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HUMANRIGHTSANDPOVERTY
ERADICATINGEXTREMEPOVERTYINUGANDA

DECEMBER 2015

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This report is a publication of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI). FHRI is an
independent, nongovernmental, nonpartisan and notforprofit human rights advocacy
organisation. The organisation seeks to enhance knowledge, respect and observance of human
rights, and promote exchange of information and best practices through training, education,
research,legislativeadvocacyandstrategicpartnerships.

This report was made possible through the contributions of several individuals, groups and
government institutions who provided information to our research team. These contributors
include but are not limited to: academia, civil society organisations, government officials, health
workersandteachers.

We are most grateful to the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), without whose support the
publicationofthisreportwouldnothavebeenpossible.Theyare,however,innowayresponsible
fortheaccuracyorcontentofthisreport.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

PROJECTTEAM

AUTHORS:
MsLizetVlamings
MsJosephineKankunda

RESEARCHTEAM:
MsCharlotteVonalt
MsClaireNampala
MrColemanSegal
MsHelenNamataka
MrJonnyBeirne
MsKatherineCulver
MsKatheyGuo
MsMaryOwusu
MrRashidBunya
MsSamanthaWeng
MrSemakulaSamuel
MsSumayiyaNamuwenge
MsTiffanySmith

EDITORS:
DrLivingstoneSewanyana
DrJosephineNdagire
MsRitaMutyaba

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

TABLEOFCONTENTS

LISTOFFIGURES....................................................................................................................................................7
LISTOFTABLES......................................................................................................................................................7
LISTOFCASESTUDIES.........................................................................................................................................8
LISTOFACRONYMS...............................................................................................................................................9
EXECUTIVESUMMARY......................................................................................................................................11
SECTIONONE:KEYFINDINGS..............................................................................................................................................11
SECTIONONE:RECOMMENDATIONS...................................................................................................................................13
SECTIONTWO:KEYFINDINGS..............................................................................................................................................14
SECTIONTWO:RECOMMENDATIONS..................................................................................................................................15

SECTIONONE........................................................................................................................................................17
CHAPTERONE:INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................................18
1.1 GLOBALPOVERTY......................................................................................................................................................19
1.2 POVERTYINUGANDA................................................................................................................................................20
1.3 STRUCTUREOFTHEREPORT....................................................................................................................................21
CHAPTERTWO:UGANDASHISTORY.........................................................................................................23
2.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................................................23
2.2 PRECOLONIALPERIOD............................................................................................................................................23
2.3 COLONIALPERIOD.....................................................................................................................................................24
2.4 POSTCOLONIALPERIOD..........................................................................................................................................28
2.5 CONCLUSION...............................................................................................................................................................40
CHAPTERTHREE:AHUMANRIGHTSBASEDAPPROACHTODEVELOPMENT............................41
3.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................................................41
3.2 LEGALFRAMEWORK..................................................................................................................................................43
3.3 PROCESSOFAPPLYINGAHUMANRIGHTSBASEDAPPROACH...........................................................................49
3.4 CHALLENGESANDLIMITATIONS.............................................................................................................................60
3.5 CONCLUSION...............................................................................................................................................................62
CHAPTERFOUR:LONGTERMDEVELOPMENTVISION.........................................................................64
4.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................................................64
4.2 STRENGTHSANDWEAKNESSESOFVISION2040................................................................................................67
4.3 CONCLUSION...............................................................................................................................................................76
CHAPTERFIVE:DEVELOPMENTEFFORTSANDCHALLENGESINUGANDA...................................77
5.1 INTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................................................77
5.2 SOCIOCULTURALENVIRONMENT..........................................................................................................................77
5.3 ECONOMICENVIRONMENT....................................................................................................................................114
5.4 POLITICALENVIRONMENT....................................................................................................................................138
5.5 CONCLUSION............................................................................................................................................................151
CHAPTERSIX:THEWAYFORWARD..........................................................................................................153
6.1 ACTION1:PRIORITISETHEMOSTVULNERABLEGROUPS..............................................................................153
6.2 ACTION2:BUILDCAPACITYOFBOTHRIGHTSHOLDERSANDDUTYBEARERS............................................154
6.3 RECOMMENDATIONS..............................................................................................................................................155

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

SECTIONTWO....................................................................................................................................................157
POLITICALSPACERIGHTS.............................................................................................................................158
7.1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................................................................158
7.2 FREEDOMOFEXPRESSION............................................................................................................................158
7.3 FREEDOMOFASSOCIATION...................................................................................................................................166
7.4 FREEDOMOFASSEMBLY........................................................................................................................................168
7.5 CONCLUSION............................................................................................................................................................171
7.6 RECOMMENDATIONS..............................................................................................................................................171
RIGHTTOAFAIRTRIAL.................................................................................................................................172
8.1 INTRODUCTION.......................................................................................................................................................172
8.2 INDEPENDENCEANDEFFECTIVENESSOFTHEJUDICIARY....................................................................172
8.3 RIGHTTOLEGALREPRESENTATION........................................................................................................175
8.4 TRIALOFCIVILIANSBEFOREMILITARYCOURTS...............................................................................................176
8.5 CONCLUSION............................................................................................................................................................178
8.6 RECOMMENDATIONS..............................................................................................................................................179
RIGHTTOLIBERTYANDSECURITYOFPERSON....................................................................................180
9.1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................................................................180
9.2 48HOURRULE........................................................................................................................................................180
9.3 PRETRIALDETENTIONINPRISON.....................................................................................................................184
9.4 CONCLUSION............................................................................................................................................................188
9.5 RECOMMENDATIONS..............................................................................................................................................188
TREATMENTOFPERSONSINPLACESOFDETENTION........................................................................190
10.1 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................................................................190
10.2 GENERALWELFAREANDSANITATION.............................................................................................................192
10.3 OVERCROWDING...................................................................................................................................................193
10.4 FOOD......................................................................................................................................................................195
12.5 PRISONLABOUR...................................................................................................................................................196
10.6 MOTHERSWITHINFANTS...................................................................................................................................196
10.7 INMATESWITHMENTALILLNESS.....................................................................................................................197
10.8 JUVENILEOFFENDERS.........................................................................................................................................198
10.9 CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................................................................201
10.10 RECOMMENDATIONS.........................................................................................................................................201
PROHIBITIONAGAINSTTORTURE,CRUEL,INHUMANORDEGRADINGTREATMENTOR
PUNISHMENT.....................................................................................................................................................202
11.1 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................................................................202
11.2 TORTURETRENDS................................................................................................................................................202
11.3 CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................................................................210
11.4 RECOMMENDATIONS...........................................................................................................................................210
RIGHTTOLIFE...................................................................................................................................................211
12.1 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................................................................211
12.2 DEATHPENALTY..................................................................................................................................................211
12.3 EXTRAJUDICIALKILLINGS.................................................................................................................................213
12.4 MOBJUSTICE.........................................................................................................................................................214
12.5 CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................................................................218
12.6 RECOMMENDATIONS...........................................................................................................................................219

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

EQUALRIGHTSOFMENANDWOMEN.......................................................................................................220
13.1 INTRODUCTION.....................................................................................................................................................220
13.2 FEMALEGENITALMUTILATION........................................................................................................................220
13.3 DOMESTICVIOLENCE...........................................................................................................................................224
13.4 CONCLUSION.........................................................................................................................................................228
13.5 RECOMMENDATIONS...........................................................................................................................................228

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

LISTOFFIGURES

Figure1:MapofUgandaIndicatingtheKingdomTerritories............................................................................24
Figure2:GDPpercapitainUgandaandSouthKoreainUSDollars(19602013).....................................29
Figure3:GDPPerCapitainUgandainUSDollars(19611971).......................................................................30
Figure4:GDPpercapitainUgandainUSDollars(19711980)........................................................................32
Figure5:GDPpercapitainUgandainUSDollars(19801986)........................................................................35
Figure6:GDPpercapitainUgandainUSDollars(19862012).......................................................................37
Figure7:HRBACausalityAnalysisProblemTree....................................................................................................53
Figure8:Pupilenrolmentratesinprimaryschoolsfrom20022013............................................................97
Figure9:Comparisonbetweenenrolmentandcompletionrates....................................................................98
Figure10:LiteracyratesforP3andP6(%)...............................................................................................................99
Figure11:Pupilteacherratiobetweengovernmentandprivateschools.................................................100
Figure12:Proportionofthepopulationthatisfoodenergydeficientbyregion....................................112
Figure13:Proportionofthebudgetallocatedtopropoorsectors..............................................................115
Figure14:Percentageofdonorcontributionstokeypropoorsectors......................................................116
Figure15:Proportionofthenationalbudgetfromdonorsupport...............................................................117
Figure16:GINIIndexinUgandabetween1992and2012...............................................................................136
Figure17:Violationsofmediapractitioners'rightsdocumentedbyHRNJU(20092014).............160
Figure18:Mainperpetratorsofviolationsofmediapractitioners'rights(20122014).....................161
Figure19:Casebacklog(20092015).....................................................................................................................172
Figure20:Courtcaseperformance(20092015)..............................................................................................173
Figure21:Registeredcomplaintsondetentionbeyond48hours(20092014)..................................181
Figure22:Averagelengthofstayonremandinmonths(20092015)....................................................185
Figure23:Prisonpopulationvisvisofficialcapacityofprisons(20112015).................................194
Figure24:TorturetrendsinUganda(20102014)..............................................................................................204
Figure25:DeathsentencesawardedinUgandasince2009............................................................................213
Figure26:NumberofdeathrowinmatesinUganda(20092015)............................................................212
Figure27:Mobjusticecasesanddeaths(20072014)....................................................................................215
Figure28:Policepopulationratioascomparedtotheinternationalstandard(20092015)........218

LISTOFTABLES

Table1:Threeexistingapproachestopovertyreduction...................................................................................41
Table2:BaselineStatusandVisionTargets...............................................................................................................64
Table3:MortalitytrendsinUganda...........................................................................................................................104
Table4:Healthcaresectorstaffinglevels................................................................................................................106
Table5:Distancetohealthfacilities...........................................................................................................................107
Table6:Householdprimarysourcesofincomein2005/06and2009/10...............................................114
Table7:Courtcaseperformancebylevelofcourtin2014/15.......................................................................173
Table8:JudicialofficersbyrankandgenderasatOctober2015..................................................................174
Table9:Registeredcomplaintsondetentionbeyond48hoursin2014....................................................180
Table10:PrisonsinspectedbyFHRIin2014and2015....................................................................................190
Table11:PolicestationsandpostsinspectedbyFHRIin2014and2015.................................................191
Table12:TorturecomplaintsregisteredbytheUHRCbyregionin2014.................................................203
Table13:Perpetratorsoftorture,cruel,inhumanordegradingtreatmentin2014.............................203
Table14:Numberofnewsurvivorsoftorturereceivedin2014...................................................................204

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

LISTOFCASESTUDIES

CaseStudy1PovertyInNorthernUganda..............................................................................................................37
CaseStudy2MythsandMisconceptionsAboutAHumanRightsBasedApproach...............................61
CaseStudy3UpgradeofInformalUrbanSettlements.......................................................................................72
CaseStudy4HoimaOilRefinery:DisplacementandGender..........................................................................74
CaseStudy5SaemaulUndong....................................................................................................................................83
CaseStudy6EducativeEntertainment...................................................................................................................88
CaseStudy7BenefitsofOrganisationandCooperation................................................................................126
CaseStudy8MisappropriationYouthLivelihoodProgrammeFunds......................................................134
CaseStudy9Embezzlement.......................................................................................................................................148
CaseStudy10Inmateswhohavespent3yearsorlongerinpretrialdetention................................186
CaseStudy11Juvenilesdetainedinprison.........................................................................................................198

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

LISTOFACRONYMS

ACF
ACHPR
ACRWC
ACTV
BTVET
CAO
CAT

CDO
CEDAW
CID
CPS
CRC
CRPD
CSO
DCDO
DHO
DIDR
DPC
DPP
ESC
FDC
FGM
FHRI
FY

GCM
GDP
GISO
HRBA
HRNJU
HSSIP
ICCPR
ICESCR
IGP

IMF
INGO
JLOS
KCCA
KY

LC

LDC
LRA
M&E
MDA
MDG
MHCP
MoFPED

AgriculturalCreditFacility
AfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRights
AfricanCharterontheRightsandWelfareoftheChild
AfricanCenterforTreatmentandRehabilitationofTortureVictims
Business,TechnicalandVocationalEducationandTraining
ChiefAdministrativeOfficer
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment
CommunityDevelopmentOfficer
ConventionontheEliminationofallformsofDiscriminationagainstWomen
CriminalInvestigationDepartment
CentralPoliceStation
ConventionontheRightsoftheChild
ConventionontheRightsofPersonswithDisabilities
CivilSocietyOrganisation
DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer
DistrictHealthOfficer
DevelopmentInducedDisplacementandResettlement
DistrictPoliceCommander
DirectorateofPublicProsecution
Economic,SocialandCultural
ForumforDemocraticChange
FemaleGenitalMutilation
FoundationforHumanRightsInitiative
FinancialYear
GeneralCourtMartial
GrossDomesticProduct
SubCountyInternalSecurityOfficer
HumanRightsBasedApproach
HumanRightsNetworkforJournalistsUganda
HealthSectorStrategicInvestmentPlan
InternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights
InternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights
InspectorGeneralofPolice
InternationalMonetaryFund
InternationalNonGovernmentalOrganisation
JusticeLawandOrderSector
KampalaCapitalCityAuthority
KabakaYekka
LocalCouncil
LawDevelopmentCentre
LordsResistanceArmy
MonitoringandEvaluation
Ministries,DepartmentsandAgencies
MillenniumDevelopmentGoal
MinimumHealthCarePackage
MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

MoJCA
MP

MPI
MSC
NAADS
NDP
NGO
NHIS
NPA
NRM
NSS
NSSF
OBR
OC

OHCHR
OPM
PAF
PAS
PEAP
PLA
PLE
PMA
POMA
PPA
PRDP
PSU
PWD
RAP
RDC
SACCO
SDG
UCC
UDHR
UGX
UHRC
UN

UNDP
UNFPA
UNNGOF
UPC
UPDF
UPE
UPF
UPR
UPS
USD
UWONET
VHT
WFP
YLP

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MinistryofJusticeandConstitutionalAffairs
MemberofParliament
MultidimensionalPovertyIndex
MicrofinanceSupportCentre
NationalAgriculturalAdvisoryServices
NationalDevelopmentPlan
NonGovernmentalOrganisation
NationalHealthInsuranceScheme
NationalPlanningAuthority
NationalResistanceMovement
NationalShelterStrategy
NationalSocialSecurityFund
ObusingaBwaRwenzururu
OfficerinCharge
OfficeoftheHighCommissionerforHumanRights
OfficeofthePrimeMinister
PovertyActionFund
ParalegalAdvisoryServices
PovertyEradicationActionPlan
PlatformforLabourAction
PrimaryLeavingExamination
PlanforModernisationofAgriculture
PublicOrderManagementAct
ParticipatoryPovertyAssessment
PeaceRecoveryandDevelopmentPlan
ProfessionalStandardsUnit
PeopleWithDisabilities
ResettlementActionPlan
ResidentDistrictCommissioner
SavingsandCreditCooperativeSociety
SustainableDevelopmentGoal
UgandaCommunicationsCommission
UniversalDeclarationofHumanRights
UgandanShilling
UgandaHumanRightsCommission
UnitedNations
UnitedNationsDevelopmentProgramme
UnitedNationsPopulationFund
UgandaNationalNGOForum
UgandaPeoplesCongress
UgandaPeoplesDefenceForces
UniversalPrimaryEducation
UgandaPoliceForce
UniversalPeriodicReview
UgandaPrisonsService
USDollar
UgandaWomensNetwork
VillageHealthTeam
UnitedNationsWorldFoodProgramme
YouthLivelihoodProgramme

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

EXECUTIVESUMMARY

ThisreportpresentsthefindingsofaoneyearresearchprojectcarriedoutbytheFoundationfor
HumanRightsInitiativeonextremepovertyandthestatusofhumanrightsinUganda.Sectionone
examinespoverty,takingintoaccountsociocultural,economicandpoliticalfactors,aswellasthe
historicalcontext.Itanalysesgovernmentspastandpresenteffortstowardspovertyeradicationin
the country. The report advocates for a human rightsbased approach to development in
government policies and programmes in accordance with commitments under international and
regionalhumanrightslawandVision2040.

Ugandaispartytoseveralkeyinternationalandregionalhumanrightsinstrumentsthatestablish
the rights to education, health, food and housing, among others. These instruments have been
domesticated in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 (hereafter referred to as the
Constitution) under Article 30 and Principles XX XXII of the National Objectives and Directive
PrinciplesofStatePolicy.Whilethegovernmentseemsfullycommittedtopromotingtherightsto
education,health,foodandhousing,anderadicatingextremepovertyinthecountry,inpracticea
numberofmajorchallengeshamperthegovernmentsefforts.

Sectiontwoofthereportgivesanoverviewofthebroaderhumanrightssituationinthecountryin
2014/2015. This Section discusses equal rights of men and women, freedom from torture, the
rightstolife,libertyandsecurityofperson,fairtrial,treatmentofpersonsinplacesofdetention,
freedomofexpression,andpoliticalspacerights.Severalpositivedevelopmentsintheprotection
andpromotionoftheserightshavebeennoted,howeverchallengesremain.

SECTIONONE:KEYFINDINGS

The government has committed itself to integrating the human rightsbased approach (HRBA) to
developmentinallitspoliciesandprogrammes.Thishasgainedtractionoverthepastyears,butis
yettobefullyrealised.FortheHRBAtobeeffective,itiscrucialthathumanrightsprinciplesand
standards are integrated throughout all stages of the development process. If that is done
effectively,theHRBAwilladdvaluetothedevelopmentprocessbyencouragingparticipationatall
layersofsociety;prioritisingtheneedsofthemostvulnerable;identifyingandaddressingtheroot
causes of poverty; clarifying the roles and responsibilities of all citizens in the development
process;andstrengtheningthecapacityofthedutybearers.

ThiscommitmenttointegratingaHRBAtodevelopmentwasintroducedinVision2040,Ugandas
planning document for longterm development aspirations. Vision 2040 identifies current
challengesandopportunitiesandsetsambitiousdevelopmentgoals.Vision2040comprehensively
analysesthecountrysdevelopmentchallengesbyexploringtherootcausesandofferingsolutions.
However,afewareasrequirefurtherattention.Theseare,amongothers,improvingthequalityof
primary and secondary education, strengthening existing health care facilities, safeguards for the
mostvulnerable,incomeinequalityandruraldevelopment.

Despite these and other commendable strategies and initiatives, Uganda still experiences
widespread poverty. The persistence of poverty is attributed, among others, to high levels of
dependency and idleness amongst persons living in poverty, which largely stems from Ugandas
turbulent history, climatic conditions and cultural practices of the country. Many people living in
poverty, particularly the communities in Northern Uganda, have grown accustomed to receiving

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

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aid, which has resulted in low productivity and undesirable behaviour, such as drinking, gaming
andbetting.

Furthermore,Ugandaspopulationcontinuestogrowatarateof3%perannum,puttingitamong
thetop10fastestgrowingcountriesintheworld.Withapersistenthighfertilityrate,reductionin
the mortality rate, and increased life expectancy, the percentage of dependants in the population
hasbecomealarmingandunsustainable.Thisoverstrainsthealreadyunsatisfactorysocialservice
systemandisincreasingpressureonresources,includingland.

Theeconomicgrowththecountryhasexperiencedoverthepasttwodecadeshasnotbeenmatched
with equitable resource distribution. The vast majority of the rural poor continue to engage in
subsistenceagriculture,whichischaracterisedbylowproductivity.Landtenureinsecurityandthe
disbandment of cooperative unions have greatly contributed to the low agricultural productivity.
Landtenureinsecuritydecreaseslandproductivity,asfarmersarelesslikelytoinvestintheland.
Moreover,ithampersfarmersabilitytopledgelandascollateral.Thegovernmenthas,therefore,
initiatedthetitlingofallland.However,ifpropersafeguardsforthepoorarenotputinplace,they
areatriskofbeingexcludedfromaccessinglandandbeingdrivenfurtherintopoverty.

