Uganda Still ‘Embrace’ and Harbors Grave Human Rights Violation, Injustice and Poor Accountability

uganda-still-embrace-and-harbors-grave-human-rights-violation-injustice-and-poor-accountabilityMuch as there are reports of transformed lives across the country, there are still grave human rights violations, structural injustice and poor accountability in the country, a new report has indicated.

The indicators were released at a the Independent Development Fund (IDF) and Food Rights Alliance Annual result sharing symposium that was held at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Thursday. The theme of the symposium was “learning together for better programming in human rights and good governance”.

Agnes Kirabo the Executive Director Food Rights Alliance (FRA) said the symposium is key in creating a platform that brings together Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and stakeholders in the field of human rights and governance.

The two day event saw the Independent Development Fund implementing partners drawn from across the country given the platform to share their best practices and models. Mohammed Ndifuna, the Executive Director Human Rights Network (HURINET) and immediate past IDF board chair said IDF will continue to tailor out interventions that will help address the real challenges facing people at the grassroots. ‘I am glad that we are gathered here to listen to the success stories from the grassroots regarding the issues of democratic governance and accountability. Nobody lights a lamp and hides it under the table, we can only learn more if we share our experiences,” he said.

Ndifuna also hailed the winners of the best exhibitors who displayed the best practices and models, urging others to emulate them.  “Grantees are very key in transforming communities,” said Ndifuna. Among the best firms was Food Rights Alliance that emerged as the best exhibitor due to its model of addressing food security. He said the awards will help the grantees improve their knowledge and foster economic growth through creativity and innovation

The IDF Executive Director, Davis Ddamulira in a speech read for him by his deputy said IDF had in recent years’ of its operation, given out grants totaling UGX5billion to 38 projects in 34 districts across the country. He said the compliance levels in the IDF supported projects had increased by 78% due to increased transparency levels. “We have seen change made in the lives of women, youth, vulnerable children and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), he said.

The IDF was established in 2008 as an indigenous grant making organization funded by a network of donors that include Royal Danish Embassy, European Union, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and DFID among others. The IDF gets its funding support through the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF).

Hon. Safia Nalule Juuko, the National Member of Parliament for Persons with disabilities who officiated at the event hailed the IDF symposium saying what they are doing is right in checking government accountability.

The new board chair IDF and former governor Bank of Uganda, Leo Kibirango said IDF holds annual results sharing meeting which brings together the supported grantees to enable sharing of results, tested approaches and new innovations. Kibirango told The Investigator that this year alone, over 80,000 people have been empowered with knowledge on human rights and good governance. “This year, IDF supported projects that led to increased budget allocation to over UGX 5 billion in 6 sub counties across over 30 districts,” he said.

The Annual report indicated that under the Human rights programme 2015/106, at least 800 people benefited under the rights of the elderly, while 13,000 had access to justice while over 25, 000 rights of children were handled. Similarly, 2,667 women had their right issues addressed while 3,501 disabled persons who complained of rights abuse were handled.

IDF has been instrumental in addressing the rights of the minority groups and tribes such as the Batwa and the elderly.

Among the grantee beneficiaries that were honoured included;  HUDIPU, Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA), APAC NGO Link Forum, RACOBAO, KALI, and NAYODE among others.