRC, P: 17, 2016).
Outstanding compensation from Attorney General to the Tribunal:
“Therefore, the UGX 758,552,86813 that MoJCA paid as compensation to victims of human rights violations in 2015 did not cover any beneficiary of the complaints decided by the Commission during the period 2013 to 2015 (refer to Annex A). As of 31st December 2015, the outstanding awards against the Attorney General was UGX 5,047,671,968 (Uganda shillings five billion, forty seven million, six hundred seventy one thousand, nine hundred sixty eight)” (UHCR, P:31, 2016). Here is the reason for the delayed compensation of the awarded through the tribunal: “Delayed payment of Tribunal awards. Respondents, especially the Attorney General, take long to pay tribunal awards. Although the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has argued that this is mainly due to limited budgetary allocations, UHRC has realised that the delay is sometimes caused by the bureaucratic processes that require the respective state attorney to form the first opinion on whether to appeal or clear payment of the award. This has caused untold delays, especially in cases where the state attorney may not be willing to recommend payment of the award, particularly where the Attorney General was not represented during the hearings” (UNHCR, P: 32, 2016).
Prisoners awaiting Ministerial Orders:
“K.S Awaiting ministerial order for 24 years. It was reported that he does not get visitors” (…) “B.E Awaiting ministerial order for the last 15 years” (UNHCR, P: 37, 2016).
“The human rights training we attended were very helpful. I learnt that when I torture a suspect it is entirely on me and me personally…”said an officer from Kasangati Police” (UNHCR, P: 37, 2016)
A little on how the detainees and Prison conditions are:
Many places don’t have transport for suspects of crime, they are taken random by public transport in places like Kole, Erute, Lira, Anyeke, Otuke, Pece and Kinene. With this result on place as well: “At Kamwenge and Bigere police posts, suspects were transported to court and back on bodaboda at a cost of UGX 60,000” (UNHCR, P: 44, 2016). Also inaccurate salaries and compensation of Police officers: “At Buganikere police post, an officer had not received salary since December 2013 and at Hima police station, five staff members had missed their salary of September 2015. At Rwangara police post, staff could not easily access salary because the bank was far away and they would have to incur transport costs” (UNHCR, P: 44, 2016). Even lacking basic structures is a problem at Police Post, Police Stations and Prison cells: “Detention facilities that did not have adequate water for sanitation and personal hygiene included Kiboga, Kasangati and Rubanda prisons, as well as Buseruka Police Post and Nakaloke and Bunkhongo police stations” (UNHCR, P: 51, 2016). When it comes to sleeping facility for detainees: “UHRC found that 234 out of the 896 detention facilities inspected did not have adequate beddings; so, detainees used either tattered blankets, mats or pieces of papers. This was observed in 41 prisons, 192 police detention facilities and one military detention place inspected. These facilities included: Mutufu and Ngora prisons; Ngai, Iceme, Aber, Kwera and Kangai police posts; as well as Dokolo, Otuke (adult cells), Agawata, Adwari and Olilim police stations” (UNHCR, P: 52, 2016).
The Senior Citizens Grants for Empowerment roll-out plan:
“UHRC noted with concern that although 1.2 million people in Uganda were aged 65 years and qualify for the SAGE programme, only 123,260 were benefiting. However, in August 2015, the government announced the roll-out plan of the SAGE programme to 40 more districts across the country over the next five years, beginning with 20 in the FY 2015/16 and subsequently adding five districts every year for the next four years until FY 2019/20” (UNHCR, P: 103, 2016).
“There were allegations of infection by malicious software of communication devices belonging to various individuals, including journalists, believed to be instigated by state agents.156 It is alleged that once infected with this software, a person’s computer or phone could instantly be remotely monitored; passwords, files, microphones and cameras could be viewed and manipulated without the owner’s knowledge” (UNHRC, P: 141, 2016).
On the General Election:
“UHRC noted reports of the overzealousness and selective application of EC guidelines by the UPF, leading to their alleged interference in and denial of some campaign rallies, prevention of opposition accident victims from accessing a health centre for treatment, prevention of people from attending opposition rallies, violently dispersing opposition rallies and injuring supporters; and the arrest of opposition officials and confiscation of opposition materials such as manifestos. It is worth noting that the UPF took action on some of its errant officers and instituted investigations into the incidents” (…) “There were concerns about the alleged discriminatory nature in the way political players enjoyed rights and freedoms of assembly, movement and personal liberty, which did not, in many cases, favour opposition leaders during the electoral period” (…) “Although UHRC noted positive developments, such as strengthened internal mechanisms in political parties, the successful nomination of presidential, parliamentary and various candidates at the local government, and introduction of new technology, such as SMS and the online system, there were challenges that still hindered the realisation of the right to vote. UHRC also noted that some of the challenges identified during the previous elections, such as the timely review of electoral laws, had not been addressed in the run-up to the 2016 elections. In addition, UHRC notes that there is need to address evolving challenges, such as lack of internal democratic party processes, the emergence of crime preventers and militia during the electoral period, and the varied interpretation of laws, in order to ensure that the right to vote is realized” (UNHRC, P: 169- 172, 2016).
