By Steven Candia
THE Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has decried the recent spike in mob violence in the country, warning that if left unchecked it can plunge the country into a state of anarchy.
The human rights watchdog noted that the trend of the vice has the potential of grossly eroding the enjoyment rights and freedoms and called on the government and other stakeholders to carry out a deeper study to establish the root cause.
Addressing a hastily convened press conference to raise concern among others of the rampant killing of security personnel, the UHRC Chairperson Med Kaggwa said it is absurd that mob violence is peaking at the time when there are deliberate efforts to revamp the justice law and order sector (JLOS) institutions such as the police and thus the need for a deeper study.
“We once again strongly urge for more concrete reforms and improvements in the execution of the mandates of all those institutions to check the escalating incidence of mob action , which is threatening to turn into lawlessness and anarchy,” Kaggwa was flanked by the UHRC Secretary Gordon Tumwesigye said. The function was also attended by a number of commissioners.
The chairperson Uganda Human Rights Commission, Med Kaggwa addresses journalists as the commissioners look on. Photo by Juliet Kasirye
As a way forward the commission urged government to tackle the rampant unemployment among the youth given that findings indicate that many take part in the vice; strengthen the capacity of both the police and judiciary; review the existing law and that the police should crack the whip hard on perpetrators and even use video footage to arrest the perpetrators, among others.
It also urged the police to among others enforce discipline within its personnel to build confidence within the public, strengthen sensitization of the public through community policing on the danger of mob violence and ensure timely response to scenes of mob action.
On the issue of the rampant killing of security personnel, the commission called for an expeditious investigation into the killing with the view of bringing the culprits to book; strengthening the capacity of the police and security agencies in crime prevention and urged the public to desist from engaging in criminal acts and taking the law into their hands.
The appeal by the commission after two incidents in the city and Namayingo district in which two security operatives were murdered last week.
In condemning the killings, the commission said the incidents do not only violate the right to life and a host of other rights and freedoms for the victims and their relatives but “raise serious concerns about the management of crime prevention in the country.”
“The UHRC therefore calls on the police to expeditiously investigate these killings, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of such heinous acts,” Kaggwa said.
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