Theurbanpooroftenworkintheinformallabourmarket.Asaresult,theyareexcludedfromsocial
protection, and, in effect, often unable to generate sufficient income to move out of poverty.
Employmentopportunitiesintheformalsectorarelimited,highlightingtheneedforgovernmentto
playanactiveroleincreatinganenablingenvironmentfortheprivatesectortoexpandandcreate
moreformalemployment.

Livelihood programmes, such as the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and Youth
LivelihoodProgramme(YLP)forinstance,havefailedtoadequatelytrainthebeneficiariesonhow
toeffectivelyusetheprovidedfarminputsandfunds,thereforeresultinginwastageofresources
thatcouldhavebeenmoreefficientlyusedtoimprovelivelihoodopportunitiesandincomeforthe
poor.

Whilesocialserviceprogrammes,suchasUniversalPrimaryEducation(UPE)andtheHealthSector
StrategicInvestmentPlan(HSSIP),haveimprovedaccesstoeducationandhealthcareforthepoor,
qualityofeducationandhealthcareislaggingbehind.Despitetheincreaseinenrolmentsincethe
introductionofUPE,theschooldropoutrateattheprimarylevelremainsveryhigh,and,therefore,
illiteracyandinnumeracyremainrife.Effortsshouldbetargetedtowardsretrainingandimproving
the welfare of teachers and reducing the pupilteacher ratio in order to improve the quality of
education.Forthehealthcaresystem,thebiggestbottlenecks,especiallyinremoteareas,include
lack of accommodation for staff, delayed payment of salaries and inadequate drug supplies. The
inadequate drug supplies cause problems in remote areas, as people often have to travel long
distancestoreachahealthcentreandthenfailtogettreatment.Asaresult,poorpersonsinthese
areas delay seeking health care or resort to using traditional healers and birth attendants.
Ultimately,thelowqualityofeducationandhealthcareculminatesintoalargeuneducatedsegment
ofsocietywithahighdiseaseburdenandlimitedabilitytocontributetotheeconomy.

Publicservicedeliveryisalsocharacterisedbyineffectivenessandlackofcapacityonthesideofthe
implementers. Service delivery in Uganda has largely been decentralized through the system of
localgovernmentcouncils.However,thesecouncilsfaceanumberofcapacitychallengesinorderto
deliver services effectively. They continue to be understaffed and lack the necessary skills and
qualifications. Local revenue collection remains another challenge, with 90% of local government
budgetscomingfromcentralgovernment,hamperingtheirabilitytooperateautonomously.Public

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

participationisyetanotherchallengethatcontinuestointerferewitheffectiveservicedelivery.The
poorareinsufficientlyprovidedwithopportunitiestoeffectivelyengagewithgovernmentofficials
inensuringthatservicedeliverymatchestheirneeds,andwhentheydo,theyoftendonotseethe
desired results. A final challenge to effective service delivery is the persistent occurrence of
corruption,whichgreatlyreducestheeffectivenessofpovertyreductionprogrammes.Corruption
thrives due to the absence of accountability. The inability of the population to hold government
officials accountable is largely due to lack of information and unequal power relations. This
notwithstanding,thegovernmenthasintroducedanumberoflaudableinitiativesaimedatbuilding
civic capacity and enhancing transparency. Such initiatives include the budget transparency
initiativeandtheorganizationofcommunityBarazas(openairmeetings).

Comprehensive integration of the HRBA in poverty eradication plans and strategies could help
overcomesomeofthechallengesthatcontinuetopersistbyprioritisingtheextremepoorandother
marginalisedgroupsinsocietyandbuildingcapacityofboththecitizensandthegovernment.

SECTIONONE:RECOMMENDATIONS

Toallstakeholders:
1. Ensure that all poverty reduction initiatives are geared towards longterm empowerment
andcapacitybuildingthroughatransferofknowledge,skillsandbestpractices.
2. Devisestrategiestoaddressdetrimentalandunsafebehaviourpatterns,suchashighlevels
ofalcoholism,idlenessandpersistenthighfertilityrates,takingintoaccountbestpractices
ofothercountries.

Tothegovernment:
1. Prosecuteallformsofcorruption,clientelismandnepotismtoprovidethepopulationwith
rolemodelsofhighmoralcharacterinordertoremovetheseillsfromalllayersofsociety.
2. Integratethehumanrightsbasedapproachinallgovernmentpoliciesandprogrammes.
3. Train all implementing government ministries, departments and agencies on the human
rightsbasedapproach.
4. Establish a local government training institute to strengthen the capacity of local
governmentstodeliverserviceseffectively.
5. Create an enabling environment that will expand the private sector and valueaddition
processestocreatemoreformalemployment.

TotheMinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment:
1. Increase allocations to local government in the national budget to 35% to allow for more
autonomyandeffectiveservicedelivery.
2. Increaseallocationstothehealthsectorinthenationalbudgetto15%,inaccordancewith
governmentscommitmentundertheAbujaDeclaration.

TotheMinistryofEducationandSports:
1. Devise and implement strategies to reduce dropout rates in order to raise the average
yearsspentinschool,withspecialemphasisonthegirlchild.
2. Strengthen the Early Grade Training initiative in order to increase literacy and numeracy
levels.
3. Amend the curriculum at all levels of education to promote entrepreneurship in order to
developstudentsintojobcreatorsratherthanjobseekers.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

13

TotheMinistryofHealth:
1. Facilitate health centres to enlist village health teams to conduct regular health education
outreachesinordertostrengthenpreventivehealthcare.

TotheMinistryofLands,HousingandUrbanDevelopment:
1. DevelopaguidelineinrespectofthelandtitlingexercisestipulatinghowtheMinistrywill
ensureaccesstolandfortheextremepoorwhoownlandcustomarily.

SECTIONTWO:KEYFINDINGS

Positivedevelopmentsrelatingtothefreedomofexpressionwerenotedin2014.Forinstance,the
number of attacks against journalists by police officers reduced to 40 in 2014 from 85 in 2013.
Furthermore, the government introduced initiatives to ease access to information from public
authorities, including the ask your government and budget transparency initiatives.
Notwithstanding these positive developments, civic space is under threat. With the preelection
activities intensifying, increased intolerance against journalists and opposition politicians has
manifested. The right to freedom of peaceful assembly has been curtailed in particular for
opposition politicians, and attacks against journalists covering opposition related activities have
been noted. The NonGovernmental Organisations Bill, 2015 also threatens to further narrow the
spaceforadvocacy.TheBillprovideswidediscretionarypowerstotheNGOBoardandislikelyto
leadtoincreasedcensorshipandreducedeffectivenessofservicedeliveryifpassedintolawinits
currentform.

Therighttoafairhearingfurtherremainsanissueofconcernduetolengthytrialproceedingsasa
result of limited funding and a shortage of judicial officers. Corruption in the lower courts,
inadequate legal representation and trial of civilians in military courts have also impacted on the
righttoafairhearing.However,positivestepshavebeentakentocurbthesevices.Forinstance,a
certificateoffinancialimplicationshasbeenissuedtosupportthemotionoftheMinistryofJustice
andConstitutionalAffairstoincreasethenumberofjudgesoftheHighCourtto82.Effortsbythe
AntiCorruption Court to handle corruption cases and the passing of the AntiCorruption
(Amendment) Bill, 2013, demonstrate the resolve to fight corruption. Furthermore, the proposed
LegalAidPolicyandLegalAidBillwillextendlegalrepresentationtononcapitaloffenders.Finally,
areductionincivilianstriedbeforemilitarycourtshasbeennoted,thoughtheneedtoprohibitthis
practicealtogetherremains.

Lengthypretrialdetentionatpoliceandinprisoncontinuestoviolatetherighttopersonalliberty
anddueprocessguarantees,includingafairandspeedytrial.Lackofcompliancewiththe48hour
rulebypoliceismainlyattributedtothelackofcapacityofpolicetocarryouttimelyinvestigations,
as well as delays by state attorneys to sanction files. Similarly, suspects continue to spend long
periodsonremandandcommittal,rangingfrom8monthsto6years,resultinginovercrowdingin
prisonsandstrainingofthemeagreprisonresources.

DespitemeasuresadoptedbytheUgandaPrisonsServicetoimproveprisonconditionsnationwide,
overcrowding continues to undermine these efforts. Other areas that require urgent attention
include the continued use of the bucket system, detention of juveniles with adults, and the
incarcerationofmentallyillandjuvenileinmatesawaitingMinistersOrders.

Actsoftorturealsoremainanissueofconcern.In2014,anincreaseincomplaintsontheviolation
oftherighttofreedomfromtorturewasreported,mainlyagainstpoliceofficers.In2015,however,
FHRI noted a reduction in torture cases at the hands of police officers and katikiros.

14

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Notwithstandingthispositivedevelopment,actsoftortureoftengounpunished,indicatingtheneed
forenforcementofthePreventionandProhibitionofTortureAct,2012.

Therighttolifefurtherremainsanissueofconcern;inparticularduetotheinadequateresponseto
andinvestigationsintheRwenzoriviolenceandthefailuretoreduceactsofmobjustice.Positive
steps,however,havebeentakeninrelationtothedeathpenalty.Thishasresultedinareductionof
the application of the death penalty and the number of inmates on death row. Moreover, the
recently tabled Private Members Bill titled the Law Revision (Penalties in Criminal Matters)
MiscellaneousAmendmentBill,2013, if passed into law, will reduce the number of offences that
attractthedeathsentence,definelifeimprisonment,introducemitigationforcapitaloffenders,and
exemptvulnerablepersonsfromthedeathsentence,suchaswomenandtheelderly.

Despite the enactment of the ProhibitionofFemaleGenitalMutilationAct,2010and the Domestic


Violence Act, 2010, discrimination and violence against women persists. Incidents of domestic
violence continue to rise, and although the practice of FGM has seemingly reduced after its
criminalisation,itcontinuestobepracticedinsecret.

SECTIONTWO:RECOMMENDATIONS

TotheDirectorateofPublicProsecutions:
1. Prosecute police officers and other public officials who harass, intimidate and assault
journalistsinordertoaddresstheproblemofimpunity.

ToParliament:
1. Amend the restrictive provisions of the NonGovernmental Organisations Bill, 2015 to
ensurethattheBilldoesnotillegitimatelylimittherighttofreedomofassociation.
2. RefrainfrompassingbillsthatviolatehumanrightsasenshrinedintheConstitutionofthe
Republic,1995andinternationalandregionalhumanrightsinstruments.
3. Expedite debate and enactment of the Administration of Justice Bill, 2009 to guarantee
independenceofthejudiciary.
4. PasstheLawRevision(PenaltiesinCriminalMatters)MiscellaneousAmendmentBill,2013
toamendsectionsintheUPDFAct,PenalCodeActandAntiTerrorismActthatstillprovide
for the mandatory death sentence; provide for life imprisonment instead, and reduce the
numberofoffencesthatattractthedeathsentence.

TotheUgandaPoliceForce:
1. Refrain from using the PublicOrderManagementAct,2013 to prohibit public gatherings,
andinsteadregulateandfacilitatetheenjoymentoftherighttofreedomofassembly.
2. Adoptazerotolerancepolicytowardstortureamongpoliceofficers.
3. Expand the Community Policing Programme as a measure of reducing incidences of mob
justice.

Tothegovernment:
1. ExpeditetheadoptionoftheNationalLegalAidPolicytoextendlegalrepresentationtonon
capitaloffendersandensurerepresentationstartsfromtimeofarrestuptothedisposalof
thecase.
2. Adopt the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act Regulations to operationalise the
PreventionandProhibitionofTortureAct,2012.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

15

3. SetupaVictimsCompensationFundtoensuretimelycompensationoftorturevictims.
4. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984 to allow for independent
inspectionsinplacesofdetention.
5. InstituteanindependentinquiryintotheattacksintheRwenzoriregion.
6. Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political
Rightsaimedatabolishingthedeathpenalty.
7. EnforcetheProhibitionofFemaleGenitalMutilationAct,2010andtheDomesticViolenceAct,
2010.

TotheUgandaLawReformCommission:
1. ReviewS.119(1)(g)(h)oftheUPDFAct,2005thatsubjectscivilianstotrialbeforemilitary
courts.
2. ReviewS.25(2)ofthePoliceAct,Cap.303topromotestrictadherencetothe48hourruleas
providedforbytheConstitution.
3. Amend S. 16(c) of the TrialonIndictmentAct,Cap.23 and S.76(c)oftheMagistratesCourts
Act,Cap.16 that provide for remand periods beyond 180 days in capital offences and 60
days in petty crimes as stipulated in Article 23(5)(b) and (c) of the Constitution, and in
accordancewiththeConstitutionalCourtrulinginFoundationforHumanRightsInitiativev
AttorneyGeneral.
4. Review Article 23 of the Constitution to stipulate a definite period of detention after
committal.
5. Amend the TrialIndictmentAct,Cap.23 to confer the powers of the Minister in respect of
issuing orders for inmates with mental illness to the judiciary in line with the High Court
rulinginBushoboroziEricv.Uganda.

TotheJudicialServiceCommission:
1. Expeditethenominationandappointmentthereafterofmorejudicialofficersasameasure
toreducethecurrentcasebacklogandlengthyremandperiods.

TotheMinistryofFinanceandEconomicDevelopment:
1. Allocate more budgetary resources to both the Uganda Prisons Service and the Uganda
PoliceForcetoimproveinfrastructureandthequalityofdetentionfacilitiesandservices.

TotheMinistryofGender,LabourandSocialDevelopment:
1. Construct more remand homes at least to a ratio of one remand home per subregion to
avoiddetainingjuvenileswithadults.

16

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

SECTIONONE

ERADICATINGEXTREMEPOVERTYINUGANDA
AHUMANRIGHTSBASEDAPPROACHTODEVELOPMENT

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an


act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not
natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and
eradicated by the actions of human beings

- Nelson Mandela

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

17

CHAPTERONE:
INTRODUCTION

Thisreportadoptsamultidimensionalperspectiveonextremepovertybyanalysingpovertyinthe
contextofstigma,discrimination,insecurityandsocialexclusion;assessingarangeofinterrelated
andmutuallyreinforcingeconomic,socioculturalandcivilpoliticaldeprivations.Viewedassuch,
povertyisanaffronttohumanrightsbecauseitinfringesonhumanfreedom,undermineshuman
dignity,andleadstodiscriminationandotherinjustices.1Thedeprivationandindignityofpoverty
stem from the lack of access to basic needs, marginalisation and social exclusion.2In 1995, at the
WorldSummitforSocialDevelopment,thefollowingdefinitionwasadoptedtohighlightthemulti
dimensionalnatureofpoverty:

Absolute poverty is a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs,


including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and
information.Itdependsnotonlyonincomebutalsoonaccesstosocialservices.3

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights stated in


2001,thatpovertyisahumanconditioncharacterisedbythesustained
It [poverty] is also
failure to have access
or chronic deprivation of resources, capabilities, choices, security and
to opportunities that
powernecessaryfortheenjoymentofanadequatestandardoflivingand
would make you do
othercivil,cultural,economic,politicalandsocialrights.4Thisdefinition
something for yourself
economically, but also
addstheelementofsustainedorchronicdeprivation. Therefore,under
inability to be able to
this definition, those who face such deprivation for a short period of
participate in the
time, do not fall in the category of persons
decision-making that
In my definition
would affect you. So,
livinginpoverty.
poverty is lacking the
for me, it would go
basic needs; poverty is

beyond lack of
being able to meet
material resources.
During the launch of Ugandas first Poverty not
basic requirements.
Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) in 1997, the
For example, food,
- Salima Namusobya,
shelter, clothing and
Ugandan government defined poverty as a
ISER
livelihood
lack of access to basic human needs, such as
food,shelter,clothing,education,andhealth.5
- Dorothy Baziwe,
Uganda Human
DuringtheconductofthefirstParticipatoryPovertyAssessment(PPA)6
Settlements Network
in 1998, poverty was defined as theinabilitytosatisfyarangeofbasic
human needs, and the lack of employment and survival opportunities

1S.Jahan,HumanRightsBasedApproachtoPovertyReductionAnalyticalLinkages,PracticalWorkand

UNDP,theCenterforInternationalHumanitarianCooperation(CIHC),2004,p.1.

2OHCHRPrinciplesandGuidelinesforaHumanRightsApproachtoPovertyReductionStrategies,p.4.

3ReportoftheWorldSummitforSocialDevelopment,Copenhagen,March612,1995,retrievedfrom:
http://www.un.org/documents/ga/conf166/aconf1669.htm
4UNCommitteeonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,Substantiveissuesarisingintheimplementationof
theinternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights:povertyandtheinternationalCovenant
onEconomic,SocialandCulturalrights,astatementadoptedbytheCommitteeonEconomic,Socialand
CulturalRightson4thMay2001(E/C.12/2001/10),par.8.
5E.Mukasa&S.Masiga,UgandaCountryPositionPaper,RegionalWorkshoponAgeingandPoverty,2003,p.
2.
6PPAisaninstrumentforincludingpoorpeoplesviewsintheanalysisofpovertyandtheformulationof
strategiesforpovertyreduction.SeeNortonA.,etal,2001,ARoughGuidetoPPAs,ParticipatoryPoverty
AssessmentAnIntroductiontoTheoryandPractice,p.6.

18

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

stemmingfrompowerlessness,socialexclusion,ignoranceandlackofknowledge,aswellasmaterial
resources.7This definition was upheld in the second PPA report.8The government thus confirms
andrecognisesthemultidimensionalnatureofpovertyinitspoliciesandprogrammes.9

Almostallrespondentsinterviewedduringthisstudygavethesamemultidimensionaldefinitionof
poverty as used in this report, namely poverty is the inability of people to meet their most basic
needssuchasfood,water,shelter,clothing,educationandhealth.

1.1

GLOBALPOVERTY

AccordingtotheWorldBank,extremepovertyintheworldhasdecreasedsignificantlyinthepast
decades. This decrease is attributed to the progress made by countries in reducing inequality,
improving access to social protection, falling fertility, and increasing wage employment, among
others.Nevertheless,in2010,therewerestill1.2billionpeoplelivingonlessthan$1.25perday.10
Thisisanotablereductionfromthe1.9billionpeoplelivingonlessthan$1.25perdayin1981,yet
stillanunacceptablenumber.InSubSaharan Africatheextremepovertyratewasstillincreasing
between 1981 and 1999, but has since turned a corner and fallen by 10%.11Despite a global
reductionintheextremepovertyrate,theabsolutenumberofpersonslivinginextremepovertyin
SubSaharan Africa has risen steadily and dramatically since 1981.12Between 1981 and 2010 the
absolutenumberofpeoplelivinginextremepovertymorethandoubled,from205millionto414
million.13WhiletheextremepoorinSubSaharanAfricaaccountedforonly11%oftheworldstotal
in1981,theycurrentlyaccountfor34.5%oftheworldsextremepoor.14Asthepoorestregionin
the world with a per capita income 50% less than South Asia the second poorest region in the
worldeconomicgrowthinSubSaharanAfricahaslaggedbehindthatoftherestoftheworld.15

1.1.1 Globalattentiontopoverty

Theinternationalcommunityhaspaidmuchattentiontotheproblemofpovertyintheworld.One
approachtoeradicatingextremepovertywasthroughtheMillenniumDevelopmentGoals(MDGs).
The MDGs were comprised of eight goals with the first goal targeting the eradication of extreme
povertyandhunger.16However,with2015comingtoanend,billionsofpeoplecontinuetolivein
extremepoverty.

7Mukasa&Masiga,op.cit.,p.2.
8ibid.

9Thegovernment,however,continuestocalculatethepercentageofpersonslivinginpovertyfromapurely

economicperspective.

