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Human rights commission demands LC elections

By Martin Kitubi

Added 10th May 2017 10:10 AM

Kaggwa made the call on Friday while addressing journalists on human rights concerns in the country at UHRC headquarters

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The Chair Person Uganda Human Rights Commission Med Kaggwa. Photo by Nancy Nanyonga

Kaggwa made the call on Friday while addressing journalists on human rights concerns in the country at UHRC headquarters

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Chairperson Med Kaggwa has urged government to conduct the Local Council (LC) elections to address the issue of killings of people in the country.

According to UHCR, lack of legally elected leaders at grassroots like LC1, 11 who could be in charge of ensuring security in their areas of jurisdiction has contributed to insecurity in the country thence murdering of the innocent people.

Kaggwa made the call on Friday while addressing journalists on human rights concerns in the country at UHRC headquarters in Nakasero Kampala.

"Our findings on the possible causes of these killings ranged from misuse of fire arms especially by security guards, high prevalence of poverty, declining community vigilance including lack of LC structures among others," he said.

The electoral commission
The Electoral Commission Spokesperson Jonathan Taremwa informed New Vision in a telephone interview that they are willing to conduct the LC1, 11 elections as soon they get funds from the government.

He added: "We need about shs15 billion budget to conduct the LC1,11 and the government promised to allocate funds in the next financial year which we are waiting for."

Kaggwa also blamed killings on low policing capacity like lack of modern investigation equipment, inadequate funding to the police force, porous borders and laxity in security and immigration policies.

UHCR urged government to urgently address the problem of increasing number of unemployed youths in the country who are desperate for survival by providing jobs for them.

Kaggwa also called upon government to streamline issuance of guns to private individuals adding:  “There must be a limit on who should have a gun and we recommend government to conduct disarmaments to ensure that illegal guns are confiscated."

Journalists freedom
They condemned police on brutality and torturing of journalists in relation to the recent incident where Isaah Nakabaale, a Vision Group journalist was beaten and ma

n handled by police during the World Press Day Celebration.
"The Police have continued to be the lead violator of journalist freedom and we condemn excessive use of force against them, we have repeatedly told the Police to be mindful of Article 20 and Article 221 of the constitution to respect human's rights," Kaggwa said.

UHRC called upon journalists who are victims of brutality by security organizations to report so that they take action and culprits are punished.

On Crime preventers
The Uganda Human Rights commission demanded a legal and guidelines operation frame work for crime preventers defining their powers, and nature of cooperation within the Police.

Stephen Basaliza, a commissioner at UHRC explained that crime preventers involved in human rights violation especially torture should be held individually accountable and face disciplinary committee.

UHRC demanded a review of method of appointment, training and operation of crime preventers and review the whole concept of community policing and protect credibility and professionalism of the Police.

Drought and famine
The ministry of agriculture, animal industries and fisheries estimates noted that about 1.3 million Ugandans were starving and the ministry of disaster preparedness indicate that about 7million people experience food shortages due to drought.

Because of this, UHRC called upon the ministries of agriculture, animal industries and fisheries, and water and environment to establish food storage systems, establish water reservoirs and encourage water harvesting to address food and drought issues in the country.

"We should not rely on weather conditions for agriculture, the two ministries should popularize the use of irrigation and ecofriendly alternative fuel sources, introduce drought resistant crops to the population." Kaggwa said.

SIM card registration
Basaliza condemned Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA) for sharing information in the National ID database to private telecom companies adding that it will jeopardize people's security.

Basaliza and Kaggwa added this the move by NIRA and UCC should be reconsidered until the law on data protection and privacy is enacted to ensure protection of personal data.

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