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Debates deepen democracy, say human rights activists

By Wilfred Sanya

Added 8th March 2016 10:10 PM

Winners Makerere University made a presentation on how to attain purposeful democracy and respect of human rights practice of the rule of law

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Makerere University Human Rights debate for with their award with the Democratic Governance Facility Manager Rights Justice and Peace Sophie Racine (Fourth from left) and the Executive Director of Human Rights Initiative Livingstone Sewanyana.Makerere University scooped the 2016 debate award at Ndejje University in Luweero district 5/3/16.Photo by Wilfred Sanya

Winners Makerere University made a presentation on how to attain purposeful democracy and respect of human rights practice of the rule of law

Having regular debates on topical issues will broaden and deepen democracy in Uganda, human rights activists have said.

This was during the ninth Inter-Universities Human Rights debate held  on March 5 at Ndejje University in Luwero district.

The Executive Director of Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI) Livingstone Sewanyana, who presided over the ceremony, said there is need to continuously have debates centered on human rights in order to attain democracy in Uganda.

Sewanyana noted the need to understand the values of Human rights and dignity of the individual in order to entrench democracy in this country.

 he  chairman of akerere niversity  abriel caye receiving the award  of the  winners of the 9th nter niversity debate on uman rights from the  the ice chairman of the niversity council eorge ngom right in uweero 5316 nd second from right is  emocratic overnance acility anager ights ustice and eace ophie acinehoto by ilfred anya The chairman of Makerere University Gabriel Acaye receiving the award of the winners of the 9th Inter University debate on Human rights from the the Vice chairman of the University council George Ongom (right) in Luweero 5/3/16 And second from right is Democratic Governance Facility Manager Rights Justice and Peace Sophie Racine.Photo by Wilfred Sanya

 

Makerere University was crowned winner of this year's competition. They made a presentation on how to attain purposeful democracy and respect of human rights practice of the rule of law.

First runner up was Ndejje University, while Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi came third. Twenty five Universities and other institutions of higher learning participated.

"Everyone matters in the decision making process because it impacts on other people's lives. It is very important if other people's wishes are respected at all times" he said.

Sewanyana noted that the presentations indicated an improvement in the level of research and understanding of human rights issues among the youth.

The deputy vice Chancellor Ndejje University Fredrick Kakembo, said that the Universities and Higher institutions of learning have three key roles; teaching, research and community engagement.

 emocratic  overnance acility  anager ights  ustice and  eace ophie acine  pose for a picture with the dejje niversity the runner up in the 9th nter niversity debate on uman rights in uweerohoto by ilfred anya Democratic Governance Facility Manager Rights , Justice and Peace Sophie Racine pose for a picture with the Ndejje University the runner up in the 9th Inter University debate on Human rights in Luweero.Photo by Wilfred Sanya

 

He also noted that they also perform the role of informing society on development, citing the recent innovation of the solar bus by Kira  Motors launched by President Yoweri Museveni last month.

"Universities serve communities in various ways like looking at the area of Human rights. It is our role to lead by addressing the key issues in order to build lasting democracy in our society," Kakembo said.

He observed that debates create an atmosphere of tolerance and peaceful co-existence.  
 
The Democratic Governance Facility Manager Rights Justice and Peace Sophie Racine, said support is needed for the growth of democracy in Uganda.

"Uganda still needs more support to build democracy. Looking at the recent elections, most vulnerable people lacked the knowledge of their rights. They need to claim them," Racine said.

She appealed to the youth to share what they had learnt on debate of human rights with others still in know-how.

"It is time you leaders of tomorrow to demand for the rule of law beginning with your work places after you have completed studies. This is the only way you can develop democracy in society", she said

The patron Makerere University Human rights club Gabriel Acaye, attributed the win to the role of independence and the challenges of future opportunities regarding the recent elections.

"Ideally, we worked as a team on our presentations and reflected on the elections which was concluded with the electoral commission denying other people chance to choose their preferred leaders," said Acaye.

Kakembo, also the Ndejje University patron, lamented that elections are not the best way of attaining democracy.  He lamented that fronting money encourages wrong unsubstantial choices.

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