10P.Olinto&H.Uematsu,TheStateofthePoor:WherearethePoorandwherearetheyPoorest?TheWorld

Bank,2013,p.1.
11ibid.
12TheglobalreductionintheextremepovertyratecanlargelybeattributedtopovertyreductioninAsian
andSouthAmericancountriesratherthanSubSaharancountries.Moreover,SubSaharanAfricahas
experiencedrapidpopulationgrowthduringthisperiod.Therefore,evenwhereareductionorstagnationin
thepercentageofpersonslivinginpovertyhasbeennoted,ariseintheabsolutenumberofpersonslivingin
povertycouldstilltakeplace.
13Olinto&Uematsu,op.cit.,p.2.
14ibid.
15G.Mills,WhyisAfricaPoor?CenterforGlobalLiberty&Prosperity,DevelopmentPolicyBriefingPaperNo.
6,2010,p.2.
16TheeightMGDsare:(1)eradicateextremepovertyandhunger;(2)achieveuniversalprimaryeducation;
(3)promotegenderequality;(4)reducechildmortality;(5)improvematernalhealth;(6)combatHIV/AIDS,

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

19


In an effort to build on the MDGs and achieve what they were unable to do, the United Nations
recently adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 17 The SDGs are a renewed
commitmentbytheinternationalcommunitytoeradicatepovertyinallitsformsanddimensions,
including extreme poverty, the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for
sustainabledevelopment.18SimilartotheMDGs,thefirstgoalofthe17SDGsistoendpovertyin
allitsformseverywhere.InordertoachievetheSDGs,governmentsareencouragedtorefertothe
goalstoinformalltheirpoliciesatthenational,regionalandinternationallevel.Thiscallsuponthe
GovernmentofUgandatocriticallylookatthepovertystatusinthecountryandprogrammesand
policiesinplacetoaddressthechallengeofpovertyinUganda.

1.2

POVERTYINUGANDA

Ugandahasmadesignificantprogresstowardareductionofpovertyrates,19from56%in1992to
19.7% in 2014.20Factors contributing to poverty reduction include economic growth, significant
investment in physical infrastructure and targeted government interventions.21However, due to
therapidpopulationgrowththeabsolute numberofpeoplelivinginpovertycanbe estimatedto
have only decreased by approximately 28%, from 9.6 million in 1992 to 6.9 million in 2014.22
Accordingtothe2ndChronicPovertyReportonUganda,10%oftheUgandanpopulationislivingin
chronicpoverty,meaninglongterm,ifnotlifelong,poverty.23Often,chronicallypoorpeopledonot
onlylackincomebutalsoeducation,skills,assets,andstrongsocialnetworks.Inaddition,theyare
morelikelytosufferfromillhealth.Thechronicandextremepooroftencannotmeeteventhemost
basic human needs, such as food, water, clothing, shelter, sanitation, education, and health care.
This complex set of challenges makes it even more difficult for them to escape poverty. These
conditionsarethenlikelytobepassedontothenextgeneration.

Poverty is increasingly assessed beyond the economic perspective. For instance, the UNDP Multi
dimensionalPoverty Index(MPI)looksatpovertynotonlyfromaneconomicviewpoint,butalso

malaria,andotherdiseases;(7)ensureenvironmentalsustainability;and(8)developaglobalpartnershipfor
development.
17TheSDGswereadoptedbytheUnitedNationsGeneralAssemblyon25thSeptember2015inNewYork.
Thesegoalsweredevelopedasaresultofextensiveconsultationswithvariousstakeholdersincludingcivil
societyandthepoorestandmostvulnerablepeople.Thedevelopmentgoalswerecraftedtoincludethe
economic,socialandenvironmentaldimensionsessentialforsustainabledevelopment.TheSDGswillcome
intoeffecton1stJanuary2016andrunforaperiodoffifteenyearsuntil2030.
18ResolutionadoptedbytheUNGeneralAssemblyon25thSeptember2015(A/RES/70/1),p.3.
19Globallythereisadifferencebetweenpovertyandextremepovertyinthesensethatlivingbelow1.25USD
isoftenreferredtoastheextremepovertyrate,and2.50USDasthepovertyrate.Ugandaonlyhasone
povertyrate,whichiscomparabletotheglobalextremepovertyrate.
20UgandaVision2040,2010,p.87;andMinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment(MoFPED),
PovertyStatusReport2014,StructuralChangeandPovertyReductioninUganda,November2014,p.1.
21MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2014,op.cit.,p.VI.
22In1992,9.6millionUgandanswerelivinginpoverty(56%of17.2millioncitizens);in2014,6.9million
Ugandanswerelivinginpoverty(19.7%of34.9millioncitizens).Thisconnotesareductionof16.5%inthe
absolutenumberofpeoplelivinginpoverty.Thesecalculationsarebasedonstatisticsprovidedbythe
UgandaBureauofStatistics,ProjectionsofDemographicTrendsinUganda20072017,December2007,pp.1
37;andUgandaBureauofStatistics,NationalPopulationandHousingCensus2014ProvisionalResults,
November2014,p.6.
23DevelopmentResearch&Training(DRT)andChronicPovertyResearchCentre(CPRC),The2ndChronic
PovertyReportUganda,IsAnybodyListening?,Uganda,2013,p.2.

20

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

accesstobasicneedssuchaseducation,health,andthestandardofliving.24AccordingtotheMPI,
69.9%oftheUgandanpopulationliveinmultidimensionalpoverty.25Thisismuchhigherthanthe
poverty rate of 19.7% as assessed by the Ministry of Finance, which only considers household
spending.26This shows that income is only part of the story; there is a need to include other
variableswhendeterminingpoverty.

Arelatedchallengethat persistsinUgandaisthehigh vulnerabilityof manyhouseholds.Closeto


43% of Ugandans are at risk of falling back into poverty if faced with a shock or crisis, such as
terminalillnessandlandfragmentation,whichpullpeopleintodownwardmobilityandthentrap
them in poverty.27The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in its Poverty
Status Report 2014 concedes that the majority of the nonpoor remain vulnerable to poverty
becausethemajorityofthepopulationcontinuestobeengagedineithersubsistenceagricultureor
otherformsofinformallabourthatprovidelittlesecurity,suchascleaning,sellingproductsonthe
roadsideorridingbodabodas.28

A change in the assessment and definition of persons living in poverty could vastly improve the
effectivenessofdevelopmentaidandpolicies,asdevelopmentplanswillbettertargetthosemost
impoverished, taking into account both economic and social dimensions. This will create a more
holisticapproachtopovertyreduction.

1.2.1 FaceofthepoorinUganda

Forpovertyreductionpoliciestobeeffective,itisimportanttoidentifyvulnerablegroupsandtheir
needs.Thesegroupsare,however,notstaticandchangeovertime,dependingonsocioeconomic,
political and demographic transformations. 29 The State of Uganda Population Report 2013,
identifiespeoplewithdisabilities(PWDs),womenandtheyouthasbeingparticularlyvulnerableto
poverty.30Othergroupsinsocietyidentifiedasbeingvulnerabletopovertyarefemaleheadedand
widowheaded households, people living in Northern Uganda, orphans, and the elderly.31These
groups have limited prospects for generating income and are more disadvantaged in accessing
socialservices,whichmakesthemsusceptibletoextremepoverty.

1.3

STRUCTUREOFTHEREPORT

This report emphasises the importance of identifying and treating the root causes of poverty in
order to find sustainable solutions rather than suppressing the symptoms of poverty. For this
purpose, this study will examine the historical context and how it has shaped the current social,
economic,cultural,andpoliticalenvironmentin thecountry. Itwillprovidepracticalguidanceon

24Retrievedon6thAugust2014from:http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/multidimensionalpovertyindexmpi.
25Personswithatleast33%oftheMPIindicatorsreflectingacutedeprivationinhealth,educationand

standardofliving.SeeUNDP,Explanatorynoteon2013HumanDevelopmentReportcompositeindices
Uganda,p.5.
26Householdspendingiscomparedtoapovertylinecalculatedfromthecostofmeetingcaloricneeds,given
thefoodbasketofthepooresthalfofthepopulationandsomeallowancefornonfoodneeds.
27DRT&CPRC,2ndChronicPovertyReport,op.cit.,p.2.
28MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2014,op.cit.,p.73.
29PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2013:PopulationandSocial
Transformation:AddressingtheneedsofSpecialInterestGroups,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomic
Development,2013,pp.217.
30ibid.,pp.8689.
31Forinstance:DRT&CPRC,2ndChronicPovertyReport,op.cit.,pp.79.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

21

howtointegratethevaluablecomponentsofahumanrightsbasedapproachtodevelopmentinto
policies, legislation, plans, and programs, as envisaged by Vision 2040, to aid in the creation of a
holisticagendafordevelopmentandpovertyeradicationinUganda.Finally,itwillanalysepastand
currentapproachestowardspovertyeradicationandidentifythestrengthsandweaknessesofeach.

This report recognises the correlation between good governance and inclusive economic growth,
andtheresponsibilityofthepoortoworktowardsabettermentoftheirsituation.Thisendcanbe
achievedbyputtingtheextremepooratthecentreofpovertyeradicationprogrammesthatbuild
capacity from below, while at the same time building state capacity to create an enabling
environmentfordevelopmentandtheenjoymentofrights.

1.3.1 Methodology

Primary and secondary sources were used in the compilation of this report. Secondary data was
collected through analysis of international human rights instruments, newspaper reports, and
writings of leading scholars, researchers, and economists. This analysis aided the researchers in
establishingatheoreticalframeworkforthestudy.

Following this analysis, primary data was collected through both individual interviews and focus
group discussions. The researchers held several interviews with keystakeholders, both at the
national level and across the country, including government officials, health workers, teachers,
consultants,academia,andmembersofcivilsocietyorganisations.Theintervieweeswereselected
basedonexperienceandexpertiseonpovertyandrelatedtopics.

Focus group discussions were held with target groups to gather information from communities
around the country on the most basic needs and biggest challenges related to development and
povertyalleviation.FocusgroupdiscussionswereheldinthedistrictsofNapak,Kotido,Kaabong,
Bugiri,NamutumbaandBudaka,andslumsintheKampalametropolitanarea.

22

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

2.1

CHAPTERTWO:
UGANDASHISTORY
INTRODUCTION

Thehistorical,politicalandsocioeconomicvariationsamongststatescallforindividualresponses
todevelopmentchallenges.Foreignapproachesareoftenillsuitedforthelocalcontext.Inessence,
bestpracticesshouldonlyenrichanapproachspecificallytailoredforUganda.

To ensure the development approach is based on the local context, it is necessary to place the
contemporarydevelopmentsituationinthehistorical,political,economic,andsocialcontext.This
chapter examines the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial periods in Uganda and the impact
each has had on development in the country. Consequently, this chapter identifies reasons for
underdevelopmentandexplainsregionaldisparitieswithinthecountry.

2.2

PRECOLONIALPERIOD

AsearlyasthefourthcenturyB.C.cultivatorsandherderssettledaroundLakeVictoriaduetothe
favourableclimate.32ThefirstpeasantsweremostlikelyBantuspeakingpeople,whoseknowledge
of agriculture and technology facilitated cultivation.33It can thus be seen that agriculture has
alwaysbeenthedominanteconomicactivityintheterritoryaroundLakeVictoria.Activetradein
the East Africa region was established long before the arrival of the British, although most
Ugandansweresubsistencefarmers.34

Over time, as the Bantuspeaking communities grew larger they developed a form of governance
headed by clan chiefs, which evolved into several kingdoms in the southwest of the territory we
nowcallUganda.35Bugandabecamethemostpowerfulkingdom,andvastlyexpandedherterritory
withnewlyconqueredlandsthatwereplacedundertheruleoflocalchiefsappointedbytheking.
Buganda kingdom, and to a lesser extent the other kingdoms, developed an organised political
systemandsociety.36

Onthecontrary,theNiloticandSudaniccommunitiesinthenorthandnortheastoftheterritorywe
nowcallUgandalackedsuchorganisedsociety,and,atthetimeofcolonisation,werelessdeveloped
comparedtothekingdoms(seeFigure1).37

32R.M.Byrnes,Uganda:ACountryStudy,Washington:GPOfortheLibraryofCongress,1990,retrievedfrom:

http://countrystudies.us/uganda/on22ndSeptember2014.

33ibid.
34ibid.
35ibid.

36Thekingdomalsohadaparliamentandlawsthatgovernedtherelationshipbetweentherulersandthe

ruled.Roadswereconstructed,anarmycreatedandtaxwascollectedfromtheinhabitantstomaintainand
developthekingdom;P.Mutibwa,UgandaSinceIndependenceAStoryofUnfulfilledHopes,Fountain
PublishersLtd.,Kampala,Uganda,1992,p.1;Byrnes,loc.cit.
37Byrnes,loc.cit.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

23

Figure1:MapofUgandaIndicatingtheKingdomTerritories

Thisdisparityindevelopmentbetweenthedifferentregionsofthecountrycanstillbeseentoday.
Bandyopadhyay and Green (2012) provide evidence for a strong, statistically significant
relationship between precolonial centralisation and financial measurements, such as Gross
DomesticProduct(GDP),povertyheadcount,andassetownership.38Thestrongertheprecolonial
centralisation is in a region, the higher the GDP and asset ownership levels, and the lower the
povertyheadcount.39However,theyalsoshowthatthereisnotnecessarilyacorrelationbetween
precolonial centralisation and the provision of public goods.40This evidence suggests that pre
colonialcentralisationiscorrelatedwithcontemporaryaccesstoprivategoodsratherthanpublic
ones, and thus that distribution of wealth has largely persisted in Uganda from the precolonial
timestocontemporaryUganda.

2.3

COLONIALPERIOD

Scientific literature is contradictive whether colonialism increased economic prosperity or


inhibited the natural development of colonised territories. Some scholars argue that colonialism

38S.Bandyopadhyay&E.Green,PreColonialPoliticalCentralizationandContemporaryDevelopmentin

Uganda,QueenMaryUniversityofLondonandSTICERDLondonSchoolofEconomics;andDESTIN,London
SchoolofEconomics,19thAugust2012,pp.69,14.
39Thisremainstruewhengeographicallocation,levelofnaturalresourcesoreconomicactivitiesavailablein
theregionaretakenintoconsideration;S.Michalopoulos&E.Papaioannou,PreColonialEthnicInstitutions
andContemporaryAfricanDevelopment,NBERWorkingPaperSeries,No.18224,NationalBureauof
EconomicResearch,Cambridge,Massachusetts,2012,p.24.
40Bandyopadhyay&Green,op.cit.,pp.1214.

24

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

introducedcapitalisminAfricawithoutwhichAfricawouldhavestayedbackward.41Thisgroupof
scholars argue that innovative technologies, economic institutions, modern legal systems,
education,anddemocraticformsofgovernancearearesultofcolonialism.42Ontheotherextreme,
isavastgroupofscholarswhoarguethatcolonisationisthecauseofcontemporaryillsofformer
colonies, including poverty.43They explain that colonialism undermined development due to the
sheer looting of African societies by colonial rulers, and theinstitution of arbitrary state systems
thatoftenledtopoliticalconflicts,instability,anddictatorship.

2.3.1 ColonialisminUganda

Colonisers took different, and sometimes multiple, approaches to governance in colonised


territories.InUganda,theBritishpursuedindirectruleamethodofgovernancewherecolonisers
ruled through precolonial structures.44The British, therefore, largely maintained local power
structuresrulingthroughkingsandchiefs.Theydid,however,putinplaceinstitutions,although
these were primarily built for the economic benefit of Britain.45According to Cooper these
institutionsarethecauseoftheweakmoderndaystatesandinstitutionsinAfrica.

ThecolonialadministrationexercisedadivideandrulemethodtopreventUgandansfromforming
a coalition to challenge British rule. In exercising this method, the British favoured Buganda
kingdom over the other territories because of her organised society and initial contact with the
colonisers.46In the latter half of the nineteenth century, for instance, the British sided with the
Baganda in the war against Bunyoro kingdom. The British considered Bunyoro to be hostile to
civilisation and European contact and used the Baganda to fight and conquer Bunyoro.47The
BagandawererewardedwithterritorytornawayfromBunyoro,whichbecameasourceofdiscord
andhatredbetweenBunyoroandBuganda.48TheextensionofBritishruletoToroandAnkolewas
morepeaceful.49TheBritishdeployedBugandachiefsinordertoextenditsruletothenorthernand
eastern territories (often referred to as Buganda subimperialism).50The power given to the
Bugandachiefswasoftenabused,particularlyinMbale,wherethesystemofusingBugandachiefs
foradministrativepurposeswasmostfiercelyresisted.51

Inhabitants of kingdoms and territories outside Buganda resented the use of the Baganda in
administrationparticularlybecausetheBagandainsistedontheexclusiveuseoftheirlanguageand

41SeeT.B.Birnberg&S.A.Resnick,ColonialDevelopment.AnEconometricStudy,NewHaven:YaleUniversity

Press,1975;B.Warren,Imperialism:PioneerofCapitalism,London:Verso,1980;andJ.Sender&S.Smith,The
DevelopmentofCapitalisminAfrica,London:Methuen,1986.
42L.Heldring&J.A.Robinson,ColonialismandEconomicDevelopmentinAfrica,NBERWorkingPaperSeries,
No.18566,NationalBureauofEconomicResearch,Cambridge,Massachusetts,2012,p.26.
43ibid.,p.1.
44M.Lange,J.Mahoney,M.vomHau,ColonialismandDevelopment:AComparativeAnalysisofSpanishand
BritishColonies,AmericanJournalofSociology,Vol.111(5),2006,14121462,p.1431.
45ibid.,pp.1442,1445.
46HumanRightsWatch,HostiletoDemocracy:TheMovementSystemandPoliticalRepressioninUganda,
1999,retrievedfrom:http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/uganda/on23rdSeptember2014.
47TheBugandaandBunyorokingdomshadbeenenemiesthroughoutthenineteenthcentury.See:P.
Mutibwa,UgandaSinceIndependenceAStoryofUnfulfilledHopes,FountainPublishersLtd.,Kampala,
Uganda,1992,p.2.
48ibid.
49ibid.,p.3.
50ibid.
51ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

25

dictatedthetypeoffoodtobeconsumedandclothestobeworn.52TheBagandaalsoattemptedto
convertlocalstoProtestantism,whichresulted,intherejectionofthisformofChristianityinfavour
of Catholicism in areas where oppressive rule was identified with a Protestant Muganda chief.53
Therefore,despitethefactthattheprecolonialpowerstructuresremainedinplace,thesystemof
governance was very much a colonial construct, and the root of the ethnic and religious
conflicts/rivalriesthatensuedafterindependence.

Developmentdisparitiesthatexistedduringprecolonialtimesincreasedduringcolonialrule.The
economicpoliciesoftheBritishgreatlyfavouredBugandakingdomovertheotherkingdoms,and
the chiefdoms of the Basoga and the Northern tribes were ignored altogether.54As a result,
Buganda flourished under colonial rule. The Western region that covers the Toro, Ankole, and
Bunyorokingdomsexperienceddevelopmentbuttoalesserextent,whiletheBusogaandNorthern
regionsremainedlargelyunderdeveloped.

TheprosperityoftheBagandaduringthisperiodislargelyattributedtotheirorganisedsocietyand
strategic location on the lakeside, support from the British, and the newly acquired freehold
estates.55This provided them with abundant fertile land to reap the benefits of the agricultural
sectorthatgrewimmenselyduringthecolonialera.TheBritishpromotedthegrowingofcottonto
serve Britains textile industry. By 1910 cotton had become Ugandas leading export product,
mainlybenefitingtheBaganda.56

TheBritishencouragedtheorganisedandeducatedSouthernerstojointhecivilserviceandprivate
businesses, whilethepeople fromeasternandespeciallythe northernregionwererecruitedinto
the army, police, and prison service.57The main reasons for this divide were that the colonial
administration did not want to increase the Bagandas power even further and the Northerners
were naturally seen to be more martial.58Since the northern and eastern regions were less
developed and the inhabitants less educated, they were perceived as easier to control. The army
composedofmainlyNorthernerswasusedinthedecadesafterindependencebynorthernleaders
tosuppressthesouth.59

Other divisive policies used by the colonial administrators concerned the Asians. For instance,
Indians were trusted more by the British, and used as middlemen between the Europeans and
Ugandans.60ThedominanceoftheAsianpopulationintradeangeredtheUgandanpopulation,asit

52Byrnes,loc.cit.
53Byrnes,loc.cit.

