As 2021 general elections draw closer, youths have been asked to distance themselves from acts of violence and all tendencies that may disrupt peace during the election period.
Aida Nakiganda, the Director Complaints, Investigations and Legal Services at Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) says majority of the young people engaging directly in political activities of their country is a good move, however, “it would be much better” if they do it in observance of the electoral laws and Ministry of Health guidelines on Covid-19 prevention.
“All youth and the general public, we have to observe the laws because access to rights comes with duties and responsibilities. In the event that you are found breaking the laws, you have to be held accountable for your actions,” Nakiganda said.
Nakiganda asked the youth to avoid being used by politicians in fulfilling their personal agenda but rather make wise choices that are backed by law.
In the same vein, she asked the security agencies to be mindful of people’s rights as they carry on their duties.
“My advice is derived from Section 221 of the Constitution which says that law enforcement officers should observe human rights in performance of their duties,” she said.
This comes at a time when many youths are reported to have been and are engaged in a number of demonstrations related to electoral activities and Covid-19 guidelines, culminating into some sustaining injuries and others losing their lives.
“We have done a lot in sensitizing people about their rights through community barazas and village road shows, however, these were greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which restricts large gatherings,” Nakiganda added.
She, however, noted that although many cases of human rights violations have been reported in the media during the ongoing election period, few people have been able to file formal complaints with Uganda Human Rights Commission.