The Uganda law Society has strongly condemned the ruling government headed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni supported by security forces for abdicating their constitutional obligations of protecting the lives and property of Ugandans.
Releasing its 2nd quarterly report at Serena Hotel in Kampala this week, ULS President Francis Gimara noted that the report documents failures by the state to uphold the rule of law in the period April to June, 2017 during which scores of Ugandans died at the expense.
Highlighting incidents arising from the SIM Card Registration, Torture at Nalufenya detention centre in Jinja, Insecurity in different parts of the country, corruption in ministries, violation of children’s rights, infringements on freedom of worship, ULS says that the government is failing to live up to its constitutional obligations of protecting the lives of Ugandans.
On Security, the lawyers’ fraternity challenged government not to abrogate its responsibility but rather come up with concrete measures to ensure security for all citizens following the upsurge of criminal activity by the new gang named bakijambiya.
The Uganda Law Society stresses that government is obliged to investigate and apprehend the perpetrators of criminal acts witnessed in parts of Makasa, Wakiso and Kampala districts since April this year.
The chairman Rule of Law subcommittee of the Uganda Law society Professor Fredrick Ssempebwa says that government has not done enough to arrest insecurity that it widespread in the country.
Ssempebwa argues that this responsibility cannot be left to the citizens as its is a constitutional obligation of the government under different articles of the Constitution.
Article 20 for example states under clause 1 that: “Fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual are inherent and not granted by the State.” Clause 2 also states that: “The rights and freedoms of the individual and groups enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all organs and agencies of government and by all persons.”
Other legal instruments such as the Presidential Aoth of Allegiance (4th Schedule Article) obliges the President to protect the lives of Ugandans.
Other legal instruments such as the Police Act and the UPDF act further entrench the obligation of protecting the lives of Ugandans and property of Ugandans
Prof. Ssempebwa says that despite the numerous incidents of insecurity and murder of people, no action has been taken save for a piece of advice from President Museveni who asked the people to buy CCTV Camera’s, so that they can protect themselves.
“How many of you have obeyed this directive but we (Uganda Law Society) think is a dangerous statement because it indicates that the government is abandoning its duty to provide us with security. Very few of us can afford CCTV cameras and in any case it is not protection,” Prof. Ssempebwa noted.
In respect to the torture of suspects who were detained at the infamous Nalufenya detention facility run by police, ULS called for thorough training of the police officers especially in regard to investigations.
Ssempebwa says besides condemning the use of torture as a way of getting information from suspects, President Museveni and government ought to do more to stop such human rights violations.
ULS recommends that perpetrators of torture be bought to book, stressing that they should be held individually responsible for their actions.
“The president talked about using scientific methods of getting information from suspects. Personally I am not so sure what this means, but we do recommend that the police should be equipped with modern investigation skills, properly trained so that internationally acceptable standards are applied,” Ssempebwa said.
For more details on ULS positions about Freedom of worship, corruption in govenrment, please log onto our website www.sunrise.ug