54Forinstance,taxtreatiessignedwithBugandakingdomweremuchmoregenerousthantheonessigned

withtheotherkingdoms(Toro,AnkoleandBunyoro).Thechiefdomswereignoredaltogether.Thenorthern
territorieswereconsideredbackwardandtheBritishmainlyusedtheseterritoriesasareservoirforcheap
labourtobedeployedinBugandaandtheotherkingdoms.It,therefore,didnotundergoanysignificant
development.See:Byrnes,loc.cit.
55Freeholdtenureinvolveseitheragrantoflandinperpetuity,orforalesserspecifiedtimeperiod.The
holderoflandinfreeholdhasfullpowerofownership.Thismeansthatheorshemayuseitforanylawful
purposeandsell,rent,lease,disposeofitbywillortransactitinanyotherwayasheorsheseesfit.
56Withthewealthobtainedfromthecashcrops,theBagandawereabletobuildpermanenthouses,buy
motorvehicles,introducethefirstmobilecinemas,sportfacilities,andmodernmedicalservices,aswellas
developinstitutionsofhighereducation.See:Mutibwa,op.cit.,pp.89.
57ibid.,p.6.
58ibid.
59ibid.
60ibid.,p.8.

26

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

blocked their own efforts to run businesses. The colonial regime even barred Ugandans from
participating in production and marketing activities, which would compete with production in
Britain.Thisgreatlyhamperedthegrowthofthecountryseconomyandprecludedtheemergence
of an indigenous class with a stake in the countrys economy a factor necessary for social and
political stability.61Ugandans were, for instance, not allowed to break into cotton ginning, which
would have added value to their products.62Production and export was, therefore, dependent on
primaryproducts,whilethecountryhadtorelyonimportformostmanufacturedproducts.Since
the prices of primary goods produced in the colonies remained low, while the prices of
manufactured products increased continuously, the terms of trade favoured European nations.63
Thecountrysadversetraderelationshipresultedintheflightofcapital,whichgreatlycontributed
totheunderdevelopmentofthecountryduringcolonialrule.64

Ugandas domestic revenue further stagnated because of British policies in the agricultural
industry. In 1927, the British restricted the amount of rent and mandatory labour they could
demand from tenants. As a result, agricultural production shifted to independent smallholders,
leadingtofragmentationoftheland.65Shortlyafter,duringthedepressioninthe1930s,theexport
market collapsed and many smallholder farmers shifted from growing cash crops to subsistence
farming.66Thisfurtherreducedtheproductivityoftheagriculturalsector.

The challenges arising from the policies the British imposed were compounded by the fact that
there was no central council in which Ugandans could meet and represent Ugandans interests,
resolve disputes, and map a common strategy for the development of the country as a whole. In
1921, the Legislative Council was set up to function as the parliament of Uganda, but became a
forumforcolonialpublicofficialscomprisedofonlywhitesandAsians.67Itwasnotuntil1940that
thefirstseatsontheLegislativeCouncilwereopentoUgandans,allowingtheWestern,Easternand
Centralregionstoprovideonerepresentativeeach;theNorthernregion,however,wasonceagain
completely ignored.68Directly elected Ugandans did not sit on the Legislative Council until a few
years to independence, which was too short a time for the Council to take root as a political
institution.Atindependence40%ofrepresentativesontheLegislativeCouncilwerenovices.69The
countrywasthusleftwithoutadequatecapacitytorunthestateeffectivelyfollowingindependence.

2.3.2 ImpactofcolonialismonUgandasdevelopmentpath

Overall, colonialism led to an increase in economic activities, but at the same time unfavourable
traderelationsandthedominanceofforeignersintradeandcommercepreventedtheemergence
ofadomesticcommercialclasswithastakeintheeconomy.This,combinedwiththedominanceof
foreigners in state institutions until only a few years to independence, created weak state
institutions.

61Withoutsuchaclass,politicalrecruitmentisconfinedtothepettybureaucraticbourgeoisiewhohaveno

economicbaseinsocietyandonlyparticipateinpoliticsforpersonalgain.See:A.B.K.Kasozi,TheSocial
OriginsofViolenceinUganda,19641985,FountainPublishersLtd,Kampala,Uganda,1994,pp.3033.
62OneofthemeasurestakentoensureUgandanswouldnotbenefitfromthevalueadditionofcottonginning
wastobananddestroyallhandgins.See:Kasozi,op.cit.,pp.3033.
63J.L.Seitz,ThePoliticsofDevelopment,BombayPopularPrakashan,1stIndianreprint,1990,pp.67.
64Kasozi,op.cit.,p.34.
65Byrnes,loc.cit.
66ibid.
67Mutibwa,op.cit.,p.10.
68ibid.
69Kasozi,op.cit.,p.7.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

27


ThedivideandrulemethodusedbytheBritishcolonisershadadevastatingimpactonthecountry.
Itledtoheightenedethnictensionsandintroducedanewdivisivefactor:religion.Thesetensions
prevented Ugandans from building a common identity and devising common strategies for the
developmentofthecountryasawhole.Thedivideandrulemethodofthecolonialadministration
alsoexacerbatedthedisparityindevelopmentandprosperitythatexistedduringtheprecolonial
period.Duringcolonialrule,Bugandakingdom,andtoalesserextent,thekingdomsofToro,Ankole
andBunyoroprospered,whileotherregionsremainedunderdeveloped.Afinalimpactofthedivide
and rule method was an army dominated by the disadvantaged Northerners, which created a
situation of inequality in access to weaponry; a dangerous anomaly considering the regional
tensions.Allthesedevelopmentscombineddelayedthedevelopmentofthecountryandformedthe
basis for the political instability and civil conflict that characterised Ugandas postindependence
period,whichworsenedthesituationofpovertyinthecountry.70

2.4

POSTCOLONIALPERIOD

Despitetheregionalinequalities,ethnictensionsandweakstateinstitutions,Ugandawasrelatively
moredevelopedthanherneighboursattheonsetofindependence.Lifeexpectancywassimilarto
that of some industrialised countries, literacy rates were high, road and communication systems
were welldeveloped, and medical services were reasonable.71Economically, Ugandas prospects
fordevelopmentwerecomparabletothoseofSouthKorea.In1962,SouthKoreasGPDpercapita
stoodat103.57USD,whileUgandasGDPpercapitawas62.04USD.72Untilthe1970s,thesevariable
did not change much in either country. In 1965, Ugandas GDP per capita even slightly exceeded
that ofKorea.73Itshould, however,berememberedthatUgandaswealth
was largely confined to Buganda and mainly in the hands of Europeans
We have had about 8
and Asians. This is part of the reason why from 1970 onwards, Ugandas governments and all of
them have been
GDP growth rate stagnated. The specifics of this stagnation will be
removed by force.
discussed below. During this same period the GDP per capita in South That left the country in
turmoil. Uganda used
Korea started to increase sharply. In 2013, South Koreas GDP per capita
to be much richer than
hadgrownto25,976.95USD,makingitahighincomecountry.ItsGDPper
Kenya in the 1960s
capitaisnow45timeshigherthanUgandas,whichstoodat571.86USDin and 1970s, but you can
see that Kenya has
2013(seeFigure2).74
been relatively

peaceful and Kenya is


now four times richer
Thestarkdifferenceindevelopmentpathsbetweenthetwocountriescan
largely be attributed to political instability in Uganda that caused than Uganda. That has
been because of
stagnation and, at times, the decline of the economy in the decades
political instability,
upheavals, people
following independence. The inequalities and ethnic tensions, combined
being displaced.
with weak state institutions and focus on personal gain rather than
national development, negated the promising socioeconomic situation - Charles Rwabukwali,
MUK
thatwasinplacewhenthecountryattainedindependence.

70HumanRightsWatch,HostiletoDemocracy,loc.cit.
71Kasozi,op.cit.,p.3.
72WorldBankdata.

73UgandasGDPpercapitastoodat110.36USDollarsandKoreasGDPpercapitaat105.13USDollars.
74WorldBankdata.

28

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

The reasons why Ugandas economy has failed to reach growth rates similar to South Korea, are
examinedthrough4distinctperiodsofherpostcolonialhistory:IndependenceandOboteIregime,
theregimeofIdiAmin,theOboteIIregime,andthecurrentNationalResistanceMovement.

Figure2:GDPpercapitainUgandaandSouthKoreainUSDollars(19602013)

(Source:WorldBank)

2.4.1 19621971:IndependenceandOboteI
Upon independence, the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) won the elections and, therefore,
deliveredthePrimeMinisterMiltonObote.TheUPChadanalliancewithKabakaYekka(KY)who
deliveredtheheadofstatethekingofBuganda.Thesystemofgovernmentwasmodelledafterthe
Westminster system used in the United Kingdom whereby the head of state fulfilled mere
ceremonialfunctions,whiletheheadofgovernment,theprimeminister,wasthepoliticalleaderof
thecountry.

Ugandafaredrelativelywellintheyearsfollowingindependence(19621965).However,thepost
independenceConstitution,acompromisedocumentthatprovidedBugandakingdomwithfederal
status and the other kingdoms with semifederal status, further deepened the differences.75The
economy,whilepromising,wasalsoseverelyflawed,andcharacterisedbyasmallandmonopolistic
formalsector,aweakindustrialbase,andtightstatecontrols.76

TheObotegovernmenttookahandsonapproachinconfrontingchallengesinheritedfromcolonial
rule,includinganeconomicsystemwithasmallandmonopolisticformalsector,aweakindustrial
base and tight state controls.77It had to unify a highly fragmented society divided by ethnic and

75Thepresenceoffoursubstatesweakenedeffortstoformastrongunitedcentralgovernment.See:

Mutibwa,op.cit.,p.25.

76E.A.Brett,StateFailureandSuccessinUgandaandZimbabwe:TheLogicofPoliticalDecayand

ReconstructioninAfrica,WorkingPaperNo.78,CrisisStatesResearchCentre,LondonSchoolofEconomics,
2006,p.9.
77ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

29

religious differences as well as wide economic disparities across the different regions in the
country.Thehandsonapproachbythegovernmentintheyearsdirectlyafterindependenceledto
a sharp increase in GDP per capita, which slowed down around 1965 when political unrest and
violencecreatedasituationofeconomichardshipinUganda(figure3).

Figure3:GDPPerCapitainUgandainUSDollars(19611971)

(Source:WorldBank)

In1964,Oboteabrogatedthe1962ConstitutionandremovedKYfromgovernment.78Thisresulted
inBugandaswishtosecedefromUgandaandUgandasfirstbloodbathattheBugandakingspalace
in Mengo in May 1966.79After this, violence became institutionalized in Uganda. Security forces
traversedBugandakingdomandsuppressedwhateverresistancetheregimeencountered.80Inthe
new constitution, all power was vested in President Milton Obote, and kingdoms were officially
abolished.81This development led to hatred against the Obote regime among inhabitants of the
differentkingdoms,andfurtherdeterioratedthealreadylimitedsenseofnationalunity.82

IthasbeenarguedthatObote,asaNortherner,movedagainsttheBagandabecausehewantedto
institute equal levels of development in the north as in Buganda, even if this meant reducing
Buganda to the same level of underdevelopment as the rest of the country.83Therefore, no
AfricanisationoftheeconomywasallowedifitmightbenefittheBaganda. 84

78HumanRightsWatch,HostiletoDemocracy,loc.cit..
79Mutibwa,op.cit.,pp.3940.
80ibid.

81Theexistenceofthekingdomsformedathreattothepowerofthecentralgovernment,astheirinterests

differedfromtheNorthernledgovernment.
82Mutibwa,op.cit.,p.60.
83Kasozi,op.cit.,p.62.
84UnderOboteseconomicpolicies,thestateorwhiteimmigrants,butnotblackAfricans,wereallowedto
participateinindustry,commerceandlargescaleagriculture.Obotewasnotpreparedtotransferownership
ofbusinessandtradefromnoncitizens,mostlyAsians,toAfricansastheBagandalandlordsweremostlikely
tobenefitfromthis.See:Kasozi,op.cit.,p.91.

30

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

AspartofhisstrategytopreventtheBagandafromstrengtheningtheireconomicposition,Obote
extendedstatehegemonytolabourandeconomicaffairs.Theemergingclassofcapitalistfarmers
mainlyconsistedofBaganda.Thecooperativefarmerunionshadmadeitpossibleforthemtogaina
footing in the processing and marketing of agricultural production.85To reduce the influence and
economicdevelopmentofBagandacapitalistfarmers,draconianlabourlawswereintroducedthat
restrictedtradeunionactivities.Forinstance,in1968,Parliamentpassedanactthatprovidedthe
governmentwithamonopolytohandleallmarketableminorcrops,suchasbeans,groundnutsand
maize.86At the same time, parastatal bodies were created to replace cooperatives, which were in
turnusedtotransfervaluefromfarmerstoofficials.87Thispoliticalsystemofclientelismresulted
in a reduction of foreign investment, and foreign exchange and taxes were used to expand
governmentjobsandthearmy,diminishingeconomicefficiency.88Thesemeasuresnegatedmostof
theprogressthatthecountryhadmadetocreatealocalbourgeoisie.

Theextensionofstatehegemonytoeconomicaffairsalsoinvolvedplacingtherulingbureaucracy
theministers,partyofficials,topcivilservantsandseniorarmyofficersincontroloftheeconomic
surplus. This, however, also weakened the economic base of the Indian bourgeoisie, which led to
economic difficulties and culminated in the economic crisis of 1969, during which prices
especiallythose offooditemsskyrocketedandthe governmentinitiatedaclampdownonloans
and wages.89At the same time, all strikes were declared illegal.90Consequently, during a time of
economic crisis and hardship, workers were prevented from voicing grievances, leading to
increasing dissatisfaction with the incumbent regime.91The failure of the government to turn the
economyaroundandmaintainpeaceandsecuritycausedgeneralfrustrationamongthepopulation
and a sense of grievance against the Obote government. In an attempt to retain control of the
country,theregimeannouncedthat60%ownershipofallcompanieswastobeplacedinthehands
ofthegovernment.92Ithasbeenarguedthatthiswasanothermovetoweakenthepositionofthe
Bagandainthecommercialsectorand,thereby,reducetheireconomicpowerandinfluence.93

TheintentionoftheOboteregimetoreduceinequalitiesbetweenthenorthandsouth,actuallyled
to increased tension between these regions. The Southerners,94whose kingdoms had been
abolishedandwhohadbeenthemainvictimsofpoliticalviolenceandeconomicrestrictions,had
developed hatred against the northernled regime, while the Northerners continued to feel
aggrievedthatmosteconomicgrowthtookplaceinthesouth.However,itwaseventuallyanother
leaderfromnorthernUgandafromtheWestNileregion,GeneralIdiAmin,whooverthrewMilton
Oboteinamilitarycoupin1971.

2.4.2 19711979:RegimeofIdiAmin

The regime of Amin was at first welcomed by most Ugandans because of the economic hardship
experiencedunderObote.Thenewregime,however,didlittletoturnthissituationaround.Taxes

85Ibid.,pp.9394.
86Ibid.

87Brett,op.cit.,p.10.
88ibid.

89Mutibwa,op.cit.,p.69.
90ibid.,p.67.

91ibid.,p.67,69.

92Kasozi,op.cit.,p.90.
93ibid.

94InthisrespectreferringtotheBaganda,Banyoro,Banyankole,andBatoro.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

31

werenotreduced,thecostoflivingfurtherincreasedandarmedrobberyremainedrampant.95Asa
result,GDPpercapitaduringthefirstyearsofAminsregimefollowedthesametrendastheObote
regime(Figure4).TowardstheendofAminsregimeGDPpercapitadeclinedsharply.Thiswasthe
result of damaged regional relations that led to the disbandment of the East African Community;
widespread civil conflict, violence and looting; the breakdown of the commercial and industrial
sectors; and extensive flight of both financial and human resources from the country.96Between
1977and1980theeconomydeterioratedtothelevelsof1965(Figure4).

Figure4:GDPpercapitainUgandainUSDollars(19711980)

(Source:WorldBank)

Local revenues, mainly from the coffee industry, were used to purchase military hardware to
consolidate political power.97However, the limited sources of domestic revenue, and denial of
requestsforarmsbymostwesterncountries,forcedAmintoseeknewalliances,whichwerefound
in the Arab world.98Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gadaffi was willing to bankroll Amins military
pursuits, and, therefore, became a far more useful ally to Idi Amin. Shortly after the formation of
this alliance, Amin expelled all Israelis from Uganda. Amin accused the Israelis of sabotaging the
Ugandan economy,but accordingto someaccountstheprimaryreason forthe expulsionwasthe
refusalbytheIsraelis,togetherwiththeWesternpowers,tosellhimarms.99

Shortly after the expulsion of the Israelis, Amin expelled all people of Asian origin, including
Ugandancitizens,andexpropriatedtheirbusinesses.100ThishadadevastatingimpactonUgandas
economybecauseAsianshaddominatedthecommercialsectorsincethecolonialera,andtheloss
ofsuchprominententrepreneursandskilledmanpowerresultedinthebreakdownofthesesectors,

95Mutibwa,op.cit.,pp.9293.

96SeeF.Kuteesa,I.Magona,M.Wanyera&J.Wokadala,Uganda:ADecadeofBudgetReformandPoverty

Reduction,OECDJournalonBudgeting,Volume6,No.2,2006,p.2.;Kasozi,op.cit.,pp.116118.

97A.Kreimer,P.Collier,C.S.Scott&M.Arnold,UgandaPostConflictReconstruction,CountryCaseStudy

Series,WorldBankOperationsEvaluationsDepartment,Washington,D.C.,2000,pp.1718.
98Mutibwa,op.cit.,pp.9091.
99ibid.
100AminorderedtheexpulsionofUgandas70,000citizensofAsianoriginandtheexpropriationoftheir
extensivepropertyholdings,including5,655firms,factoriesandfarmsandU.S.$400millioninpersonal
goods.See:HumanRightsWatch,HostiletoDemocracy,loc.cit.

32

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

andaseveredeteriorationoftheeconomyasawhole.101Thesituationdeterioratedfurtherwhen
AminsubsequentlynationalisedbusinessesownedbytheBritish,whichresultedinwithdrawalof
aidfromBritain.102

Besides the breakdown of the industrial sector, agricultural production also suffered severely
under Amins regime. As a result of the collapse of the commercial and industrial sectors the
governmentshiftedthetaxburdenontothepeasants.103Almost90%oftheirturnoverwenttothe
state.104As a result, many commercial farmers switched to subsistence farming, which further
reduceddomesticrevenues,exports,andforeignexchange.Moreover,duetotheinstabilityinthe
Northern region and the expulsion of foreigners, cotton, tea, and sugar production suffered
severely,105makingthecountryincreasinglydependentononecashcropthecoffeeindustry.Asa
result, the agroeconomy followed the industrial sector and crumbled completely under Amins
rule. This, in turn, halted industrial production even further as this sector mainly processed
agriculturalcommodities.Ugandabecametrappedinaviciouscirclewherefallingrevenues,foreign
exchange, and the loss of human resource undermined services, which in turn reduced economic
andhumanresourcesfurther.106

ThepoliticsofclientelismandnepotismthatgainedmoregroundunderAminsregime,resultedin
theredistributionofwealthaccordingtowhoheldpowerorprovidedsupporttopowerholders.107
This adversely affected the work ethic and diverted political players from honest hard work to
acquiring titles to new assets.108Thus, rather than tapping into new avenues of revenue creation,
thegovernmentfocusedonredistributingafadingstockofwealth.

