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Kadaga, opposition MPs spar over committee leadership

By Moses Walubiri, Henry Sekanjako

Added 9th December 2016 09:06 AM

During yesterday’s plenary session, Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga sparred with a section of opposition lawmakers led by Latif Ssebagala, Joseph Ssewungu and Moses Kasibante over the issue after the latter called for the committee to be declared an accountability committee.

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During yesterday’s plenary session, Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga sparred with a section of opposition lawmakers led by Latif Ssebagala, Joseph Ssewungu and Moses Kasibante over the issue after the latter called for the committee to be declared an accountability committee.

Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

As Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the international human rights day tomorrow, the question as to whether the human rights committee of parliament ought to be among accountability committees where opposition provides leadership is not about to go away.

During yesterday’s plenary session, Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga sparred with a section of opposition lawmakers led by Latif Ssebagala, Joseph Ssewungu and Moses Kasibante over the issue after the latter called for the committee to be declared an accountability committee.

“As head of this institution, I don’t think it’s necessary to amend our Rules of Procedure to provide for that. The committee has been able to handle a ten year backlog of Uganda Human Rights Commission Reports within less than two years. The leadership is doing a good job,” Kadaga said.

Earlier, the trio had impugned the ability of the committee to scrutinize incidents of gross human rights violations allegedly committed by government agencies, especially security agencies.

“Its normally police and army that are the leading violators of human rights. I doubt that a committee chaired by MPs from the ruling party can hold government to account,” Kasibante, the shadow minister for human rights said.

The chairperson of human rights committee is Mitooma woman MP, Jovah Kamateka.
Meanwhile, a number of lawmakers across the political aisle said they would boycott tomorrow’s function over what they claim is the increase in violation of human rights in the country.

Women MPs in particular cited the plight of Ugandan women and girls evidenced by high maternal mortality rate, failure by government to redeem its promise to provide sanitary towels to female inmates and reports of state agencies sweeping cases of rape and defilement under the carpet as matters of gross human rights violations.

“There is little to celebrate about this day,” Asamo Hellen said.

The International Declaration of Human Rights Day is commemorated on 10th December, to mark the coming into force of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948 as the mother document of global human rights movements.

The UDHR promises to all, the economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights that underpin a life free from want and fear.

Tomorrow’s commemoration at Hotel African in Kampala will be under the theme: “Standing up for another’s rights.”

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