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MPs Blast UHRC For Leaving Human Rights Defending To NGOs

A section of lawmakers have blasted Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) for abandoning their duties to civil society organizations, saying some of the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) have their own hidden agenda that could compromise morals of Ugandans.

The concerns of MPs followed a statement made by Mariam Wangadya, Chairperson UHRC while appearing before Parliament’s Human Rights Committee where she decried the meager funding to the Commission, saying the funding gap was further worsened by the decision by President Museveni to ban activities of Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) which has seen civil society step into the role.

She explained that the Commission has zero budget for foreign trips, leaving Uganda to rely on NGOs to present Uganda’s position on the international scene because civil society is better funded.

Wangadya decried the meager earning of the officials at the Commission, saying this has seen many staff abandon the Commission for better job offers and this pay does not compare with other constitutional sister agencis  like the Electoral Commission.

She said efforts to reduce the disparity have not been successful.

According to UHRC, in the FY 2020/2021 UHRC requested for Shs53.21Bn from Government and received only Shs19.65Bn.

However, Charity Binobona (UPDF Representative) asked the Commission to work hard to reclaim their role as the top human rights offenders in Uganda, instead of delegating their role to civil society because the motives of civil society can’t be trusted.

“Civil society organizations have their own narrative, there is something that motivates what they do or their own story that they have to tell, so you have to do everything within your means to take back the work you are supposed to do. Leaving your work to civil society, that is why we are seeing moral decay because we are looking to people who don’t know our values,” said Binobona.

She was backed by Rose Obiga (Terego DWR) in remarking, “It is very crucial and imperative that you claim back your territory or else you are rendered useless or you are better off closing office and backing off. NGOs come with different motives at times some of the reports can be exaggerated.”

The UHRC told Parliament that the Commission is stuck with thousands of unresolved human rights cases and currently, it takes an average of 6years to dispose off a single human rights case.

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