Themoralsandvaluesofthepopulationwerenotonlyaffectedbytheregimespolitics,butalsothe
widespread civil unrest. Violence committed by one person against another became the norm;
rather than respecting ones neighbour people came to fear and distrust each other.109Moreover,
the institutionalisation of nepotism devalued education, since an education no longer determined
professionalsuccess.Thelesseducatedgainedpositionsingovernmentthroughviolence,fraudor
influential allies in the government.110As a result, education lost much of its attraction and
professional ethics utterly collapsed. The only concern was to make as much money as fast as
possible to beat the inflation, which led to frustration among wage earners who resorted to
corruptionandexcessiveuseofalcohol.111

101ThroughoutAminsdictatorialruleskilledpersonnelcontinuedfleeingthecountrytoescapetheeconomic

mismanagementandpoliticalviolence.Theirpositionswerefilledbyilliteratesoldiersandcivilians,eroding
standardsincivilservice;Kreimer,Collier,Scott&Arnold,op.cit.,p.17.
102Mutibwa,op.cit.,pp.9697.
103Kasozi,op.cit.,pp.4748.
104ibid.,p.42.
105CottongrowingintheNorthernregionsdisappearedlargelybecauseofAminspersecutionofpeoplein
Acholi,Lango,andTeso,whereOboteandhissupportersoriginatedfrom.Plantationcropsandteaandsugar
sufferedfromtheexpulsionoftheforeigners,asUgandanswerenotskilledingrowingthesecrops.
106Brett,op.cit.,p.11.
107Mutibwa,op.cit.,p.117.
108ibid.
109ibid.,p.122.
110ibid.
111ibid.,pp.122123.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

33

Astherewerenopoliciesinplacetorespondtothesedomesticandexternalshocks,theresultwas
a complete breakdown of the economic and social order.112By the end of Amins military
dictatorship,anestimated300,000Ugandanshadlosttheirlives,113andmanymorehadlosttheir
propertyasaresultofwidespreadlootingbysoldiers.114

2.4.3 19801985:OboteIIregime

AftertheoverthrowofIdiAminon10thApril1979bytheTanzanianarmedforcestogetherwiththe
Uganda National Liberation Army, 115 political uncertainty ensued. After several shortlived
administrations,116electionswereheldin1980andOboteregainedpowerafterawidelydisputed
electionoutcome.117

When the Obote II government was formed in 1980 it was clear that the economy needed to be
revamped. Obote managed to secure foreign donor support, mainly from the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) by introducing structural adjustment measures. 118 In addition, Obote
persuaded foreign companies and exiled businessmen to return to Uganda.119This had a positive
impact on the economic growth rate in the country up to 1983 (Figure 5). Despite these
encouragingeffortstorestoreeconomicgrowth,corruptionremainedrampant.

Theeconomystagnatedbetween1984and1985foranumberofreasons.First,theIMFcancelled
its support after a disagreement on budget policy. 120Second, inflation was rising fast, the
governmentbudgetarydeficitremainedhigh,andincreasingexternaldebtsmadeforeignexchange
scarce,whichinturnledtoafallinindustrialproduction.121Asgovernmentpriceincentivesfailed
totrickledowntoproducersandfarmers,theabandonmentofcashcropproductionthathadtaken
rootunderOboteIandAmincontinuedundertheOboteIIregimeandledtoafurtherdeclineinthe
productivityofthecommercialagriculturalsector.122

112Kuteesa,Magona,Wanyera&Wokadala,op.cit.,p.2.
113Byrnes,loc.cit.

114Kasozi,op.cit.,pp.126127.

115HumanRightsWatch,HostiletoDemocracy,loc.cit.

116YusufLule(13thApril20thJune1979),GodfreyBinaisa(20thJune197912thMay1980),PauloMuwanga

(12th22ndMay1980),andaPresidentialCommission(22ndMay15thDecember1980).
117HumanRightsWatch,HostiletoDemocracy,loc.cit.
118Thisincludedtherealigningofthevalueoftheshilling;providingpriceincentives;removingprice
controls;increasinginterestrates;andimprovingeconomicmanagementthroughfiscalandmonetary
measures.See:Kuteesa,Magona,Wanyera&Wokadala,op.cit.,p.2.
119Byrnes,loc.cit.
120ibid.
121Mutibwa,op.cit.,p.152.
122Kuteesa,Magona,Wanyera&Wokadala,op.cit.,pp.23.

34

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Figure5:GDPpercapitainUgandainUSDollars(19801986)

(Source:WorldBank)

Soon after the Obote II government was formed, conflict started,


mainly in the Luwero Triangle. 123 The rigging of the 1980
elections by the UPC led to discontent among opposition
politicians, a group of whom, under the leadership of Yoweri
Museveni, formed the National Resistance Army.124They took up
arms to wage a fiveyear guerrilla war to fight the undemocratic
andcorruptsystemofgovernancethathadplaguedthecountryfor
so long. There was also conflict in the West Nile region by Amin
supporters.125

Obotes hatred for the Baganda, and now the Banyankole


Musevenis ethnic group, did not leave much room for
negotiation.126Instead, Obote responded to the outbreak of the
guerrilla warfare by killing around 300,000 Baganda and
displacinganother500,000.127Themilitaryactionfurtherledtoa
- Joseph Walugembe, ADD
breakdownofinfrastructureandservicedelivery.Forinstance,in
the Luwero Triangle over a hundred schools were demolished,
over a thousand kilometres of road damaged, agricultural equipment worth more than UGX 652
million.128destroyed, and thousands of livestock killed.129The devastating events in this area left
peoplelackingadequateaccesstofood,shelter,andmedicalcare.

The Luweero triangle is now


a forgotten crisis, and this is
one of the areas where the
current president camped
with his rebel movement at
that time. So this place we
are talking about, 15 miles
from here [Kampala], all the
houses were demolished.
All the children who were
supposed to be going to
school at that time, had their
education disrupted because
either their parents died or
they just could not study
when they kept running for
survival. They are all a lost
generation.

123TheareaofcentralUgandanorthofthecapitalKampalacoveringthedistrictsofKiboga,Kyankwazi,

Nakaseke,Nakasongola,Luweero,Mubende,MityanaandWakiso.
124HumanRightsWatch,HostiletoDemocracy,loc.cit.
125Kreimer,Collier,Scott&Arnold,op.cit.,p.18.
126Mutibwa,op.cit.,p.161.
127ibid.,p.159.
128Equivalentto197,681USDollars.
129Kasozi,op.cit.,pp.185186.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

35

2.4.4 1986Present:NationalResistanceMovement(NRM)

Asparagraphs2.4.12.4.3haveshown,thecurrentregimeinheritedadysfunctionalstatewitha
shatteredeconomy.Ethnicdifferences,coupledwithanoverallmoraldegenerationduetoyearsof
civil conflict, had led to loss of respect for human life and property; breakdown of industrial and
agricultural production had diminished domestic revenue and exports; loss of skilled human
resourceleftthestatewithweakinstitutions;andthedamagetotheinfrastructureleftthecountry
with inadequate social service delivery. These factors served as a disincentive for foreign
investmentanddonorsupport.130

The NRM government, therefore, had the challenging task of creating a viable economy by
establishing strong leadership that would ensure peace, security, and proper service delivery.
Musevenis regime has achieved some major development successes since it took over power in
1986. It reduced ethnic conflict and instituted an inclusive system of governance highlighting the
participationofwomen,youth,andworkers,amongothers.131Itputthepeasantsatthecentreby
abolishingthepositionofadministrativechiefsandinsteadcreatedasystemofinclusiveresistance
councilsandcommittees.TheResistanceCouncilsconsistedofalladultslivingwithinadesignated
area and had legislative and judicial powers.132Each Council elected a Resistance Committee that
consisted of nine members and exercised administrative and executive powers.133In this new
system, the peasants were able to hold governing officials accountable. The government, thereby,
managed to finally end the system of indirect rule introduced in the colonial era and replaced it
with village selfgovernance.134The system of inclusive resistance councils, however, had two
inherentweaknesses.First,thenewlyelectedleadersfollowedtheexistingpowerrelationsinthe
communities, meaning that the most prosperous individuals ended up on the Resistance
Committees, thereby hampering social reform.135Second, with the introduction of representative
democracy,enforcementweakened.Despitetheillsthatcharacterisedtheformersystemofindirect
rule, local chiefs ensured thatbasic administrative functions of the state were implemented; they
promoted the public good, and punished those that did not take part in keeping the community
clean, healthy, and food secure.136With the introduction of the village committees that were
democratically elected, leaders no longer enforced mechanisms to safeguard the public good for
fear of losing the newly acquired power, which led to the collapse of community measures that
previouslyensuredastateofhygieneandfoodsecurity,therebyworseningthesituationofpoverty
anddeprivation.

In 1987, Uganda embarked on a structural adjustment program to recover the economy with
supportfromIMF,theWorldBankandothermultilateralandbilateraldonors.137Theobjectives
were to restore macroeconomic stability and reduce inflation.138As a result, the confidence of
international donors in Uganda improved and, consequently, aid flows increased measurably.
DuringthefirstyearsoftheregimedomesticrevenuesremainedlowasUgandastayeddependent

130Brett,op.cit.,p.1011.

131J.Okuku,Ethnicity,StatePowerandtheDemocratisationProcessinUganda,DiscussionPaper17,
NordiskaAfrikainstitutet,Uppsala,2002,p.24.
132M.Mamdani,CitizenandSubjectContemporaryAfricaandtheLegacyofLateColonialism,Fountain
Publishers,Kampala,Uganda,2004,pp.200201.
133ibid.
134ibid.,p.215.
135ibid.,pp.215216.
136J.Kato,Appointedorelectedgrassrootsleadership:Whichismoreeffective?NewVision,retrievedon4th
June2015from:http://www.newvision.co.ug/mobile/Detail.aspx?NewsID=634146&CatID=417.
137Kuteesa,Magona,Wanyera&Wokadala,op.cit.,p.3.
138ibid.

36

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

ontheexportofcoffee,andwhencoffeeproducingstatesfailedtoagreeonpricesforcoffeeexports
in 1989, Uganda faced devastating losses in export earnings.139With the help of international
donors it was able to prevent another economic collapse.140This was when the government
adopted a stronger commitment to economic reform by introducing a strict policy to prevent the
printing of money to finance deficits, and accelerating the liberalisation of the economy.141These
reformsstartedshowingpositiveresultsaround199293(Figure6).

Figure6:GDPpercapitainUgandainUSDollars(19862012)

(Source:WorldBank)

Overall, the country benefitted from the economic policy pursued by the NRM government.
Infrastructure and service delivery improved, the country regained a situation of peace and
security,domesticproductionandrevenueincreased,andforeigninvestmentstartedtricklingback
intothecountry.However,NorthernUgandaandKaramojaexperiencedinsecurityforanothertwo
decades as a result of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency, armed banditry and cattle
rustlinginthoseregions.142

CaseStudy1PovertyInNorthernUganda

PovertylevelsinNorthernUgandaarehigherthaninotherregions.Eventhoughthecessationofconflictin
thenorthernregionhassignificantlyreducedchronicpoverty,stillnearlyhalfofUgandaschronicallypoor
liveinthenorthernregion.143

During this current government of Museveni, peace has returned to the country, but not to Northern
Uganda.NorthernUgandaisjustbeginning.WehadtheKonyWar,Lakwena,theLRA,andsoon.People
inNorthernUgandahavenothadthetimetocultivate.Peopleshomeshavebeendamaged.Peoplehave
beenkilled.144

139Byrnes,loc.cit.

140Thissituation,however,hasledtoanincreaseddependencyonaid,whichwillbediscussedinmoredetail

lateroninthisreport.
141Kreimer,Collier,Scott&Arnold,op.cit.,p.19.
142PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2013,op.cit.,pp.8283.
143DRT&CPRC,2ndChronicPovertyReport,opcit.,pp.89.
144FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.CharlesRwabukwali,ProfessorofSociology,DepartmentofSociology,School
ofSocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on19thMay2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

37


Thenorthernregionhasalwayslaggedbehindindevelopmentbecauseofwidespreadconflictandinsecurity
which lasted until recent years. As a result, development initiatives in this region were delayed. Initiatives
suchasqualityeducation,modernhealthcareandinfrastructureareonlytakingroot.Forinstance,thewhole
ofNorthernKaramojadoesnothaveanytarmacroads,whichmakesitdifficulttotransportgoodsinthearea,
and results in, among others, high food prices, therefore increasing the vulnerability of the people in this
regionevenfurther:

Karamojahasthehighestpricesofcommoditiescomparedtootherpartsofthecountrybecauseofthe
high transport costs. Compare someone travelling [from Kampala] to Kitgum who needs 35000
[UGX],145thenifyoutravelfromKitgumtoKaabongyoupayanother35000[UGX].146Soifyouhaveto
transportyourmerchandisetoKaabongyouaregoingtospendalotofmoney.Wedonothavebusesin
Kaabongbecausetheroadsareterrible.147

High commodity prices are especially problematic because of low productivity in the region. When people
were displaced fromtheir homesand placed in camps where theywere provided with shelter, clothesand
food, they started to rely on handouts and have found it difficult to go back to providing for themselves.
Kitamirikeexplains:

Because people were being concentrated [in camps] they could not produce food on their own. They
couldnotengageinanymeaningfulactivities,andsotheywerebeingfedbythegovernment,theUnited
NationsWorldFoodProgram,andotherhumanitarianorganisations.Andbecauseofthat,peoplelost
workethics.Evenwhenthewarendedpeoplegotusedtogettingeverythingforfree.Sothatisgreatly
responsibleforthelowproductivityinNorthernUganda.148

DaisyYossaagrees:

FortheNorthernpartofUgandaandformostoftheareaswhichhavebeenaffectedbywars,people
get used to that whole tendency of being given. So for them the attitude has been influenced by the
circumstance of the war. We need to continuously teach them how to fish, because that is how we
shallchange.Becauseifwearetocontinuegivingthemthefish,thentheywillthinkeverythingcomes
easy.149

Moreover, many women in these camps were raped or transacted in sex trade,150which led to a sharp
increase in HIV/AIDS prevalence, and further disabled them from leading productive lives. The decades of
insecurityhaveingeneralresultedinagreatnumberofdisabledpeopleandhouseholdsthatarewidowled
orexperienceagenerationgapduetolossoflife.

Anotherchallengethatishamperingproductivityisthehighlevelofalcoholismintheregion.151Itiscustom
toconsumelocalbrew(Kwete)evenasnutritionforchildren:

ItisculturalforthemtodrinkKwete(localbrew)andwhattheyareusedto.Itisthecheapestthing
theycanbuy.TheycanevenstaywithoutfoodandtakeKweteonlyanditsresidue.Theyevengiveitto

145Equivalentto11.00USDollars.

146ThedistancefromKampalatoKitgumis440km,whilethedistancefromKitgumtoKaabongisonly

185km.

147FHRIinterviewwithDr.SimonAkena,ProgramManager,WorldVision,Kotidodistrict,on10thJuly2014.

148FHRIinterviewwithMr.EmmanuelKitamirike,ExecutiveDirector,UgandaYouthNetwork,on5thAugust

2014.
149FHRIinterviewwithMs.DaisyYossa,ProjectOfficer,ActionforDevelopment,on23rdMay2014.
150PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2013,op.cit.,p.88.
151ibid.

38

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

thechildren.Theysurviveonit,becausetheybuyitinlargequantitiesatlowerpricescomparedtoreal
food,becauseherefoodisveryexpensive.152

Dr.Gabagayaexpressedconcernthatalcoholismisnotadequatelyaddressed:

Another issue that I find is not addressed very often is alcoholism in the region because various
development partners say that because people are hungry they end up drinking kwete [local brew]
becauseitisthecheapestthingtheycanafford.Theygiveittotheirchildren.Itsoundslikealotofthem
areactuallyaddicted.Andtheproblemisnotbeingaddressed.153

Access to (nutritious) food, therefore, remains a challenge in Karamoja. As a result, government and
development organisations have been promoting crop farming. Many areas in the region, however,
experiencedroughts,and,therefore,seemmoresuitableforlivestockfarming,thetraditionallivelihoodofthe
Karamojong:

IfyoulookatthenumberoflivestockinanarealikeKaramoja,therearemillionsoflivestock.Ifyou
costthatintermsofdollars,youwillbetalkingofbillionsofdollars.Itisamassiveresource,andhow
doweensurethisresourceislinkedtothemodernmarketstogeneratewealth?Mostofthegovernment
policymakersareputtingmuchemphasisonKaramojamovingawayfromlivestockintofarming,but
theyunderratethefactthatyearinyearouttherearemanycropfailuresinKaramoja.Theproblemwe
are facing is that the government is not giving enough resources to support livestock farming but it
givesalmostallthemoneytoexpandcropfarminginthedryarea.154

The opportunity for development thus seems to be in the development of commercial livestock farming.
However, at the moment many Karamojong still keep livestock for prestige and status rather than wealth
generation:

There have been issues here with malnutrition. Even if these people had cows, the fact is that for a
typicalKaramojongacowissomethingyouarenotsupposedtokillorsell.Itissupposedtobethereto
keep.Themoreyouhavethemoreyouarerespectedinsociety.155

Thereisthusaneedtosensitiseandtrainpeopleincommerciallivestockfarminginordertogeneratewealth
thatwilldeveloptheregion.

It should, moreover, be noted that the current regime has so far been unsuccessful in adequately
tackling corruption and political opportunism. As discussed in previous sections, these ills
developed in the 1970s and 1980s, when hard work and education were devalued, and people
instead resorted to corruption, nepotism, and even armed robbery. Years of institutionalised
conflict also led to a deterioration of trust and public participation.156These, and other factors,
continuetohampertheefficientspendingofpublicresourcesforthedevelopmentofthecountry
andalleviationofextremepoverty.

152FHRIinterviewwithMs.GloriaTumwesige(Accountant),Mr.LominoMartinHosea(FieldOfficer/Human

RightsParalegal),Ms.LokolJuliana(CommunityMobiliser),Ms.LoibokCharity(GenderOfficer),andMr.
ObuaTimothyDavid(CommunicationOfficer),AWAREUganda,Kaabongdistrict,on9thJuly2014.
153FHRIinterviewwithDr.GraceGabagaya,TechnicalAdvisor,DoctorswithAfrica(CUAMM),Kotidodistrict,
on10thJuly2014.
154FHRIinterviewwithMr.ErisLothike,OxfamGBKotidofieldoffice,Kotidodistrict,on10thJuly2014.
155FHRIinterviewwithDr.SimonAkena,ProgramManager,WorldVision,Kotidodistrict,on10thJuly2014.
156Kreimer,Collier,Scott&Arnold,op.cit.,p.8.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

39

2.5

CONCLUSION

The decades after independence, were characterised by misrule for personal gain, with violence
and civil conflict, deterioration of the economy, poor service delivery, and inadequate access to
basicneeds,suchasfood,shelter,andsecurityasaresult.Thecountrys
Ever since the end of
infrastructure collapsed and there was extensive flight of human and
colonialism there has
financialcapitaloutofthecountry.Ugandabecamelargelydependenton
been civil strife, which
donor aid as domestic revenue decreased due to the breakdown of the
has destroyed the
structures that were in
commercial sector, a shift to subsistence farming as the main form of
place. As a result, not
income generation, and the failure to create a local bourgeoisie. Poor
enough time has been
spent educating the
governanceandwidespreadviolenceledtomoraldecayandasystemof
children. The [past]
corruption, nepotism, and violence, which in turn led to fear, distrust,
leaders have been
andadeclineinparticipationinpublicaffairs.
vandalising the
country, running away

with its riches, leading


Measures taken by the different regimes to strengthen the economy at
to a deterioration of
timesresultedinmodesteconomicgrowth,buttheseeffortswereoften
the situation in the
country.
negated by a new wave of violence and bad governance. Compared to
othercountrieswithacolonialhistory,thelevelsofUgandaseconomic
- Resident District
growthlagfarbehind.Inaddition,themodesteconomicgrowthrealised
commissioner,
Namutumba
is largely a result of foreign aid flow rather than domestic revenue
creationand,therefore,doesnotindicaterealsustainabledevelopment.

