The murder of a social worker, Maria Nagirinya and the kidnap of several advocates in line of their duty, dominated the Uganda Law Society (ULS) 3rd quarterly Rule of Law report released in Kampala yesterday.
The report titled: ‘The State of the Rule of Law in Uganda’ highlighted the incidents that affected the rule of law in the country between July and September as well as offering recommendations.
“The right to life in Uganda remains constantly under threat. Despite the numerous recommendations that have been made in the previous ULS Rule of Law reports on issues threatening the right to life, there remains an increase in kidnaps, murders and robbery cases as has been reported during the review period,” the ULS report read in part.
Nagirinya, alongside her driver Ronald Kitayimbwa, were brutally killed following their August 28 violent abduction from Lungujja, a city suburb, in a confrontation witnessed by Nagirinya’s sister, Brenda Nakyejjwe, as she opened the gate for the duo to drive into the family residence.
Their bodies were a few days later, found dumped on an isolated piece of land off Kayunga Road, about six kilometres from Mukono Town.
The release of the ULS report comes a day after four people were charged over Nagirinya murder.
The four, who were charged before Mengo Chief Magistrate’s Court, were Coporinyamu Kasolo alias Arsenal, Johnson Lubega alias Rasta, Nassif Kalyango alias Muwonge and Hassan Kiseeka alias Masadda.
The lawyers in their recommendations on this human rights concern, asked government to institute a specific inquiry into the serial killings and publish the findings and that those found culpable face the full arm of the law.
The other recommendation was that there should be a standard community policing with a proper policy and legal framework.
The continuous attack on lawyers who are in line of duty, was another highlight of the 3rd quarterly report released.
In the period of review, at least four lawyers were either kidnapped or killed in the course of their duties.
Some of the affected lawyers mentioned in the report include: Mr Patrick Mugisha, who was illegally detained in a safe house in Kyengera under the auspices of ISO and was later released without a charge; Mr Bonny Akol, who was kidnapped in Najjera near Kampala by unknown assailants with the police later revealing that he had been kidnapped by a sister security agency.
Other lawyers affected were: Mr James Mubiru, who was recently arrested by plain clothed security operatives at the International Crimes Division of the High Court as he drove away his clients (Andrew Felix Kaweesi murder suspects) and Mr Isaac Sendegeya, who was shot dead while he approached his Kisoro home about two months ago.
The other highlights of the ULS rule of law report included: right to enjoy a free and healthy environment, freedom from torture, threat to the independence of the Judiciary and Parliament and corruption scandals in the Judiciary.
However, all was not gloom and doom as there were a few positive highlights that the report captured during the period under review.
The development of an economic, social and cultural rights violations manual on human rights adjudication which will help the Judiciary and the public in pursuing effective accountability, IGP Martins Okoth-Ochola directing the head of logistics and engineering department, Mr Godfrey Bangirana to leave office over alleged mismanagement of procurement deals of the police force were some of the positive developments on accountability.
The other positive developments during the period in review was the summoning of 306 police detectives for anti-corruption training and the landmark Supreme Court judgment in which it held that MPs cannot unilaterally increase their pay without involvement of the executive.