BARAZA AND PUBLIC DIALOGUES
Baraza is the Kiswahili word meaning ‘dialogue’ and is part of a series of meetings on issues of governance, conflict and its resolution, human rights and democratic practice, introduced by HURIPEC as part of its Rights, Governance and Democracy Project. The HURIPEC Baraza is organized on a regular basis, and focuses on major constitutional developments in Uganda and East Africa generally. The objective of these dialogues is to provide stakeholders with a permanent platform for interrogating major constitutional and human rights developments that arise in Uganda specifically and within the East African region in general. The outcome of these dialogues is posted on the HURIPEC website and is disseminated and shared with Government(s) and other key stakeholders to inform their decision making processes. The dialogues also equip the public with information to demand accountability from the government. Reports from the past Barazas are available for download.
Baraza Report for 10TH August, 2006 under the double theme 'The Role of the General Court Marshal (GCM) in the Administration of Criminal Justice in Uganda and the Right to a Speedy Trial Before the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC).’ The two papers presented at this BARAZA namely;
The Trials and Tribulations of Rt. Col. Dr. Kiiza- Besigye & 22 Others: Re-Evaluating the Role of the General Court Marshal in Administration of Criminal Justice in Uganda’ and
"From Protection To Violation? Analyzing the Right to A Speedy Trial At The Uganda Human Rights Commission’, have since been published into HURIPEC Working Papers available under the Publications Template for download.
Baraza Report for 30TH, June, 2006 held at Hotel Equatorial, Kampala, under the theme ‘Buganda’s Quest for Federo; a Right to Self Governance or Buganda Nationalism? Implications for Peace and Stability in Uganda.’
Baraza Report for 26TH, April, 2006 held at the Faculty of Law, Makerere University, under the theme ‘The Implications of the Supreme Court Ruling in the Presidential Election Petition No. 1/ 2006 on the Future of Democracy, Good Governance and the Rule of Law in Uganda.
HURIPEC also conducts occasional public dialogues, different from the Baraza on diverse human rights and governance issues prevalent in the country. In the past, these dialogues have revolved around proposed laws with potentiality of infringing on human rights among other issues. At such dialogues, leading experts in particular fields of specialty within which issues under discussion fall are invited, present papers and thereafter a public dialogue ensues on the issues raised. The dialogues are free and open to all the public.The aim of the dialogues is to create a platform for debate on various national human rights issues central to the welfare of the public.The past dialogues include:
2015 PUBLIC DIALOGUES
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: RELIGION, RIGHTS AND PEACE FELLOWSHIP
The Religion, Rights and Peace Fellowship is a multi-disciplinary academic programme
Latest 2014 16 Introductory Note is available for download.
A) UNIVERSITIES AS AGENTS OF SOCIAL CHANGE;The Role of the Youth in Political Transition
Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi 11 February, 2015|1400-1645
This Public Dialogue was convened under the auspices of the East African School of Governance and Diplomatic Studies at Uganda Martyrs University and was organized by Fr Dr Maximiano Ngabirano.
PL Brief UMU Nkozi is available for download.
B) The Nexus Between Corruption andGovernance: Challenges and Prospects for Uganda
Nkumba University23 February, 2015|1400-1630
Religion, Rights and Peace Fellowship was hosted by the Department of Social Sciences atNkumba University to deliberate on matters pertaining the connection between corruption and governance and the challenges and prospects thereof for Uganda.
PL Brief Nkumba University is available for download.
C) Youth in National Leadership and Transitional Politics
Makerere University Business School Leadership Annex 26 February, 2015|1415-1645
The lead presenter, Mr Asuman Basalirwa began by setting the stage for the discussion and this he sought to do by offering some facts and figures surrounding the situation that the youth find themselves in:
PL Brief Makerere University Business School Leadership Annex is available for download.
D) Religion, Politics and National Identity: Focus on Islam
Makerere University 23 February, 2015|1430-1700
This Public Dialogue was hosted by the School of Law at Makerere University and was opened by a lead presentation by Imam Imaamu Kasozi in which he sought to elaborate the dignity with which Islam treats humanity and human life in general.
PL Brief Makerere University is available for download.
E) Human Rights Implications of Youth Unemployment
Kyambogo University 23 February, 2015|1400-1630
This Public Dialogue was conducted in collaboration with the Human Rights class of Kyambogo University albeit with attendance from other disciplines.
PL Brief Kyambogo University is available for download.