Proposed amendment of the 48 hour rule:
“There have been proposals to amend Article 23 (4), which prescribes for the production of a detained person to court within 48 hours from the time of his or her arrest, on grounds that the prescribed 48 hours is insufficient to bring a person to court” (… ) ” UHRC, therefore, recommends that:
Uganda Police Force should urgently address the issue of detention of suspects without files. If there are no files or charges against them, they should be released:
“UHRC made this recommendation to the UPF in 2013. In 2015, the UPF informed UHRC that police commanders and officers in the Criminal Intelligence and Investigative Directorate (CIID) were tasked to ensure that whenever suspects are arrested, files should be compiled, proper and timely investigations carried out, and the necessary procedure followed to take the suspects to court immediately. With the establishment of the Directorate of Human Rights and Legal Services at police headquarters and the deployment of regional human rights officers in 16 regions, this problem was partially addressed” (UNHRC, P: 223, 2016).
Here you saw the definition of Human Rights issues, there we’re even more labor questions and education on Human Rights. The certainty is the levels of force from the Uganda Police Force (UPF) and Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) that are extending themselves into the citizens sphere and not being there to create security; instead breaching the levels of trust from the security organization and the citizens.
If you feel I left something behind, please put it in the commentary. This is for me the most important details; I couldn’t pick it all; as there we’re many breaches and many questionable actions towards the citizens that could be posted today. Because this is close to 2000 words, but the report are 296 pages. So the amount of details in the report could fill many pages more and a bigger article. This here is just a hunch of the breaches that the government and their institutions are doing, also the missing pieces to the laws and the institutions that’s securing the rights of the citizens. Peace.
Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) – ‘The 18th Annual Report of the Uganda Human Rights Commission To the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda’ (July, 2016)
We should question the ability of certain leaders to be able to squander away government funds, donor-funding while keeping their citizens in poverty and neglect the civil service, the state functions and keeping the state fragile; so that the Executive can brown envelope the Members of Parliament and that other civil servants to get paid, instead of government salaries depend on being paid under table for government delivery.
This is not one nation problem, this is not a one continent problem, and this is a worldwide problem. Not only government acts like this organizations, multi-lateral organizations and businesses. Corporations and other LLCs are also misusing their fortunes and ability to generate wealth for their stakeholders through intricate and complex banking structure that fixes the profits away from the countries we’re they earn high profits; while squandering away the profits so that the owners and stakeholders gain massive funds and leave the consumers, workers and the nations as they keep the funds away from the State of real business.
Why can I address the neglect of government in the same regard as tax-avoidance in modern business, because the same ethics and norms are made and regulated by the Parliaments, Executive Power and by the interests of politicians; that needs funds and create business in their constituency as they earn currency on opening business there. So with that in mind, the way the business is set-up and regulated are by admission from the political framework and laws, not to talk about tax-regulations together with multi-lateral agreements that either opens or closes doors for tax-fugitives from the profitable country.
The Government are the Sovereign Power, the ones that represent and distribute the resources and funds to their citizens through departments, ministries, institutions and programs that are sufficient to make sure of education, security and development of the country. That happens as they can either use their taxes, aid and loans to fund the government work. Well, they could if they wanted to represent the people who paid the tax and elected them.
One key reason for the maladministration and mismanagement from the government are that they are responsible for sham elections and rigging themselves in power; worst case scenario the government and executive took the power with the gun; so the responsibility is more on the ammunition instead of the transparency and accountability towards the citizens. The citizens are supposed to have safe-guards from corrupt behaviour and alleged graft; as the Auditor General and Ombudsman are supposed see through the files and budgets, together with registered procurements, so that the actual facts are the same as the planned efforts from the State.
That is why the breaking figures and knowledge of squandered monies from the funds. Something that shouldn’t be that easy to do or get away with; as so many leaders and executives have saved giant bank-accounts in Swiss Banks and in Tax-Havens. So the humble men from villages all of sudden own 30 luxury cars, 4 mansions and have a wife who spends a ministries months salaries on exclusive clothing and shoes in Paris and London. While the taxpayer are struggling to eat and feed their families, which is an issue that shouldn’t be there when the Executive and wife can have a cortege of 25 cars driving from their State House to their Ranch without any consideration.
The worrying sign is that the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other Multi-lateral organizations don’t sufficiently sanction this kind of activities or even punish the countries with this behaviour; except when the nations are on their back hunting wild goose. The United Nations and European Union, other Pacts doesn’t even sanction much either. The diplomatic tensions and the wish for resources sometimes stop the knowledge of the thievery, if not to save face of both parties as they doesn’t want the public of the nation importing to know about the maladministration.
