DONORS DARE GEN MUSEVEN: QUICKLY NAME NEW IGG TO AVOID BEING SEEN AS NOT SERIOUS ABOUT CORRUPTION
By Mulengera Reporters
Speaking during the 25th Annual JLOS Sector Review Meeting this Thursday at Nsambya-based Mestil Hotel, Dr. Katja Kerschbaumer (representing all JLOS Development Partner Working Group members) didn’t mince words about their dismay with the continued refusal or failure by the President of Uganda to appoint substantive heads for key accountability institutions including IGG and Chairman f the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).
Referencing on the office of Inspector General of Government (IGG) and that of Chairman Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) which remain vacant, Dr. Katja Kerschbaumer said no one can take the Ugandan government to be serious when it comes to combating corruption, observance and enforcement of human rights when the staffing needs of such key frontline institutions can’t be adequately prioritized. The IGG office remains vacant since the exit of Lady Irene Mulyagonja on the account of her contract expiry (in July 2020) while the UHRC vacuum resulted from the sudden death of Med Kaggwa late last year.
In her discussion highlighting the observations of the development partners regarding the JLOS annual report as had just been presented by JLOS Secretariat’s Sam Wairagala, Dr. Katja Kerschbaumer highlighted 3 key outcomes’ areas of concern to them as donors including commercial justice, human rights observance/enforcement and the other on corruption.
She revealed that as development partners, they remain concerned with the lukewarm attention government accords especially human rights and corruption fighting-related issues. She observed that failure or refusal to name a new chairman for Human Rights Commission now one year since Med Kaggwa death doesn’t speak well about the GoU’s commitment to protect the citizens’ enjoyment of human rights.
To illustrate their disappointment, representatives of the development partners (who Wairagala says annually contribute 7% of the JLOS sector budget) also reflected on the Action Plan for Human Rights enforcement which Cabinet has continued to sit on or drag its feet about for the last four years. William Byaruhanga sought to appease the meeting by saying he was working with the relevant Directors and officials at the AG chambers to ensure this action plan comes into being. Regarding the corruption fight, Dr. Katja Kerschbaumer said that continued failure or refusal by the President to name the new IGG replacing Irene Mulyagonja was equally bad news for those who desire to see more political will and commitment manifested at the highest levels of government in this country.
In the same presentation at the Mestil review meeting, which was enthusiastically attended by many stakeholders (over 200 of them online), Dr. Katja Kerschbaumer also said it was intriguing that the JLOS report revealed a sharp decline in human rights abuse complaints being registered at UHRC against JLOS agencies yet at the same time the Uganda media is awash with reports and images of men in uniform brutalizing citizens.
And JLOS Deputy Technical Advisor Sam Wairagala, who supervises the compilation and editing of the annual JLOS report capturing things relating to the 18 institutions, likened this irony to the case of an entire basket of apples getting discredited because of the few rotten ones. It’s something the CJ Alfonse Owiny Dollo seemed to corroborate when he said mistakes and improper conduct of one JLOS frontline official can bias the public opinion against an entire institution which that official represents.
There are many good and bad things about the delivery of services by the JLOS institutions, that Dr. Katja Kerschbaumer highlighted in her very comprehensive presentation but which we shall be publicizing in our subsequent publicity for the 25th JLOS Annual Review Meeting. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com).