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Human Rights Commission “Incapacitated”

Whereas government funding has increased from Shs 17.8 billion in the previous financial year to 19 billion shillings in this corresponding period, members of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) say this amount is inadequate to meet operational demands.

While presenting the ministerial policy statement on Wednesday, before the legal and parliamentary committee, Mr. Meddie Kaggwa the UHRC chairperson observed that although this committee had strived over the years to ensure that they are fully funded by government, the organisation is currently incapacitated.

“Funds to the commission have progressively improved over the years; however budgetary allocations have remained inadequate to cater for the day to day operations. My prayer is that these recommendations be handled and the commission is relieved from donor dependency” he said.

Key among the underfunded areas he said, include staff salary, establishment of regional offices and increasing staffing levels in tandem with the approved structure.

According to documents from the commission out of a total 220 positions, only 179 were filled and that comprises a chairperson, 2 members of the commission and 175 substantive staff. A total of 41 vacancies remain unfilled due to lack of funds to pay their salaries.

More so, in spite the appointment of commissioners; Mrs. Victoria Businge Rusoke in December 2018 and Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria in March this year, the body still lacks 2 additional members to be fully constituted.

It should be noted that earlier the same committee had recommended that 12.75 billion be provided for salary enhancement of which not a single shilling has been provided to date.

However, on the flip side, 250 million has been released to undertake feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs on its prime plot that is located on Buganda road in Kampala’s central business district.

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Collectively the commission is in need of additional funding amounting to 35.9 billion to cater for core activities which include; investigations and resolution of complaints, human rights education, monitoring and meeting administration costs among others.

The legal and parliamentary affairs is led by West Budama South MP Hon. Jacob Oboth Oboth.

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