F) Academia, Religious Leaders and the Working Class in the Political Arena of Uganda
Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara 4 March, 2015|1430-1630
The main paper was presented by the Visiting Fellow, Fr Dr Pascal Kabura who led off by decrying seven factors that have conspired to hamstring Uganda proletariat, clergy and intelligentsia
PL Brief Bishop Stuart University, Mbarara is available for download.
G) Islam as an Instrument of Social Change
Convened with Uganda Muslim Association, Wakiso District | Kiina Conference Hall 15 April, 2015|1000-1430
This Advanced Seminar on Islam as an Instrument of Social Change was convened by the Religion, Rights and Peace Fellowship (RRPF) of the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law-Makerere University in conjunction with the leadership of the Muslim Association of Wakiso District.
PL Brief Convened with Uganda Muslim Association, Wakiso District is available for download.
H) The Role of Religious Institutions and Leaders in the Political Arena
St Paul National Major Seminary, Kinyamasika 18 March 2015|1430-1700
Dr Maximiano Ngabirano delivered the Keynote at this Advanced Seminar. The response was made by Fr Dr Pascal Kabura. The Director Fr Lazarus Luyinda moderated the plenary.
AS St Paul National Major Seminary Kinyamasika is available for download.
2014 PUBLIC DIALOGUES
Religion, Politics and Governance in Uganda
This monograph is a compendium of selected Public Lectures that were presented under the auspices of the Religion, Rights and Peace Fellowship (RRPF) of the Human Rights and Peace Center (HURIPEC), School of Law Makerere University.
THE MONOGRAPH is available for download.
B). PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN KAMPALA CITY ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE 2014
In pursuit of its mandate as an academic centre of human rights under the School of Law at Makerere University, the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) took keen interest in the contestations that have been taking place in Kampala Capital City Authority and what this state-of-affairs implies for democratic governance in Uganda.
HURIPEC not only teaches human rights but also organises seminars, workshops, conferences and publishes working papers as well. The East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights is one of its well-regarded publications.
In the recent past, there have been efforts aimed at ordering the City, some of which have been initiated by legislative enactments. Some of the efforts have led to clashes between the imperative for service delivery and respect for democratic rights or values of participation and representation.
A number of initiatives at ordering the city have their justification embedded in the Kampala Capital City Authority Act 2010 (KCCA Act, 2010). It makes provision for how the Capital City is to be administered by the Central government, pursuant to Article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995.
The unintended consequences of this law have farther been tremendous, including frequent friction between the Lord Mayor on the one hand and the Executive Director and some Councillors on the other. Among the outcomes of this has been delays in implementation of policies and service delivery to the people in the City.
It is against the above background that a public dialogue titled: Ordering the City With or without the People? Implications of Recent Developments in Kampala Capital City Authority on Democratic Governance, on 24 April, 2014, to create a platform that draws together academia, practicing lawyers, politicians, students and interested members of the public to objectively discuss the KCCA Act 2010, likely implications of the Lady Justice Bamugemereire Tribunal Report and right(s) such as political participation. Dr Busingye Kabumba set the pace with his erudite Keynote Address which focused on five questions: whether Ms Musisi is just a technocrat or a politician as well and whether the Executive Director, be it the incumbent or any other, is in a position to divorce themselves of the partisan interests of the appointing authority because the obtaining situation looks like more of a contestation between an appointed politician and an elected politician.
What the operational definition of development for KCCA is, what it means, for whom, how it should be attained and what may or may not be sacrificed to achieve it et cetera.
PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN KAMPALA CITY ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE is available for download.
C). PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE PUBLIC ORDER MANAGEMENT, ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY AND ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY ACTS 2014
As part of its academic mandate as a department of the School of Law, Makerere University, particularly regarding the subject of human rights, the Human Rights and Peace Centre regularly convenes public dialogues as a way of providing a discussion platform for the broad spectrum of stakeholders to deliberate on topical matters.
Recent reviews of the human rights situation in Uganda have painted a bleak picture. The Universal Periodic Review for Uganda as well as the most recent Report by the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative point to deterioration in the protection and promotion of basic civil and political rights as well as social-economic and cultural rights.
The sitting session of the Parliament of Uganda has, over the last couple of months, passed what many consider draconian laws namely, the Public Order Management Act, 2013 and the subsequent Anti Pornography and Anti-Homosexuality Acts. These have set off a wave of international condemnation, aid cuts by donor countries, protests and demonstrations within and without Uganda, as well as a constitutional court petition seeking to have the Anti Homosexuality Act declared unconstitutional and in violation of Uganda international commitments.
PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE PUBLIC ORDER MANAGEMENT, ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY AND ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY ACTS is available for download.
D). PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE PUBLIC ORDER MANAGEMENT BILL 2011
HURIPEC in partnership with Human Rights Network (HURINET-U) and the Center for Constitutional Governance, organized a half day public dialogue to discuss the Public Order Management Bill that was being debated by Parliament. The theme of the Dialogue was; “Rule of law or Rule by law: A critical look in to the Public Order Management Bill”. It took place on 7th May 2013 at Grand Imperial Hotel. The discussion in relation to the Bill was centered on the following issues;
The Regulation of public meetings.
Duties and responsibilities of Police.
Organizers and participants in relation to public meetings.
To prescribe measures for safeguarding public order and related matters.
Among the key speakers at the Dialogue were: Hon. Miria Matembe, Hon. Medard Seggona, Hon.Muwanga Kivumbi, Hon.Jovia Kamateeka, Hon. Gerald Karuhanga.
2013 PUBLIC DIALOGUES
E). PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE BILL 2009
On 10th April, 2013, HURIPEC’s Religion, Rights and Peace Fellowship in organized a half day Dialogue at the lower lecture auditorium of he School of Law, Makerere University, to discuss the Marriage and Divorce Bill 2009 that was debated in Parliament at the time.
The main goal of the Dialogue was to provide a proper understanding of what the draftsmen’s intentions were including the provisions on property rights, marriage gifts and consent among others. The speakers were people of diverse backgrounds: academics, members of Parliament, lawyers, etc.
How best the Uganda Police Force could be insulated from political control to ensure its independence.
How the civilian nature of the Uganda could be guaranteed from the visible and powerful tentacles of militarism.
How civilian oversight over police for accountability purposes could be ensured.
F). PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE SEARCH FOR A DEMOCRATIC AND ACCOUNTABLE POLICE IN UGANDA
HURIPEC held the Dialogue in conjunction with the Human Rights Network – Uganda (HURINET-U). It was a one day Dialogue at the Makerere University- Main Hall on 1st March 2013 and Prof. G.W Kanyeihamba gave the Key note address. The Dialogue was intended to provide a platform for debate on the Uganda Police Force, reflecting on whence it has come from, where it is going and where Ugandans want it to go. It focused on assessing the Ugandan Police Force’s extent of professionalism more especially in the multi-party dispensation fifty years after independence. The dialogue sought to answer the following questions;
2009 PUBLIC DIALOGUES
G). PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE ANTI-HOMOSEXUALITY BILL 2009
Following a private member’s bill dubbed the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ 2009, HURIPEC held a public dialogue to discuss the bill which out rightly was and remains with a grave potential to violate human rights to the extent of providing for the death penalty for persons found ‘practicing’ homosexuality. The aim of the dialogue was to discuss the human rights implications in the bill. The dialogue was held on the 18th November, 2009 at Faculty of Law Auditorium. Papers presented included the following:
‘The Rationale for an Anti-Homosexuality Bill’, by Honourable David Bahati, Member of Parliament, Ndorwa East and Sponsor of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
‘The Need for Law to Reflect the Moral Values of the Society’, by Mr. Stephen Langa, Executive Director, Family Life Network.
‘Why the Anti-Homosexuality Bill Should Concern us all’, by Major Rubaramira Ruranga, Human Rights & HIV/AIDS Activist.
A Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill’, by Associate Professor, Coordinator, Law, Gender & Sexuality Research Project, Faculty of Law, Makerere University. [Available for download]
2008, 2007 and 2006 PUBLIC DIALOGUES
H). PUBLIC DIALOGUE ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS IN UGANDA’s POLITICAL FUTURE
On the 7th April 2007, HURIPEC held a half-day public lecture by Professor G.W. Kanyeihamba. The lecture, held at Makerere University, Main Hall, provided a platform for a comprehensive examination and public scrutiny of Uganda’s democratic future and the prospects for constitutional governance in the wake of past, prevailing and planned constitutional amendments. The lecture sought to provide answers and tickle participants’ debate on three fundamental questions;
In reference to term limits; do unlimited presidential terms enhance the likelihood of improved political governance & prospects for peaceful regime change?