In conclusion, ethnic differences and regional disparities, colonial rule, and dictatorships, explain
the underlying causes of poverty in the country and its multifaceted dimensions, including
discrimination on the basis of class, gender, ethnicity, and religion, and an environment in which
highly unequal power relations exist, leaving the poor vulnerable to exploitation. The lack of
accountability of state institutions, as seen throughout history and which is still prevalent in
Ugandatoday,onlyreinforcestheseinequitiesandvulnerabilities.

40

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

3.1

CHAPTERTHREE:
AHUMANRIGHTSBASEDAPPROACHTODEVELOPMENT
INTRODUCTION

Severalstrategiesandprogrammeshavebeendevelopedatthenationalandinternationallevelsto
address development challenges and reduce poverty.157With time, the focus of development
strategies has changed drastically. Development focus has evolved from a charity approach,
through a needs approach to a human rightsbased approach (HRBA) (Table 1). Using an age old
sayingIfyougiveamanafish,youfeedhimforaday.Ifyouteachhimhowtofish,youfeedhimfora
lifetime, the charity approach focused on providing the fish. The needsbased approached is
focusedonteachingpeoplehowtofish.Thehumanrightsbasedapproachinturnaimstoensurean
enablingenvironmentisinplacetoensurepeopleareabletofish.

Table1:Threeexistingapproachestopovertyreduction
NeedsApproach
RightsBasedApproach
CharityApproach
Focusoninputnotoutcome
Focusoninputandoutcome
Focusonprocessandoutcome
Emphasizesincreasingcharity
Emphasizesmeetingneeds
Emphasizesrealizingrights
Recognizesmoralresponsibilityof Recognizesneedsasvalidclaims
Recognizesindividualandgroup
richtowardspoor

rightsasclaimstowardlegaland
moraldutybearers
Individualsareseenasvictims
Individualsareobjectsof
Individualsandgroupsare

developmentinterventions
empoweredtoclaimtheirrights

Individualsdeserveassistance
Individualsdeserveassistance
Individualsareentitledto
assistance
Focusesonmanifestationof
Focusesonimmediatecausesof
Focusesonstructuralcausesand
problems
problems
theirmanifestations
(Source:J.KirkemannBoesen&T.Martin,ApplyingaRightsBasedApproach;AnInspirationalGuideForCivil
Society,TheDanishInstituteforHumanRights,Copenhagen,2007,p.10.)

A HRBA to development aims to integrate the norms, principles, goals, and provisions of the
international, regional, and national human rights systems into the policies and strategies of
povertyeradicationanddevelopment.158AHRBAisthusbuiltuponuniversallyrecognisedhuman
rightsthatarereinforcedbylegalobligationsunderinternational,regional,andnationallaw.159

Bymovingdevelopmentactionfromacharityorneedsdimensiontoafocusonlegalobligations,it
strengthens the accountability,and provides for welldefined targets and clearly stipulated rights
andresponsibilities:

157Forinstance:StructuralAdjustmentProgrammesandtheMillenniumDevelopmentGoalsonthe

internationallevelandtheNationalDevelopmentPlanandPovertyActionFundinUganda.
158J.KirkemannBoesen&T.Martin,ApplyingaRightsBasedApproach;AnInspirationalGuideforCivil
Society,TheDanishInstituteforHumanRights,Copenhagen,2007,p.9.
159Theserights,responsibilitiesandobligationsfollowfrominternational,regionalanddomesticlegalhuman
rightsdocuments,suchastheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRights,InternationalCovenantonSocialand
EconomicRights,theAfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRightsandtheConstitutionoftheRepublicof
Uganda.Thislegalhumanrightsframeworkandthevalueofahumanrightsbasedapproachtodevelopment
willbeexaminedindetailinChapter6.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

41

Since it is anchored on human right standards, already it defines what the dutybearer is
supposedtodo.Thenitgoesspecificallytotherightstogiveusthenormativecontentofeach
right.Whatisitthatthegovernmentshoulddointermsofensuringthattheminimumcore
content is realised? So from the point of view of strengthening accountability already these
normative standards of rights can be a basis of a checklist to see if government is actually
doingwhatitshouldbedoinginrealisationofthatright.Sofromaccountabilityperspective
differentactorscantakethatontoreallytrailandtrackittoseeifthereiscomplianceonthe
sideofgovernmentwithitsobligations,and,ifnot,useitasatooltoeitheradvocateortohold
governmenttoaccountforfailingtomeetitsobligations.Itisaverysystematicprocess.160

As the core requirements of government are stipulated in laws, it is not a matter of opinion or
charitywhichservicesshouldbeprovided,itisamatteroflegalobligationsclearlyspelledoutin
international,regionalandnationallegaldocuments:

Ithinkitisgoodtoemphasisethatrightsaredocumented.ItisnotwhatIthinkversuswhat
you think. The rights are documented commitments the state submits itself to, and in most
cases also domesticated in national laws. They do not just have status in international
instruments.Theyarealsodomesticated.Soitisjusthelpinggovernmenttoimplementwhatis
alreadyinthelaws161

AccordingtotheHRBA,everyhumanbeingisarightsholderandeveryrighthasacorresponding
dutybearer.162AHRBAfocusesonstrengtheningthecapacitiesoftherightsholderstoclaimrights
and of the dutybearers to fulfil (legal) obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the rights of the
rightsholders. The primary dutybearer is the state with all its organs and agencies that has the
overall responsibility to meet human rights obligations.163The HRBA thus puts emphasis on the
legal obligations of the state, thereby improving accountability, while at the same time
strengthening the voice of the population by accentuating their rights and responsibilities. It
represents a shift in attitude away from development as charity towards development as the
fulfilmentoflegalrightsandobligations;itrecognisesthatpovertyeradicationisnotonlyamoral
dutybutalsoalegalobligation.

TheHRBA,therefore,expectsindividualstodemandforeffectiveservicedeliveryandholdthestate
accountablewhenthestatefailstofulfilitsobligations.164TheHRBAthusrequiresthepopulationto
takeresponsibilityfordevelopment.Individualsbearresponsibilitytotheirfamily,community,and
thenation.Themorepowerfultheindividual,themoreresponsibilityheorshebearstocontribute
tocreatingasocietybasedonequity.165AccordingtotheHRBA,peoplearenotpassiverecipientsof
aidandservices,butactivesubjectsinrealisingrightsanddevelopment.

Rightsareinherententitlements;theyarenotgrantedbythestateandcannotbetakenawaybythe
state. The role of the state (and other development actors) is to create an environment that
facilitatestheenjoymentofrights andtobuildpeoplescapabilitiestoexercisetheir rights.166For

160FHRIinterviewwithMs.HildaOyella,NationalHumanRightsProgrammeOfficer,OfficeoftheHigh

CommissionerforHumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
161FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor
HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
162KirkemannBoesen&Martin,op.cit.,p.11.
163ibid.
164ibid.,p.9.
165D.Green,FromPovertytoPower,OxfamInternational,2008,p.24.
166ibid.,p.27.

42

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

instance, if the government provides for the right to education by introducing free universal
primary education, but children are kept at home to work on the land or carry out other chores,
they will not be able to exercise their right. A HRBA, therefore, focuses on the underlying
dimensions.InthescenarioontherighttoeducationaHRBAwouldaddresstherootcauseswhy
children are not attending school and create a more enabling environment for children to fully
enjoytherighttoeducation.

Integrating a HRBA into development and poverty eradication programmes will lead to a more
sustainable development approach as it institutionalises democratic processes, strengthens the
capacities of individuals and institutions, and anchors human rights entitlements into a legal and
institutionalframework.167Itthuscombinesatopdownandbottomupapproach.Severalscholars
have emphasised the importance of combining these two approaches. 168 An effective and
accountablestateisnecessarytoensureinclusiveeconomicgrowth,anexpansionofsocialservices,
peace and security, and the rule of law, among others. On the other hand, an active citizenship is
neededtoensurethatpeopletakeresponsibilityandactivelyseektorealisetheirrightsandbetter
theirlives.169

3.1.1 HumanRightsBasedApproachinUganda

The government aims to integrate a human rightsbased approach (HRBA) to development in all
policies,legislation,plansandprogrammes.170Theophilusexplainsthattheyhavestartedtraining
governmentagenciesonthehumanrightsbasedapproach:

WehadatrainingsessionwithNPA,EqualOpportunitiesCommission,UgandaHumanRights
Commissionandmanyothersthatmaybeinvolvedinthehumanrightsbasedapproachinthe
future.ItwasafterthattrainingthattheNPAtookthedecisionthattheyaregoingtousethat
methodology.171

Besidesintegrationofhumanrightsprinciplesintheplanningstage,effortshavebeenundertaken
to implement human rights principles in the monitoring of government activities. The Uganda
Human Rights Commission in partnership with government and civil society organisations is
undertaking consultations for the development of a National Human Rights Action Plan. The
NationalHumanRightsActionPlanwilltrackprogresstowardscommitmentsofgovernmentunder
internationalandregionalhumanrightslaw.

3.2

LEGALFRAMEWORK

3.2.1 InternationalLegalFramework

The key instruments relating to human development on the international level are the Universal
DeclarationofHumanRights(UDHR),theInternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCultural
Rights(ICESCR),theInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights(ICCPR),theDeclarationon
theRighttoDevelopmentandtheUNGuidingPrinciplesonExtremePovertyandHumanRights.

167UNOHCHR,FrequentlyAskedQuestionsonaHumanRightsBasedApproachtoDevelopmentCooperation,

NewYorkandGeneva,2006,p.18.

168Forinstance:Green,op.cit.;A.Sen,DevelopmentasFreedom,OxfordUniversityPress:Oxford,1999,p.18.
169Green,op.cit.,pp.12,2021.

170NationalPlanningAuthority,Vision2040,Uganda,2013,p.108.

171FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor
HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

43


TheUDHR,forinstance,providesthat:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of
himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary
social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability,
widowhood,oldageorotherlackoflivelihoodincircumstancesbeyondhiscontrol.172

ThishasbeenreaffirmedbytheICESCR:

The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate
standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing,
and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take
appropriatestepstoensuretherealizationofthisright,recognizingtothiseffecttheessential
importanceofinternationalcooperationbasedonfreeconsent.173

The UDHR and ICESCR further provide for the rights to food,174education,175health,176social
security,177and the right to work.178Article 2 of the ICESCR outlines the obligations of the States
Partieswithregardtotheserights.Itprovidesthat:

EachStatePartyundertakestotakesteps,individuallyandthroughinternationalassistance
and cooperation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available
resources,withaviewtoachievingprogressivelythefullrealisationoftherightsrecognisedin
the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of
legislativemeasures.179

General Comment 3 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights elaborates on the
natureofStatesPartiesobligationstowardsthefulfilmentoftherightsstipulatedintheICESCR.It
provides that despite the notion of progressive realisation, States Parties have certain core
obligations, such as nondiscrimination.180It further explains that where a significant number of
individuals are deprived of essential levels of rights such as essential foodstuffs, primary health
care, basic shelter and basic forms of education, States Parties will prima facie have failed to
dischargetheirobligations;unlesstheycanshowthattheyhaveusedalltheirresourcestosatisfy,
asamatterofpriority,theseminimumobligations.181

172Article25(1)oftheUniversalDeclarationonHumanRights,1948.

173Article11(1)oftheInternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,1966.
174ibid.,Article11(2).

175Article26oftheUniversalDeclarationonHumanRights,1948;andArticle13oftheInternational

CovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,1966.

176Article12oftheInternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,1966.

177Article22oftheUniversalDeclarationonHumanRights,1948;andArticle9oftheInternationalCovenant

onEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,1966.

178Article23oftheUniversalDeclarationonHumanRights,1948;andArticle6oftheInternationalCovenant

onEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,1966.

179Article2oftheInternationalCovenantonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,1966.

180CommitteeonEconomic,SocialandCulturalRights,GeneralComment3onthenatureofstatesparties

obligations,1990,paragraph1.
181ibid.,paragraph10.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Moreover,accordingtoGeneralComment3,progressiverealisationshouldbeunderstoodasstates
immediately taking steps, and allocating the maximum resources available, towards the full
realisationofeconomic,socialandcultural(ESC)rights.182ThefulfilmentofESCrightsisthusnot
expectedtoberealisedimmediately,butmaximumactiontowardsthisfulfilmentisrequired.

Internationalinstrumentsunderscoringrightsrelatedtohumandevelopmentofvulnerablegroups
aretheConventionontheEliminationofallformsofDiscriminationagainstWomen(CEDAW),the
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities(CRPD),amongothers.

TheICCPRisanimportantdocumentforhumandevelopmentbecauseitprovidesfortherightto
freedomofexpressionandcitizenparticipationbothnecessaryfortheinclusionofthevoicesof
thepoorandaccountability.Forinstance,Article19providesthat:

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to
seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either
orally,inwritingorinprint,intheformofart,orthoughanyothermediaofhischoice.183

Thisprovision,therefore,doesnotonlyprovidefortherighttoexpressonesopinionbutalsothe
righttoaccesstoinformation,necessarytomakeinformeddecisionsandholdgovernmentofficials
accountable. Article 25 of the ICCPR, in addition, provides that citizens of States Parties have the
righttotakepartintheconductofpublicaffairs.

UNDeclarationontheRighttoDevelopment,1986
In 1986, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development. It
providesthat:

The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human
personandallpeoplesareentitledtoparticipatein,contributeto,andenjoyeconomic,social,
culturalandpoliticaldevelopment,inwhichallhumanrightsandfundamentalfreedomscan
befullyrealized.184

Itputsanobligationonthestatestodevelopbothnationalandinternationaldevelopmentpolicies
for the wellbeing of all individuals and to facilitate the full realisation of the right to
development.185Itfurtherrequiresstatesto:

Ensure equality of opportunity for all in their access to basic resources, education, health
services,food,housing,employmentandthefairdistributionofincome.186

Article8alsoobligesstatestocarryouteconomicandsocialreformsasameansoferadicatingall
socialinjustices,tointeralia,ensurethatwomenplayanactiveroleinthedevelopmentprocess.187

182ibid.,paragraph2,3and9.

183Article19(2)oftheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights,1966.

184Article1(1)oftheDeclarationontheRighttoDevelopment,adoptedbytheUNGeneralAssemblyon4th

December1986(A/RES/41/128).

185ibid.,Article2(3)and4(1).
186ibid.,Article8.
187ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

45

The Declaration requires citizens both individually and collectively, to take responsibility for
development by fulfilling duties to the community. It requires citizens to promote and protect an
appropriatepolitical,socialandeconomicorderfordevelopment.188

UNGuidingPrinciplesonExtremePovertyandHumanRights,2012
In September 2012, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Guiding Principles on Extreme
Poverty and Human Rights. The Guiding Principles are intended to guide governments in policy
formulationsuchthattherightsofpersonslivinginextremepovertyarerespected,protectedand
fulfilled.189TheGuidingPrinciplesarebasedontheinternationallyagreedhumanrightsnormsand
principles.190The implementation of these principles should thus be seen in the context of states
existingobligationsunderinternationallaw.191

The Principlesprovidethatstatesshould:devise andadopta nationalpovertyreductionstrategy


basedonhumanrights;ensurethatpublicpolicyaccordsdueprioritytopersonslivinginextreme
poverty;ensurethatfacilities,goodsandservicesprovidedareaccessible,available,acceptableand
ofgoodquality;andtakeintoaccountinternationalhumanrightsobligationswhendesigningand
implementingallpolicies.192

ThesePrinciplesalsorequirenonstateactorstoadoptaclearpolicycommitmenttorespecthuman
rights by preventing and mitigating adverse industrial effects on the rights of persons living in
poverty.193

3.2.2 RegionalLegalFramework

The key instrument at the regional level is the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights
(ACHPR).TheAfricanCharterontheRightsandWelfareoftheChild(ACRWC)andtheProtocolto
the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo
Protocol)protecttherightsofthechildrenandwomenmorespecifically.

AfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRights,1981
TheACHPRprovidesfortherighttoworkunderequitableandsatisfactoryconditions,194theright
toenjoythebestattainablestateofphysicalandmentalhealth,195therighttoeducation,196andthe
right to economic, social and cultural development.197The ACHPR also bestows upon citizens the
rightstoparticipatefreelyinthegovernanceofonescountryandequalaccesstopublicservices.198

Chapter II of the ACHPR imposes responsibilities on individual citizens. It provides that every
individual shall respect and consider other individuals without discrimination; place his physical
and intellectual abilities at the service of the national community; preserve and strengthen social

188ibid.,Article2(2).

189UNOHCHR,GuidingPrinciplesonExtremePovertyandHumanRights,2012,p.4.

190Includinguniversality,indivisibility,interrelatednessandinterdependenceofallrights;humandignity;

equalityandnondiscrimination;populationparticipationandempowerment;andtransparencyand
accountability
191UNOHCHR,GuidingPrinciples,op.cit.,p.4.
192ibid.,pp.1314.
193ibid.,p.34.
194Article15oftheAfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRights,1986.
195ibid.,Article16.
196ibid.,Article17.
197ibid.,Article22.
198ibid.,Article13(1)and(2).

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

andnationalsolidarity;worktothebestofhisorherabilitiesandpaytaxesasimposedbylaw;and
preserveandstrengthenpositiveculturalvalues.

PrinciplesandGuidelinesontheImplementationofEconomic,SocialandCulturalRightsinthe
AfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRights
In2012,theAfricanCommissionadoptedthePrinciplesandGuidelinesontheImplementationof
Economic,SocialandCulturalRightsintheAfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRightstoassist
States Parties to comply with obligations under the ACHPR. The Principles and Guidelines
underscore the obligation of States Parties to guarantee the availability, adequacy, physical and
economic accessibility, and acceptability of the ESC rights as spelled out in the ACHPR.199The
PrinciplesandGuidelinesfurtherexplaintheobligationofthestatetorespect,protect,promoteand
fulfil this set of rights.200It also elaborates on the obligation to progressivelyandconstantlymove
towardsthefullrealisationofeconomic,socialandculturalrights,withintheresourcesavailabletoa
State, including regional and international aid. 201 According to the African Commission, the
obligation requires States Parties to move as expeditiously and effectively towards the full
realisationoftheserights,whichnecessitatestheimplementationofareasonableandmeasurable
plan.Statesareexpectedtoprioritisetheneedsofthemostvulnerableanddisadvantagedgroupsin
societyduringresourceallocation.

In addition to the obligation to realise these rights progressively, the Principles and Guidelines
establish obligations with immediate effect, such as the obligation to prevent retrogressive steps
anddiscriminationintheenjoymentofESCrights.202Itfurther statesthatthestatehas toensure
thatnosignificantnumberofindividualsisdeprivedoftheessentialelementsofaparticularright.
Thisobligationdoesnotdependontheavailabilityofresourcesandisnonderogable.Ifthestateis
demonstrably constrained in its financial resources, it should still take measures to provide
essential elements of ESC rights to members of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups,
prioritisingtheminallinterventions.

The Principles and Guidelines also require States Parties to integrate all rights recognised in the
ACHPR in domestic legal systems in order to secure peoples access to effective remedies and
redress under domestic law.203These remedies can be administrative or judicial, but must be
accessible, affordable and timely. The Principles and Guidelines advise courts and tribunals, in
States Parties where ESC rights are not expressly protected by the constitution, to protect the
interests and values of ESC rights through an expansive interpretation of other rights that are
providedforindomesticlaw,suchastherighttolife,securityofpersonsandhumandignity.