What I am wondering with all the corruption scandals, with the rich executives and the haemorrhaging of monies from the state and businesses; It happens daily while the begging for funds from international community and also getting investors from the exterior to invest in business. These businessmen are set in function with civil servant and government officials that are corrupting the state; something that the world knows… and still keeps it going around.
Certainly the knowledge of this isn’t something in the shadow, some places all of this is in the spotlight and expected by the officials, as a second way of getting add-ons on their meagre salaries as the government doesn’t pay enough or on time for the Police Officers and Teachers to secure pay to pay for food and even rent. Therefore the system generate where the Government can’t even supplement funds for their own, while their leaders eat the most delicious stakes. This should be a warning, but the world moves on.
What worries me… is how this keep on happening with different names, different places and with different funds, while the sanctions and the stopping of funding from the communities doesn’t stop; while the massive overload of stolen monies are hidden and the ability to use this banked currency in developing the state and nation, instead lost in trail of lies and deceit where the accountability got dropped in the ocean.
We should question these transactions and not accept these facts of life, this is the ones that steal the development and progress, steal foreign taxpayer’s monies into personal bank-accounts and private business of elites instead of the public functions as they we’re supposed to go.
I am just writing in frustration… and tired of seeing and hearing about the scandal after scandal… While the ones dishing it out are silent, while the punishment is not happening and the characters who are behind the thieving is walking like kings and queens in main-streets of capitals all around the world. That is what is bugging me. It shouldn’t be like this and the behaviour should be tormented, questioned and also charged for their stolen cash. This cash we’re not automatically made for and created for the Executive’s and their Elites; which isn’t justified. So why does it seem that some people are allowed to steal a country, steal a national treasury and the foreign exchange funds are walking scotch-free while hanging around the mayors and government-officials; but when a pocket-thief or a man stealing a goat, gets detained and not hired again.
The rules for this is provable not equal, not for all men are equal under god, except if you like shrimp. Well, that is not the case in this matter, there are too set of standards, the Executives and their Elites; while the citizens and public are a disgrace and can be disregarded easily, but the rich can get-a-way-jail-free-card! Peace.
The Leadership of the Teachers’ Union Countrywide unanimously resolved to enter into an industrial action effective 14th May 2015, due to Government’s failure to pay the 10% salary increment for teachers in FY 2015/16 as had been committed in 2011. The industrial action has been on for the past 13 days.
As concerned stakeholders in education, we have been taking lead in negotiations so that the issue at hand is sorted out within the shortest time possible to allow the learners resume normal studies.
In the negotiation meetings chaired by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and attended by several ministers held on 18th and 21st May respectively, no tangible proposals were put forth.
Until yesterday, 25th of May, Government had been adamant in making any formal commitment as regards the 10% salary increment for teachers despite the Union’s efforts in providing practical and viable options/ sources for the increment.
In yesterday’s meeting with the top leadership of the Union, Government made the following commitments;
• 15% salary increment in FY 2016/17
• Teachers SACCO funds to be immediately released to the Apex body of the Teachers’ SACCOs
• No intimidation/ victimization/ harassment of teachers for having participated in the industrial action
• A joint committee comprising Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and UNATU be constituted to identify and advise Government on measures to improve the quality of education.
UNATU being a democratic and member-driven union had to subject the above proposals with the entire teacher leadership countrywide for discussion and resolution at a meeting held on 26th May 2015. Government’s position was presented by Hon. Jim Muhwezi, the Minister of Information and National Guidance. Hon. David Bahati, the Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development was also in attendance.
After a thorough discussion of Government’s proposals, the teacher leaders have resolved to SUSPEND the industrial action on condition that;
i. Government does not breach the implementation of the above commitments within the stipulated time.
ii. No salary increments are effected in FY 2015/16 including the proposed 40% allowance increment for Members’ of Parliament because Government maintains that it has no funds for wage increments.
iii. Government fulfills its commitment of immediately releasing the Teacher SACCO funds to the Apex body of the Teachers’ SACCOs
iv. District officials desist from any form of intimidation, victimization and harassment of teachers in regard to the industrial action
It was further resolved that should government fail to honor their commitment or fail to meet the above conditions, this time round, the Industrial action will resume indefinitely.
Message to the Teachers
UNATU congratulates teachers for the spirited struggle and thanks different support teams upon the successes registered in this industrial action.
The Union hereby clarifies that the Industrial action is not off, but only SUSPENDED to allow Government time to fulfill her commitments. UNATU will continue to monitor the progress of these commitments and by the 30th of September, we expect Government to have included the 15% salary increment in the budget call circular and fully released the said SACCO funds
We therefore call upon all teachers to return to school and resume teaching with effect from Wednesday, 27th May 2015 at 8:00am.
Please note that the industrial action is fully protected by the existing laws and hence no teacher should be intimidated or be subjected to any form of harassment as a result of having participated in the industrial action. Individual teachers and other leaders should report such cases immediately for redress.
“Because we are, the Nation is”
General Secretary – James Tweheyo