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.
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.
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.