3.2.3 NationalLegalFramework

ThekeyinstrumentsecuringhumandevelopmentonthenationallevelistheConstitution.Theonly
ESC rights protected by the Constitutionare the rights to education, culture, a clean and healthy
environmentandeconomicrights,includingtherighttoworkundersatisfactory,safeandhealthy
conditions.204

199AfricanCommissiononHumanandPeoplesRights,PrinciplesandGuidelinesontheImplementationof

Economic,SocialandCulturalRightsintheAfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRights,adoptedon24th
October2011,pp.1011.
200ibid.,pp.1112.
201ibid.,p.12.
202ibid.,p.13.
203ibid.,pp.1415.
204Articles30,37,39and40oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

47


OtherESCrights,suchastherighttohealth,foodandwaterareincludedintheNationalObjectives
andDirectivePrinciplesofStatePolicyoftheConstitution.205Theseprinciplesareguidelinestothe
organs and agencies of the state, all citizens, organisations and other bodies and persons in the
application of theConstitution and any other law and policy decisions.206They are, therefore, not
binding provisions, although it has been argued that these principles are justiciable. In part,
because Article 8A(1) of the Constitution stipulates that Uganda shall be governed based on
principles of national interest and common good enshrined in the national objectives and directive
principles of state policy. Furthermore, Article 45 of the Constitution provides that The rights,
duties,declarationsandguaranteesrelatingtothefundamentalandotherhumanrightsandfreedoms
specifically mentioned in this Chapter shall not be regarded as excluding others not specifically
mentioned. Nevertheless, to strengthen the protection, promotion and fulfilment of all rights as
recognised under international and regional human rights law, Uganda should incorporate these
rightsintheConstitutionasclearlystipulatedandbindingprovisions.

TherighttocitizenparticipationiscoveredbyArticle38oftheConstitution.ThisArticleprovides
thateveryUgandacitizenhastherighttoparticipateintheaffairsofgovernment,individuallyor
throughhisorherrepresentativesinaccordancewiththelawandthatEveryUgandanhasaright
to participate in peaceful activities to influence the policies of government through civic
organisations.

Article17oftheConstitutionprovidesforthedutiesofeverycitizenofUganda.Itprovides,among
others,forthedutyto:respecttherightsandfreedomsofothers;protectchildrenandvulnerable
personsagainstanyformofabuse,harassmentorilltreatment;paytaxes;combatcorruptionand
misuseorwastageofpublicproperty;andcreateandprotectacleanandhealthyenvironment.

3.2.4 MonitoringandAccountabilityMechanisms

There are a number of international, regional and national monitoring and accountability
mechanismsthatoverseethecomplianceofthestateswithhumanrightsobligationsandprovide
citizenswithanopportunityforredress.

Implementation of treaties such as the ICESCR and ACHPR is monitored by committees (treaty
bodies)comprisingindependentandimpartialexpertsfromdifferentcountrieswhomonitorstate
compliance, provide authoritative interpretations of the obligations under the treaty and handle
complaints submitted by citizens of States Parties. Monitoring of state compliance is undertaken
throughdialoguebetweenthecommitteeandtheStatesParties,basedonareportsubmittedbya
State Party on the status of implementation of the treaty in a given country. Another monitoring
mechanismattheinternationallevelistheUniversalPeriodicReview(UPR)mechanism,whereby
UNmemberstatesrevieweachothershumanrightsrecords.

Monitoringofhumanrightscomplianceisfurtherconductedbyspecialrapporteurs.TheUNand
the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights appoint highly respected and
knowledgeable persons known as special rapporteurs for the purpose of monitoring a thematic
area, such as food, education, et cetera. The special rapporteurs provide authoritative
interpretationsofinternationalhumanrightsandconductcountryvisitstomonitorthecompliance
ofstateswiththerightunderinvestigation.

205ibid.,PrinciplesXXXXIIoftheNationalObjectivesandDirectivePrinciplesofStatePolicy.
206ibid.,PrincipleIoftheNationalObjectivesandDirectivePrinciplesofStatePolicy.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

At the national level, national human rights institutions primarily monitor state compliance with
internationalobligations.InUganda,theUgandaHumanRightsCommission(UHRC)ismandatedby
Article 52(1)(h) of the Constitution to monitor the compliance of government with international
treatyandconventionobligationsonhumanrights.TheUHRCwasestablishedunderArticle51(1)
of the Constitution and its functions and powers were operationalised under the Uganda Human
RightsAct,1997.207

Besidesmonitoringsystems,thereareanumberofredressmechanismsforvictimsofhumanrights
violations. For instance, as stated above, treaty bodies receive and handle complaints from
individual citizens of States Parties. Upon exhaustion of all local remedies, including the highest
appellate court, Ugandan citizens can send individual complaints to treaty bodies such as the UN
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the African Commission on Human and
Peoples Rights and the UHRC.208On the international and regional levels this system is quasi
judicial and the decision or recommendations from the treaty bodies are not legally binding, but
made in good faith. Therefore, enforcement through these individual complaints mechanisms
remains relatively weak as much depends on the good will of the state. At the national level,
however,recommendationsmadebytheUHRCarelegallybinding.

Apartfromthequasijudicialindividualcomplaintsmechanismstherearealsojudicialsystemsin
placewherehumanrightsvictimscanseekredress,suchasthenationalcourtsystem,includingthe
tribunaloftheUHRC,andtheAfricanCourtofHumanandPeoplesRights.Thedecisionsofthese
courts are binding upon the state, and, therefore, a strong enforcement mechanism increasing
accountability. However, for accountability to be effective, citizens must have the ability and
capacity to demand for their rights. A HRBA, therefore, requires capacitybuilding of the rights
holders,andespeciallythemostmarginalised,toclaimtheirrightseffectively.209

3.3

PROCESSOFAPPLYINGAHUMANRIGHTSBASEDAPPROACH

A HRBA to development does not offer a completely new and different methodology in poverty
eradication.Itonlycallsforconsciousandsystematicattentiontohumanrightsinallaspectsand
stages of policy or programme work. When applying a HRBA, the following stages should be
distinguished:(1)situationassessmentandanalysis;(2)planninganddesign;(3)implementation;
and(4)monitoringandevaluation.

To ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable are incorporated in the development agenda, a
HRBA encourages effective participation of the population in all 4 stages. Without such
participation,policiesareunlikelytobeeffective,becausethevulnerablearethemostawareofthe
pressingneedsandsituationincommunities.Kitamirikeechoesthesamesentiment:


Untilwegetcitizenstoparticipateinthepolicymakingprocesswearenotgoingtogetour
policiesright.Untilwestopthinkingforandonbehalfofthecitizenswe[will]nevergetthis

207Retrievedfrom:www.uhrc.ugon19thFebruary2015.

208Othertreatybodiesreceivingcomplaintsare:HumanRightsCommittee(CCPR),CommitteeonElimination

ofDiscriminationAgainstWomen(CEDAW),CommitteeAgainstTorture(CAT),Committeeonthe
EliminationofRacialDiscrimination(CERD),CommitteeontheRightsofPersonswithDisabilities(CRPD),
andtheCommiteeonEnforcedDisappearances(CED).Fortwotreatybodiestheindividualcomplaint
mechanismhasnotyetenteredintoforce:CommitteeonMigrantWorkers(CMW)andtheCommitteeonthe
RightsoftheChild(CRC).Retrievedfrom:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/TBPetitions/Pages/HRTBPetitions.aspxon19thFebruary2015.
209UNOHCHR,FrequentlyAskedQuestions,op.cit.,p.24.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

49

right. We must design and create a public policy process that puts what we call public
decisionmakingattheforefrontofthesepolicies.Theprisonersoruneducatedorsodonot
have their own opinions. If we continue thinking like that on behalf of the citizenry our
policieswillstillfail.210

Wasswastressestheimportanceoflocalparticipationforimprovingservicedelivery:

I think many organisations, many MDAs [Ministries, Departments and Agencies] have just
beencomingupwiththeseprojectsjustforthesakeofjustifyingthatthereisaprojectweare
goingtoimplement.Inmanycasesprobablynoteveninconsultationwiththecommunitythat
is going to benefit from this project. But now with an emphasis that there must be an
agreement between the communities that are going to benefit from the project, the local
governmentswillsitwiththesecommunitiesandsaywhatdoyouwantustodoforyou?So
thatcommunitiescantellthisiswhatwewant.Notjustimposingonthemaprojectthatisnot
going to benefit them. So I think with more emphasis on local participation within the
governance issues and a wellstreamlined process at the central government level, making
surewe knowwhoisaccountableforthesefundsorthesepublicfinancialreformsthathave
beenputinplace.Ithinkthiswillgoalongwayinimprovingtheservicedelivery.211

Mubeteraindicatestheriskofnotincludingthepeopleinthecommunities:

Thebeliefisthatifpeopledonotparticipateintheseprocessesthereisalikelihoodthattheir
community priorities are not going to be captured. If we leave it to implementation of
activitiesthatdonotaddresssuchcommunityneeds,eventuallyitleadstoincreasedlevelsof
povertybecausenowthecommunitywillhavedifferentissues,whiletheycomeandaddressan
issuethatmaynotnecessarilydirectlysolvetheirproblems.212

Developmentprocessesshouldthereforebebasedontheactive,freeandmeaningfulparticipation
of the entire population and all individuals as required by the UN Declaration on the Right to
Development.213Oyella stresses the importance of access to information as a prerequisite for
effectiveparticipation:

For you to participate you really have to have the information. You have to have the
knowledge to be able to engage meaningfully. I see the lack of information or awareness as
oneofthemaindetrimentstoeffectiveparticipation,includingaboutrights,awarenessamong
individualsonwhattheirrightsare.Thisisoneofthebigchallenges.214

210FHRIinterviewwithMr.EmmanuelKitamirike,ExecutiveDirector,UgandaYouthNetwork,on5thAugust
2014.

211FHRIinterviewwithDr.FrancisWasswa,PolicyResearchSpecialist,EconomicDevelopment,Policyand

ResearchDepartment,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.
212FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMubetera,ProgrammeCoordinator,UNNGOF,NamutumbaDistrict,on7th
August2014.
213Article2(3)oftheUNDeclarationontheRighttoDevelopment,1986.
214FHRI interview with Ms. Hilda Oyella, National Human Rights Programme Officer, Office of the High
CommissionerforHumanRights,on4thDecember2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Kabonesaidentifiessomechallengesregardingeffectiveparticipationofwomen:

Whenwearelookingatwomen,weneedtofindoutwhatisthebesttimeforthemtoattend
meetingsifyouaregoingtohaveaprogrammeforthem.Butalsowhatkindofprogramme
would they like to get involved in. On participation, yes we want both males and females to
participate, but we need to make sure that women have the information, because if you put
themonthecommittee,theinformationwillempowerthem.Theywillwanttocontribute.But
alsoaddressgenderissues.Itisveryimportant.Youmightbringthewomanandshemaynot
talk,shemaynotgetinvolvedinthediscussion,becauseifthehusbandisthere,ifothermen
are there, they cannot talk. They are not empowered enough in that particular context. In
somecasesithelpstohavewomengroupsmeetingsaloneandmalegroupsmeetings,sothat
theycanbeabletoparticipate.215

Torealise active,free andmeaningfulparticipation,itisthusimportantthatthespecificneedsof


the target group are addressed, especially those who are disadvantaged, such as persons with
disabilities(PWDs)andtheilliterate.

3.3.1 Situationassessmentandanalysis

When initiating the integration of a HRBA, it is vital to gather information and conduct a human
rightsbased assessment in order to evaluate the legal and policy framework as well as the
availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of service delivery.216The data from this
assessment should be adequately disaggregated and include the situation and views of the most
vulnerablegroupsinsociety.

Afterthisassessmentiscompleted,theHRBAconductsahumanrightsanalysis,aimingtoanswer
the following questions: (1) Who has been left behind; (2) why have they been left behind and
whichrightsareatstake;(3)whohastodosomethingaboutit;and(4)whatdotheyneedtotake
action. Theophilus explains how answering these questions facilitates the inclusiveness of
developmentactivities:

The HRBA makes you look at 4 pertinent questions. Number one, very important, who has
beenleftbehind?Thenthenextstepis:why?Whichhumanrightsareatstakehere?Thenthe
thirdonewouldbe:whoshoulddosomethingaboutit?Andatthatlevelitcouldbetherights
holderoritcanbethedutybearer.Thenfourth:whatdotheyneedtodosomethingaboutit?
Itiseasy,youcanidentify,butthenthepeopleneedtobeequippedtobeabletodowhatthey
havetodo.Sothesearethefourimportantquestionsthatthehumanrightsbasedapproach
enablesustoanswer.Sothewholeideaisthatnobodyisleftbehindwhiletheyareplanning
forthedevelopments.Whenyouareaskingthesequestionsitiseasiertobemoreinclusive,to
takeeverybodyonboard.217

1)Whohasbeenleftbehind?
Byaddressingthequestionofwhohasbeenleftbehindfirst,itensuresthattheneedsofthepeople,
especiallythemostvulnerablegroupsinsociety,areputatthecentreofthedevelopmentagenda.

215FHRIinterviewwithDr.ConsolataKabonesa,DeanSchoolofWomenandGenderStudies,Makerere

University,on12thJune2014.
216UNFPA,AHumanRightsBasedApproachtoProgramming,2010,pp.9497.
217FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor
HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

51

Theneedtoemphasisethecentralroleofpeopleinthedevelopmentplanningprocessisunderlined
byDr.MuvawalaoftheNationalPlanningAuthority:

Focusingonpeople.Thatisthevalue.Youareplanningforpeople.ThatiswhatIgetfromthe
human rightsbased approach personally, and that is what I tell my colleagues here, that
everythingwedoshouldfocusonthepeople.218

Thequestionwhohasbeenleftbehindispremisedonanumberofhumanrightsprinciples,namely
universalityandinalienabilityofrights,aswellasequalityandnondiscrimination.Theseprinciples
providethateveryoneisarightsholderbyvirtueofbeinghuman,andeveryoneisequalwithout
discrimination. Therefore, when looking at poverty eradication, every human being should enjoy
the rights to interaliafood, education, housing and health. As the HRBA prioritises the gravest
humanrightsviolationsanddiscrepancies,itrequirespoliciesandprogrammestogiveparticular
attentiontomarginalisedgroupsandtheneedsofindividualsinsuchgroups.Theophilusexplains
howthisfirstquestionensuresfocusonthesemostvulnerablegroups:

Whenyouareaskingthequestionwhohasbeenleftbehind,youknowthatyouareactually
lookingforthosewhocannotbythemselvesgetthere.Sowearereallytalkingaboutthemost
vulnerable.219

By prioritising the most vulnerable groups in society the HRBA aims to reduce inequality.
Inequality causes socioeconomic distortions in society and hampers overall economic growth.
Reducinginequalitytherefore,benefitsthecountryasawhole.

2)Whyhavetheybeenleftbehindandwhichrightsareatstake?
Oncethegroupsleftbehindareidentified,aHRBAaddressesthequestionwhythesegroupsareleft
behind and which rights are at stake. This step is called the causality analysis in which the root
causesoftheproblemareidentified(Figure7).

Theophilusexplainsasfollows:

Youhavethis3stepanalysis,identifyingtherootcausesandnotjustcontinuingtotreatthe
effects. So the human rightsbased approach sends us back to the root causes. It treats the
problemrightfromthatpoint.220

218FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th

December2014.
219FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor
HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
220ibid.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Figure7:HRBACausalityAnalysisProblemTree

(Source:UNFPA,AHumanRightsBasedApproachtoProgramming,2010,p.98)

According to a number of respondents, policies in Uganda do not stem from root causes of
problems.Forinstance,Kiryaisoftheopinionthat:

A lot of resources in Uganda are used to address the symptoms of poverty rather than the
causes.221

Kitamirikeelaboratesonthisnotion:

Here the common sickness is malaria. It comes with certain symptoms like headache, joint
pain,fever,etcetera.Now,ourtendencyistoruntothepharmacyandbuysomepainkillersfor
the aches and pains but you are not addressing the root cause of the malaria. Our
governmentcomesupwiththeseprogramsaspainkillers.Weneedtodosomethingforyoung
people. They are making a lot of noise; they are unemployed. These programs are like
painkillers. The government must be seen as doing something for the youth, but these
programswillneveraddresstherootcauseofwhythereshighunemploymentinthiscountry.
We need to go back and look at the education system. Is it designed to create young people
who are employable, who are entrepreneurs? Until we ask those questions and go back and
correctthemthereissomethingfundamentallywrongwithoursystems.222

TheHRBAcausalityanalysiswillresultintotheidentificationoftheimmediate,underlyingandroot
causes to a specific development challenge or unfulfilled right. This creates an indepth country
context to the development challenges the country faces. It identifies the gaps between the
governmentsobligationsunderthehumanrightsframeworkandtherealpractices.Thisprocess,
therefore,resultsinaclearpictureofwhatissuesneedtobeaddressedastherootoftheproblem.

One of the fundamental principles of the human rights framework is that all rights are inter
dependent,interrelatedandindivisible.Itis,therefore,necessaryduringthecausalityanalysisto

221FHRIinterviewwithMr.RichardKirya,ExecutiveDirector,SafeNeighbourhoodFoundation,Budaka

district,on8thAugust2014.
222FHRIinterviewwithMr.EmmanuelKitamirike,ExecutiveDirector,UgandaYouthNetwork,on5thAugust
2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

53

lookatthecompletesetofhumanrightsbothsocioeconomicrightsandcivilandpoliticalrights,
becausetheyareallrelatedandinfluenceeachother.Asaresult,thecausalityanalysisoftheHRBA
linkstheindividualdevelopmentchallengestoeachotherandassessestheirrelationships,thereby
ensuringaholisticapproach.Forinstance,thelackofdecisionmakingpowersofwomenisseento
leadtothecontinuedhighfertilityrates,inefficientspendingofhouseholdresources,anddomestic
violence.Therefore,ratherthanaddressingeachofthechallengesseparatelyandsuperficially,by
addressingtherootcauses,theHRBAisabletobringaboutamoresustainableandholisticsolution.
Forthistoberealised,itisimportantthatactorsacrosssectorsworktogether.

3)Whohastodosomethingaboutit?
Afterthecausality analysis,theHRBAidentifies whothekeyrightsholdersandkeydutybearers
areatalllevels,includingthehousehold,community,local,nationalandinternationallevels.223The
governmentisgenerallythemaindutybearer,butparentscan,forinstance,bedutybearersatthe
householdlevel,healthprovidersatthecommunitylevelandcivilsocietyorganisationsatthelocal,
national and international levels. For accountability purposes, it is vital for rightsholders to be
awareofwhothedutybearersarewithregardtoaparticulargoodorservice.Mubeteraexplains
thechallengeofpeoplenotbeingawareofthemandateofdifferentdutybearers:

People are not properly in touch with the role of different stakeholders for effective
accountability.Somebodymaytrytoengageasubcountychairpersonon,forinstance,aroad
thatissupposedtobedonebythecentralgovernment,orbythedistrictlocalgovernment.We
see that gap, and we are planning to have it ironed out by sensitising them on the different
roles of stakeholders. They may not know what is the mandate of the police, the LC V
Chairperson, the CAO, Chairperson LC III or Member of Parliament. We think that if people
knowthattrend,wewillbeinapositiontoengageeffectively.Theywillknowthatnowthisis
themandateoftheChairpersonLCV,sowehavetoengagehimonthis.224

After identifying the rightsholders and dutybearers at all levels, their specific roles and
responsibilitiesrelevanttothecausalityanalysisshouldbeidentified.Forinstance,rightsholders
can exercise their rights, formulate claims and seek redress. Dutybearers at the different levels
have different responsibilities. For instance, when looking at the right to education, parents have
thedutytosendtheirchildrentoschool,teachershavethedutytoprovidequalityeducation,and
theMinistryofEducationhasthedutytoprovidebuildings,materialsandanadequatecurriculum,
amongothers.Theophilusexplainstheimportanceofallcitizensbeingawareoftheirownandeach
othersrolesandresponsibilities:

Thatthirdquestionyouask:whoneedstodosomethingaboutit?Itisbothrightsholdersand
dutybearers that need to do something about the situation. So the rightsholder gets
informationonwhatitisthatgovernmentshouldbedoinginthisparticularsituation.When
youaregoingtogovernmenttodemandforyourright,it[thedemand]willbeinformedbythe
laws that you already have in the land. You are not going to ask for charity. To come back
homeandsitsothattheyprovideforyou.Sotherightsholderneedstoknowwhatisinthe
law.Sobythetimehefindsouttherighttofood,theyarenotgoingtoputfoodonthetable.
TheyareonlygoingtoteachmehowtopreservewhatIhaveplantedorteachmenewwaysof
planting.Heisnotgoingtobeaccusinggovernmentanyhow.Hewillquicklylookforwhathe
should be doing. When agricultural economists, what do they call them? Extension workers.

