The Uganda Human Rights Commission is the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) that is constitutionally mandated to protect and promote human rights in Uganda.
In execution of this mandate, the Commission monitors the human rights situation in the country and makes recommendations to the relevant stakeholders.
In this regard, the Commission usually pronounces itself on critical emerging human rights issues and accordingly provides guidance to the country, in fulfillment of its mandate.
Human Rights Concerns
On Tuesday 25′ October 2022, the Commission and indeed the country witnessed ugly images of video clips of a violent scuffle that ensued during the burial ceremony of Jakana Sulaiman Nadduli, the son of Mzee Abdul Nadduli, in Kaddunda village, Semuto, Nakaseke District, which culminated in chaos and mayhem.
The incident which involved a mob of alleged mourners violently assaulting another; a one Ivan Kamuntu Majambere for reasons not yet established by the Commission, is of concern to us, given its human rights implications. The Commission has learned that the victim suffered severe body injuries.
The Commission is appalled by the violent actions and indecent behavior exhibited by a section of mourners.
The Commission condemns the incident which not only disrupted the burial ceremony, but also infringed on the rights of the family and others present to mourn their loved one in peace.
We further condemn such acts of intolerance among the citizens and call for respect for divergent views. Such acts of hooliganism are undoubtedly characteristic of the abhorred incidents of mob action, which if left unchecked could escalate into lawlessness.
The Commission has severally voiced concerns on incidents of mob action because of their negative effects on the enjoyment of human rights.
Mob action infringes on the victim’s right to presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a competent Court.
It also results into acts of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and many times results into loss of life which has far reaching consequences on the families of victims. 1
The Commission calls on law enforcement agencies to carry out expeditious investigations into the incident, with a view to apprehending and charging those who perpetrated the violence. Police should also strengthen its community policing and neighbourhood watch programmes across the country in order to forestall acts of criminality like the one in question, from the communities.
The Commission reiterates its commitment to performing its constitutional mandate including monitoring the human rights situation in the country and making interventions for improvement and to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms in the country.
We hereby enjoin all citizens of Uganda to fulfill their duty to promote the rule of law and to cooperate with lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order among the other duties listed therein in accordance with article 17 of the Constitution. We specifically call on citizens to desist from violence and hooliganism as a way of expressing discontent, but rather pursue peaceful means of resolving disagreements.
We appeal to the general public to be law-abiding and uphold the rule of law at all times to foster an environment of respect for human rights for all.