Can the Public trust the legislature to undertake key constitutional amendments such as the removal of presidential term limits, age limits, and changes to the electoral process?
What then is Uganda’s Political future in the view of the proposed constitutional amendments?
The paper delivered by Professor G.W. Kanyeihamba, ‘The Culture of Constitutionalism and the Doctrine of Separation of Powers’, is available for download.
These conferences are organized as part of HURIPEC’s mandate to facilitate and promote multi-stakeholder dialogues on emerging public policy issues in the areas of governance, peace and human rights that arise in a particular year. The conferences provide a platform for stakeholders to propose solutions to the problems hindering progress in the above mentioned issues/fields. They provide an extra forum for government to account to its citizens, development partners and well wishers for its various decisions and actions in the area of governance and human rights during the course of the year. The conferences attract participants from government, political parties, civil society, academia, media and the diplomatic community in Uganda among other groups. In the past, HURIPEC has hosted three (3) Annual State of Governance in Uganda Conferences.
A).The First Uganda Annual State of Governance Conference (Nov. 2006)
This was held in November 2006. It focused on five areas where serious issues arose during 2006. They included the Judiciary, Human Rights & Democratic Governance, Government-Civil Society Relations, Women & Politics, Economic Governance, and the Role of Political Parties in Holding Government Accountable.
The Conference Report is available for download.
B).The Second Uganda Annual State of Governance Conference (Dec. 2007)
This was held on Thursday December 13th, 2007 at Hotel Africana in Kampala. This time, the conference focused on three areas namely;
1). Land Reforms and Politics in Uganda;
HURIPEC has repeatedly been concerned that until the Land Question in Buganda and Uganda as a whole is settled in a just, fair and acceptable manner to all stakeholders, it is likely to breed more conflicts in future and lead to havoc which may result in a reversal of development and loss of life and property.
The conference was convened at the time when tensions were reigning high following the amendment of the Land Act 1998, to provide ‘more protection to peasants against evictions’ by landlords. A cross section of the public more especially from Buganda and particularly Mengo Government, the seat of the Buganda Kingdom felt that the proposed amendments were not fair and as such had been fronted in bad faith. They felt that the amendments were a government ploy to weaken the kingdom by grabbing its land and as thus impoverish its subjects to ultimate demise.
As this went on, the situation was exacerbated by the unprecedented influx of pastoralists (commonly known as Abalaalo) causing mayhem in the districts of Mpigi, Kayunga, Buliisa, Apac and some parts of eastern Uganda, occupying contested land and allegedly trespassing and grazing cattle on other peoples’ land. Indeed, the Balaalo question had already led to bloody conflicts leading to loss of lives and cattle. The session on Land Reforms and Politics was therefore intended to highlight the major issues and concerns in the proposed land reforms and finding a way forward to agreeing on common positions.
2). Outcomes of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and their implications for Good Governance;
Despite the numerous resources spent in preparing for the CHOGM in Uganda, Ugandans were concerned about Commonwealth’s seriousness in holding its member countries accountable to its core values of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The session on Outcomes of CHOGM was therefore intended to analyze the outcomes of the Meeting in the above context and come up with proposals on following up the decisions reached by the Heads of Government and suggest ways of making Commonwealth more relevant to the pressing needs of member countries such as Uganda.
3). The State of Human Rights Protection and Promotion in Uganda;
This session discussed the 2006 Uganda Human Rights Commission Annual Report on the state of human rights in the country. The report had highlighted the increased torture cases perpetrated by the government security agencies including the Uganda Police Force and its associated agencies such as the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) and the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF). This particular session was to provide the stakeholders an opportunity to discuss the major findings of the Uganda Human Rights Commission Report on the state of human rights in 2006 and propose further ways of addressing the shortcomings.
An electronic version of the report compiled during the conference is available for download here.
Papers presented are available for download namely:
Key Note Address on ‘The State of Human Rights Protection and Promotion in Uganda: A Summary of Major Issues Arising from the State of Human Rights Report, 2006.’ By Mrs. Margaret Sekagya, Chairperson, Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHCR).
‘Land Reforms and Politics in Uganda: Issues, Concerns and Way Forward,’ by Dr. Rose Mwebaze, Executive Director-Uganda Land Alliance & Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Makerere University.
‘Understanding Buganda’s Position and Reaction to the Proposed Land Reforms’, by Mr. Apollo Makubuya, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs & Attorney General, Buganda Government.
