Gruesome acts of gun Violence together with brutality of citizens have dominated the second quarter State of Rule of Law Report by the Uganda Law Society-ULS.
The rule of law report is published by ULS periodically to show the legal fraternity’s commitment to monitor and address all significant breaches of the rule of law in the country and to safeguard the foundations of justice, fairness and equality before the law.
Now in it’s report launched by the ULS President Bernard Oundo on Friday in Kampala capturing the events that happened between April to June 2023, the report indicates several human rights violations and freedoms among which are the freedom to assemble and the right to life.
Here murders in Kyanja of the former Minister for Labour and Employment Charles Okello Engola who was shot dead by his official body guard Wilson Sabiiti on May 2nd 2023 and the shooting of blogger Ibrahim Tusubira aka Jajja Iculi on May 6th 2023 and the murder of an Indian Money lender Utta Bhandari by police Constable John Wabwire have been condemned.
The report also condemns the murder of Ben Amaku, a security guard attached to Security Group Africa which occurred on May 13th 2023 after being shot dead by unknown assailants along Rhino Camp Road in Baruku Cell.
It also highlights the aggravated robbery of vendors by four gunmen dressed in UPDF uniform in Kayunga.
The report highlights other murders including that of their own member Ronnie Mukisa and the shooting of John Okudi a security guard attached to Saracen Uganda Limited allegedly by Moses Okedi following a disagreement in senior quarters in Amagoro Central Ward in Tororo Municipality where they had been deployed.
The 43 paged report has further condemned the tragic attack on Lhubiriha Secondary School in Mpondwe Kasese on June 16th 2023 where more than 40 students were burnt to death and others abducted by the suspected Allied Democratic Forces -ADF rebels.
On brutality, the ULS report has pointed out the suspension of Makerere and Kyambogo government sponsored University students who were involved in protests against their delayed allowances and the arrest of medical interns, and the subsequent brutal raid on Sheikh Yunus Kamoga’s residence in Tula Kawempe where many of his family members were arrested in a brutal manner.
The ULS now urges the Parliament to consider the passing of the Minimum Wage Bill saying it has been alleged that most police officers are poorly remunerated and they could be behaving as such due to frustration and problems faced by them.
The ULS President Oundo has also recommended the need for a complete overhaul of the entire police system so as to promote a more efficient and effective system.
Government has also been urged to strengthen security measures and enhance intelligence efforts to prevent further attacks especially on learning Institutions.
Lastly, the ULS has pronounced its position on the issuance of the May 19th 2023 Executive Orders by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the banning of commercial charcoal production and expulsion of the Baraaro herdsmen in Northern Uganda.
The order has since raised mixed reactions from legal brains including the Attorney General who has since come out to state that the President has the said powers by virtue of the powers vested in him by the Constitution.
But on this, the Uganda Law Society has recommended that in future whenever the president in the exercise of his Constitutional mandate identifies key issues with respect to social welfare that requires legislation, the issue should be sent to sent to Parliament for it to take action in order to respect the doctrine of separation of powers since Parliament is vested with powers to legislate.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Senior Superintendent of Police Isiah Igumira attached of the Criminal Investigations Department of Police said that as investigators they are ready to handle and resolve each crime case committed in the country.
However, he said many people are becoming dishonest and do not want to help investigators saying that even lawyers are among those dishonest and at times go ahead and hide evidence that should have been of great help to them.
Igumira has thus called for cooperation from the general public so as to fight all the injustices together.