The President is yet to consider names for the appointment of the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) and two Commission members.
The Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi, told a Parliament sitting on Monday, 10 May 2021 that the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs had written to President Yoweri Museveni on 7 December 2020, recommending the appointment of the UHRC leadership.
“We await the appointment of the chairperson and the two members to the Commission,” Kafuuzi told the House.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, said the UHRC had another gap following the resignation of Commissioner Victoria Rusoke Businge, who contested for and won the Woman MP seat for Kabarole district in the 11th Parliament.
The Attorney General made the statement in response to concern raised by Kawempe North MP Hon. Latif Sebaggala, on various government entities currently operating without substantive heads, to the detriment of their efficiency and effectiveness.
Sebaggala cited the UHRC, the Inspectorate of Government and the Equal Opportunities Commission that were operating without full composition.
The position of the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission fell vacant in November 2019, following the death of Al-Hajj Meddie Kagwa.
The positions of two other Commissioners fell vacant after one resigned to join Parliament in 2016 and another’s term of office expired in 2018.
Kumi Municipality MP Hon. Silas Aogon said that government ought to act quickly on putting leadership in place in these Commissions so that Ugandans receive the much needed service.
“I think the President is not notified about these vacancies in time, because I do not think he can take so long to appoint candidates placed before him,” Aogon said.
He said Parliament needed a comprehensive analysis to find out which Commission is not fully fledged, which one had gaps, and make a single submission for the President’s action.
Hon. Cecilia Ogwal (FDC, Dokolo) tasked Parliament to interest itself with the regional composition of some government agencies, to ensure equal representation along with necessary qualifications for the jobs.
“The Judicial Service Commission should be looked at as well because there are some unrepresented regions. Some of these regions may think they are being sidelined because the membership is not fairly constituted,” said Ogwal.
Speaker Kadaga also told the House sitting that the Inspectorate of Government was also incapacitated, with only one Inspector carrying out duties of the agency.
The Deputy Attorney General said that the President was aware of the vacancies at the Inspectorate of Government and the Judicial service Commission, but there were implementation challenges due to a limited resource envelope.
“We have been assured that following the passing of the Administration of Judiciary Act, more money will be coming into the sector and we will be able to advertise and have more positions for judicial officers to deal with the backlog,” Kafuuzi told the House.