‘Outcomes of CHOGM: Issues and Implications for Good Governance in Uganda and other Commonwealth Countries,’ by Dr. Nansozi Muwanga, Department of Political Science, Makerere University.
C).The Third Uganda Annual State of Governance Conference (Dec. 2008)
The third conference was organized in conjunction with the Makerere University Convocation and took place on the 4th December 2008 at Senate Conference Hall, Makerere University under the theme; ‘The State of The Democratic Process In Uganda.’ The conference focused on three main governance issues that arose during the year 2008 namely;
1). The Electoral Commission, Law and Process
Over the years, since 1996 when Uganda held its first general elections under the NRM regime, the composition, impartiality and mandate of the Electoral Commission has come under persistent scrutiny by the public and different political actors. Various questions have been raised over the partiality of a Commission appointed by the head of state to preside over elections in which he often takes part. The way the commission conducts its work has been a major issue of concern in the past three general elections which have been marred with irregularities, rigging and other electoral malpractices. Amidst this, there have been various calls that have been made for the amendment of the Electoral laws and for the establishment of an Independent Electoral Commission. Thus, this theme was necessary to provide a forum for the different stakeholders to discuss the justification for reform in the electoral law, the appointment and composition of the Commission and make appropriate recommendations.
2). The Major developments in the multi-party political system
Several issues central to the strengthening of democracy in Uganda have emerged over time especially in relation to the multiparty dispensation within which the country is governed. Among which include the following;
Cutting across all political parties in Uganda is the ongoing internal dissension and contention, particularly from those members of the parties who lay claim to offering a new (and non-historical) contribution to the parties. Participants posed and discussed a number of issues including what the implications of these disagreements in the parties mean? To what extent has multipartism taken root in post-Movement Uganda, and what are the key issues of concern in the evolution of multi-party politics that the populace needs to look out for?
The signing of the pact of co-operation by the opposition parties in Uganda is been an important stride under taken by the political parties in their quest to assume state power and also maps out an interesting development in relation to opposition politics. There was need to interrogate this development in the context of future politics of Uganda. Participants set out to discuss the sustainability of this pact. Is it a sign of weakness or of strength? Who is the principal beneficiary in such an arrangement? Is the ruling NRM in danger of losing its grip on political monopoly in the run-up to 2011? These and related questions formed the backdrop to the inquiry into the state of the opposition.
3). Freedom of Assembly and Demonstration
This freedom, provided for under Article 29 (1) (d) of the 1995 Constitution and its limitations has been a contentious issue since 2008. Statutory instrument No.53 of 2007 has many serious implications for these freedoms. There have been calls for political parties and/or public to seek permission from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to hold an assembly or demonstration. Even when permission is granted, the assembly or demonstration should be in a gazetted area. In June 2008, SI 53/2008 was challenged in the Constitutional Court and consequently Section 32 of the Police Act-which purportedly gave powers to the IGP to stop a public gathering or demonstration-was nullified. The conference sought to assess the implications of the statutory instrument, the constitutional court ruling and also discuss the appropriate guidelines that strike a balance between the right to assemble and the need for the regulation of public assemblies and demonstrations by police.
The Conference focused on three main objectives which namely;
To assess the practicability, reliability and applicability of opposition political parties’ cooperation deal and its significance come 2011.
To examine the need for reforms in the electoral law and make due recommendations.
To discuss and analyze the human rights implications of the statutory instrument that requires political parties to seek for permission before assembling or holding a demonstration.
Papers presented are available for download namely:
‘Viability and Significance of the Protocol of Co-operation Between CP, FDC, JEEMA and UPC in Uganda’s Politics’, by Dr. Frank Nabwiso (Former Member of Parliament).
‘The State of the Democratic Process in Uganda: Strides towards Full Blown Multi-party Governance’, Key note Address by Hon. Edward Sekandi, Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda.
‘Police Power, Politics and Governance in Uganda: A Critical Assessment’, by Professor J. Oloka-Onyango, Director-HURIPEC.
‘The Opposition Political Parties Co-operation Pact, Its Viability and Significance in regard to Strengthening Multi-Party Governance and Electoral Democracy’ by Mr. Andrew Mwenda, The Independent Magazine.
‘Uganda’s Electoral Legal Framework and Process: Is There Need for Reform?’ by Dr. Ben Twinomugisha, Dean of Faculty of Law, Makerere University.