Law Society report reveals erosion in rule of law

Police officers arrest a supporter of Ugandan musician turned politician Robert Kyagulanyi, commonly known as Bobi Wine, before his arrest on his way to a press conference held to announce the cancelation of his show at Busabala, Uganda, on April 22, 2019. Rule of law is often disregarded in security force operations. PHOTO/FILE/AFP

What you need to know:

  • The society demands the immediate end of harassment, threatening and abuse of the rights of journalists and that those found culpable, should be prosecuted.
     

Criminalisation of the practice of journalism, serial killing of women and disappearance of citizens, especially from the Opposition side, have dominated the Law Society rule of law, first quarterly report.

The report dubbed: “The State of the Rule of Law in Uganda, First Quarterly Report” documented rule of law incidents for the last three months, spanning from January to March.

This period was the climax of campaigns and polling activities that culminated into the January 14 General Elections.

The lawyers’ report was released in Kampala last Friday by its president, Ms Pheona Nabasa Wall.

“The period under review, has witnessed cases of abuse and killing of women under unclear circumstances. Article 33 (1)  and 3 of the Constitution, states that women shall be accorded full and equal dignity of the person with men and that the State shall protect women and their rights, taking into account their unique status and natural maternal functions in society,” Uganda Law Society report reads in part.

Under the alleged rights violations against women, the Law Society points out the recent Nakulabye homicide in which, a one Musasizi Musa, alias Uncle,23, is being accused of killing four women and a toddler.

Musasizi, a resident of Mujomba Zone 6, Nakulabye in Rubaga Division, Kampala City, allegedly had sexual intercourse with all the four women before he strangled them, burnt their bodies and later dumped them in isolated areas in the same division.

Musasizi has since been arraigned before courts of law and charged with murder. He is on remand in prison as investigations go on.

The Law Society now recommends that government through the Gender ministry and the Police Force should investigate the increasing criminal cases against women.

Arrests, disappearances
The lawyers’ report also says the recently concluded elections were arbitrary marred by kidnaps of people who were predominantly Opposition.

“Many of the abductees and detained citizens were placed either in ungazetted areas or thrown in prisons across the country by security forces, which act was confirmed by President Museveni during a speech that he made on February 13, 2021,”the report states.

The lawyers cite the arrest of 17 supporters of National Unity Platform in Budaka District and126 supporters from Kalangala District.

The society demands the immediate end of harassment, threatening and abuse of the rights of journalists and that those found culpable, should be prosecuted.

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