223UNFPA,HRBAtoProgramming,op.cit.,p.100.

224FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMubetera,ProgrammeCoordinator,NamutumbaDistrictNGOForum,on

7thAugust2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

When they too know their responsibilities as part of the dutybearers, what they should be
doingwiththepeople,theywillstudytheenvironment,seewheretherearegapsandseewhat
theyshouldbetellingthepeople.Soitisnotjustthebigshotsmovingaroundthevillage.But
youareactuallydoingsomethingconcretewiththepeopleandtellingthemthatIamhereto
teachyouhowtofishnottobringfishtoyou.Soitisbothofthemworkingtogetheranditis
not a question of accusing the other. It is putting our heads together to see how to move
forwardinthesituation.225

Thisshows,again,thattheHRBAdoesnotonlyspellouttheresponsibilitiesofthegovernmentbut
everycitizen.Yossaemphasisestheresponsibilityofeveryperson:

Whydoweexpecteverythingfromthegovernment,somethingalsoneedstobedoneonour
end.Itisaboutrightsandresponsibilities.Therightsarethere,buthowresponsibleareyou?
Governmentmaybemandatedtoprovidecertainrights:food,clothingandeducation.But,for
example,therearepeoplewhowillstudyuptoP5;themoneyisthere,everythingisthere,but
theysaynoIamtired.Iamnotinterested.Whatdoyoudoforsuchaperson?226

Theperceivedattitudeisthatpeoplelivinginpovertyaretoodependentonthegovernment,and
unableorunwillingtotakeinitiativetobettertheirlives.227WiththeHRBAemphasisingtheroleof
thepoortotakeresponsibility,itbecomesavaluabletoolin reducingthisdependencysyndrome
and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of all actors, both dutybearers and rightsholders, in
thedevelopmentprocess.

4)Whatdotheyneedtotakeaction?
After identifying the target group, challenges and root causes, and respective rightsholders and
dutybearers,thelaststepinaHRBAistoidentifythecapacitygaps.Whatdothedutybearersneed
toadequatelyperformtheirrolesandresponsibilities,andwhatdotherightsholdersneedtoclaim
theirrights?OyellaechoesthesamesentimenttalkingaboutthefourthstepintheHRBA:

Inawayitkindofemphasisestheneedforstrengtheningthecapacitiesofthedutybearersto
meet their human rights obligations, but also looking at strengthening the capacities of the
rightsholderstomakeclaimsordemands.228

The capacity gap analysis looks at different aspects including: the requirements of the existing
national legal and normative framework in which both rightsholders and dutybearers operate;
responsibility and commitment; and access to and control over human, economic and
organisationalresources.229

MbabaziandWasswaidentifyanumberofcapacitygapsofthecentralandlocalgovernments:

Thebiggestproblemwestillhaveisabsorption.Ifyoulookatmostofthebudgetsofmanyof
the MDAs [Ministries, Departments and Agencies], you will see a lot of the activities taking

225FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor
HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
226FHRIinterviewwithMs.DaisyYossa,ProjectOfficer,ActionforDevelopment(Acfode),on23rdMay2014.
227Foramoredetaileddiscussiononthis,seepar.5.2.1ofthisreport.

228FHRIinterviewwithMs.HildaOyella,NationalHumanRightsProgrammeOfficer,OfficeoftheHigh

CommissionerforHumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
229UNFPA,HRBAtoProgramming,op.cit.,p.101.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

55

place towards the end of the quarter or financial year, implying that people have sat down
withthismoneyandnowtheyearisabouttoendsotheymustshowthattheyhaveusedthe
money,otherwiseifitgoesbacktothecentretheywillnotgetitnexttime.Thatisanindicator
thatthereisaproblemwiththeservicedelivery,becausemoneyisreleasedthatshouldbeused
to deliver a service. The issue of absorption is also associated with the limited capacity of
staffinsomeofthelocalgovernments,theprocurementrelatedchallengesandbureaucracy.
Thentheotherchallengethatcomesoutisthepoorprojectfeasibilityassessment.Someof
thelocalgovernmentsarealsounderstaffed.Theydonothavetherequiredstaffandiftheydo
theyareprobablynotwelltrained.Theydonothavethenecessaryskillstoexecutetheduties.
And,ofcourse,theotherbigbottleneckthatcomesinistheinstitutionalcoordinationissue.
You find that we have different MDAs but at times duplicating a similar service, yet if they
worked in collaboration they would either save resources but also reach the intended
beneficiaries.MaybethefinalonethatIhaverecordedistheweakmonitoringsystem.We
haveanationalmonitoringandevaluationsysteminplacenowintermsofthepolicy,butthat
has not been operationalised to ensure that government programmes are effectively
implementedandmonitoredanddeliverresults.230

Muvawalaidentifiessomemoreareasforcapacitybuildingatthegovernmentlevel:

Oneofthethingsweareproposingisthatthereisaneedtorestructuregovernmenttomatch
thekindofworkwewanttodo.Thereisalotofduplicationwithingovernment.Thereisalso,
forlackofabetterword,alackoffocus,attheministeriallevel.Youhaveministerswhoare
alsomembersofParliament.Theyarefailingtodoeitherwell,becausetheyarealloverthe
place.Theyarenotfocusingenough.Thelasttwoyears,likeanybodywould,theyconcentrate
more on their constituencies than on the ministries. You can see that they are really
overburdened.So weare callingontheleadershiptototallyseparatetheexecutivefromthe
legislature. That will improve accountability and also focus. Then the other thing we are
talking about is the strengthening of the Prime Ministers office, the leader of government
business, to shave off some of the work that should not be in their reigns. For example,
implementation of special programmes should not be in the Prime Ministers office. Those
specialprogrammesinaspecialareashouldbelongtotheministriesthatareinchargeand
thedistricts.Thentheyconcentratemoreonmonitoringgovernment.Thenthereisalsoabig
problemwithplanningoftheseprojectsandprogrammes.Overtheyearswearebeginningto
lose capacity in planning. We have gotten more capacity in budgeting. So the planners in
districts and central government are just doing budgets. That causes less than satisfactory
prioritisationandfocusatthatlevel;thepolicyanalysis.Ifyouaregoingtodealwithpoverty,
thenyouranalysislevelmustbeveryhigh,becausepovertyissomethingthatismultifaceted
withdifferentdefinitionsallovertheplace.Itisverydifficulttounderstand.Ithinkthepolicy
analysiscapacityofgovernmentneedstoimprovetodealwithissuestodowithpoverty.231

230FHRIinterviewwithMs.MarionMbabazi(TechnicalOfficer),andDr.FrancisWasswa(PolicyResearch

Specialist),EconomicDevelopment,PolicyandResearchDepartment,MinistryofFinance,Planningand
EconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.
231FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th
December2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

For dutybearers to be able to fulfil their obligations it is crucial that these capacity gaps are
adequatelyaddressed.Theophilusexplainsthevalueofthiscapacitygapanalysis:

Ifyougivesomeresponsibilitytosomebodyand[he]doesnothavetheresourcestodothejob,
youcannotreallyblamehimfornotdelivering.Soitaimsalsotoidentifythegapsthereare,
eithercapacitygaps,orintermsofresources.Soyouidentifythosegapsandbegintotreatthe
problem.232

TheHRBAaimstoempowercitizensthroughcapacitybuildinginordertostrengthentheirability
to take action, claim rights and actively, freely and meaningfully participate. Yossa explains how
sensitisationcanempowerpeopletotapintoexistingopportunities:

Certainpeoplearepoorandyoumightfinditisactuallyabigpercentagebecausethey
lackaccesstoinformation.Theydonothavetheknowledge.Theydonotknowoftheexisting
opportunitiestheycantapinto.Throughourempowermentdrivesweareindicatingtothem
thoseopportunities.Wearegivingthemtheknowledgeandinformation,andweareshowing
themtheopportunitiesthattheycanactuallytapinto.233

Gabagayaechoesasimilarsentiment:

Weneedtoequipthemwiththeknowledgeandtheskillsthattheyneed.Whensomeonehas
theknowledgeandtheskills,thentheyknowIcandothisformyselftoprovideformychildren
toprovidethemwithfoodandkeepthemveryhealthy.234

Dr. Wasswa emphasises the importance of citizens being empowered to demand for quality
services:

FormeIwouldonlyuseonewordasthevalueadditionofthehumanrightsbasedapproach,
and that would be empowerment. That is what I see as the main advantage, that it would
empowerpeopletodemandwhatisduetothem,butevenbeforetheydemandtoknowthat
theyareentitledtothatserviceandtheyshouldgetthatservice.IthinknowUgandaisat
thepointwhereeveryUgandanshouldbetaskinggovernmentandsayIdonotwanttoknow
whether you have 8 million children in school, what I want is a child whom I can give this
paperandhewillbeabletoreadandwrite.WhatIwantisachildwhofinishesthisschoolwill
beabletogetadecentjob.WhatIwantisIcantakemywifetoahospitalandIcomeback
withachild.Ithinkthatiswhereweneedtobegoing.Weneedtobedemandingforaquality
service,andgovernmentshouldbeabletoprovidethatservice.Tomethatiswherethehuman
rightsapproachwouldhelpus.235

To empower the people living in poverty to effectively participate, the UNOHCHR recommends
creating specific channels for participation by the poorest and most marginalised, civic education

232FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor

HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
233FHRIinterviewwithMs.DaisyYossa,ProjectOfficer,ActionforDevelopment(Acfode),on23rdMay2014.
234FHRIinterviewwithDr.GraceGabagaya,TechnicalAdvisor,DoctorswithAfrica(CUAMM),Kotidodistrict,
on10thJuly2014.
235FHRIinterviewwithDr.FrancisWasswa,PolicyResearchSpecialist,EconomicDevelopment,Policyand
ResearchDepartment,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

57

and human rights sensitisation, and broadening alliances between state and civil society
organisations.236

3.3.2 PlanningandDesign

After the situation assessment and analysis, the planning and design stage starts. Again, it is
important to integrate the human rights principles (universality and inalienability, indivisibility,
interdependence and interrelatedness, equality and nondiscrimination, participation and
inclusion, and accountability and rule of law) and minimum standards of goods and services
intendedtobeprovided(availability,accessibility,acceptabilityandquality).

When integrating a HRBA into the planning and design stage of the development agenda,
programmesareoftendesignedaroundtheprinciplesofresultbasedmanagement.237Thismeans
that programmes are designed around specific desired results following from the situation
assessmentandanalysis.Thevalueofthisapproachisthatthedesireddevelopmentgoalsorlong
termoutcomesremaincentralintheplanningprocess.

Resultsbased management recognises different levels of results, namely output, outcomes and
impact. An output is the direct product or service that results from the completion of an activity,
suchasincreasedknowledgeofthe pooronbudget allocationintheircommunity.Anoutcomeis
theshortormediumtermeffectofanoutput,suchasastrengthenedabilityofthepoortoholdthe
government accountable on efficient spending of the budget allocated to their community. An
impactistherealisationofarightorachievementofadevelopmentgoal,suchasimprovedgoods
and service delivery in the communities. Achieving this final level of results, the desired impact,
often requires a longterm process, which necessitates longterm planning beyond individual
projectcycles.238Theophilusexplainstheprocessasfollows:

Thesystemthatwehavebeenusingistheresultbasedmanagement.Soyousay,ok,nowthis
istheproblem.Tosolvethisproblemweneedtodocapacitybuilding.WhatdoIneedforthis
activity? Then you go to the outcome. Then there is an impact. But we are now localising it
withintheraisondtre.Whyarewesetup?Whatarewedoinghere?Thisisthereasonwhy
wecame.Soattheendoftheyearwecanputitagainstthatandmeasureandseethatweare
achievingwhatwehadsetouttodo.Soyouhaveyourbaselineandtargets.Lastyearwewere
atthislevel,thisyearweareatthatlevel.Sothatisresultbasedmanagement.239

3.3.3 Implementation

During the implementation phase, the human rights principles and standards, as outlined for the
differentprojectsandactivitiesinthedesignstage,providevaluableguidanceinfulfillingrightsand
realisingthedevelopmentgoals.Oyellaexplainsthat firmly embedding aHRBAinthedesignand
planning phase enables the identification of roles and responsibilities during the implementation
stage:

236UNOHCHR,FrequentlyAskedQuestions,op.cit.,pp.2627.
237UNFPA,HRBAtoProgramming,op.cit.,p.104.
238ibid.,pp.105107.

239FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor
HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Since these are development planning frameworks that guide the implementation of
governmentprogrammes,onceitiscapturedintheframeworksitleavesnoexcuseonbehalf
ofwhoeverissupposedtobeimplementingtodowhattheyaresupposedtodo.240

The main challenge during implementation is to ensure that the principles underpinning the
analysis and design are not lost in the pragmatics of targets, time plans, indicators, reports and
budgets.Atalltimesthroughouttheimplementationphase,themainconcernshouldbetoensure
the programme is in fact addressing the target groups needs, and continues to contribute
effectively to achieving the overall longterm development goal(s). One of the main methods to
realisethisisthrougheffectivemonitoringandevaluation(M&E).241

3.3.4 MonitoringandEvaluation

DuringtheM&EstageofimplementingaHRBA,itisimportanttomonitorandevaluateprocesses,
in addition to outcomes and impact.242Processes should be monitored to ensure conformity with
human rights principles, such as accountability, participation and nondiscrimination.243This will
provide valuable information on the effectiveness of the project on a continuous basis. By
monitoring the processes, the M&E stage of a HRBA ensures that human rights principles are
integral to all activities, safeguarding cultural and gender sensitivity, access and participation for
themarginalised,etcetera.244

For any M&E process to be effective, it is vital to have concrete measurable indicators. The
indicators should be developed in accordance with human rights principles and standards. The
indicatorswillthenmeasureprogresstowardsthefullrealisationoftherightsinquestion,andhow
thesituationofthetargetpopulationhasimprovedasaresult.

When applying a HRBA three sets of human rights indicators are commonly used: structural,
process and outcome indicators. Structural indicators aim to capture the commitment of the
government to comply with its human rights obligations, such as the ratification of international
humanrightstreatiesorintroductionoflaws,policiesandadministrativemeasuresgearedtowards
the realisation of human rights.245Process indicators evaluate the activities taken by the duty
bearer(s) to implement commitments on the ground. Process indicators link the structural
indicators to the outcome indicators and assess the actual efforts taken to transform the
commitmentsintoresults.246Finally,outcomeindicatorsmeasureprogresstowardstherealisation
of human rights in relation to a specific problem, such as improved literacy rates and increased
coverageofsocialsecurity,amongothers.247

240FHRIinterviewwithMs.HildaOyella,NationalHumanRightsProgrammeOfficer,OfficeoftheHigh

CommissionerforHumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
241KirkemannBoesen&Martin,op.cit.,p.29.
242UNFPA,HRBAtoProgramming,op.cit.,p.110.
243KirkemannBoesen&Martin,op.cit.,p.31.
244ibid.
245UNOHCHR,HumanRightsIndicatorsAGuidetoMeasurementandImplementation,UnitedNations,
2012,p.34.
246ibid.,p.37.
247ibid.,pp.3738.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

59

Inclusionofgrassrootorganisationsandindividualsisrequiredwhenmeasuringtheprocessesand
outcomes in local communities and among marginalised groups of society. A HRBA therefore
promotescivicparticipationandintheM&Estage.248

3.4

CHALLENGESANDLIMITATIONS

Thehumanrightsbasedapproachisnotapanaceatoalldevelopmentproblems;itcomeswithits
own challenges and limitations. For effective integration and implementation of a HRBA to
development,itisimportanttobemindfulofitschallenges.

OneofthechallengesofaHRBAisthatforpeopletobeabletodemandrightsorholddutybearers
accountable,theyneedtobeawareoftherightsandthelaws.Thefocusgroupdiscussionsinthe
rural villages showed that people in rural areas are largely unaware of their rights, an issue that
wasaffirmedbymostcivilsocietyandcommunitybasedorganisations:

Basically,thelevelofknowledgeofhumanrightsisveryminimal,especiallyatthegrassroots
level.249

Peoplearealsoignorantofrights.Theydonotknowtheyhavecertainentitlementsorwhere
resources are, and they think public services are a favour. So they do not demand for
accountability.250

People are still stuck into thinking that government should do us a favour and construct
roads. They do not know that it is actually a legal entitlement. So because of that lack of
awareness they cannot demand. So it really affects participation of especially the most
vulnerable.251

Mubeteraexplainshowthisinterfereswithpeoplesabilitytoengagewithdutybearers:

Itistruethatnotallofthemcanauthoritativelyengage.Thereisstillthatkindoflackofself
confidence in them, not knowing that the laws that govern local government, like the
Constitution or the Local Government Act, all give the citizens the mandate to engage in
developmentprocesses.Thereisalsothatgap,peopleneedtoknowtherelevantlawsthatwill
givethemtheconfidencetoengagewithdutybearers.252

248UNFPA,HRBAtoProgramming,op.cit.,p.113.

249FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceBuluba,ExecutiveDirector,NationalCommunityofWomenLivingwith

HIV/AIDS,on23rdJune2014.
250FHRIinterviewwithMr.RichardKirya,ExecutiveDirector,SafeNeighbourhoodFoundation,Budaka
district,on8thAugust2014.
251FHRIinterviewwithMs.HildaOyella,NationalHumanRightsProgrammeOfficer,OfficeoftheHigh
CommissionerforHumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
252FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMubetera,ProgrammeCoordinator,NamutumbaDistrictNGOForum,on
7thAugust2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

This demonstrates the inability of people in rural villages to make claims and hold dutybearers
accountable.253Moreover, even in instances where people are aware of their rights, they may be
hesitanttoclaimtheirrights,asMukwayaexplains:

For instance, with our domestic workers, we have created awareness of rights among
domestic workers, and some of them know their rights. For instance, my domestic worker
attendedallthetrainingsofPLA[PlatformforLabourAction].Sheknowsherrightsandshe
canarticulatethem,butitisveryhardforhertostandupandtellme,Ihavetodothisand
this.BecauseifItoldhertogo,shewouldbeafraidthatshewouldneverfindanyoneshecould
workforthatwouldtreatherthiswell.254

AHRBAthereforenecessitatesempowermentofthepoorandvulnerableandashiftinthepower
imbalance.AccordingtoTheophilusCSOsshouldfillthevoid:

Sowewillnotknowallthelaws.Wewillnotevenknowallourrights,especiallyforsomebody
in the village. So these CSOs that are around, the communitybased organisations that are
there,thatissomethingthattheyareprofessing.Sotheykindoffillinthatgap,representthe
people. That is why they are called the civil society representatives. So it is like a
parliamentariangoingtorepresentpeopleinParliament.TheCSOsarealsorepresentingthe
people.255

In a HRBA to development, the role of civil society is crucial. However, a shift in the power
imbalanceislikelytocauseresistancefromtheexistingelite.256Itisthereforeimportanttoinclude
all citizens in this process and to ensure that the elite understand that they will benefit from a
reductionininequality.

CaseStudy2MythsandMisconceptionsAboutAHumanRightsBasedApproach

1. Humanrightsarewesternimposed
Human rights are often seen as a western construct or even as modern imperialism where the western
countriestrytoimposetheirbeliefsontotherestoftheworld.Thisis,however,amisconception.Thefirst
international human rights document, the UDHR, was the product of intensive international negotiation,
includingseveralnonWesternstates.257Furthermore,over150countrieshavevoluntarilyboundthemselves
to the ICCPR and ICESCR, and the universality of human rights was reaffirmed by a global majority in the
1993 Vienna Declaration.258The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the African Union
recogniseandreaffirmthehumanrightsdocumentedintheseinstruments.BoththeAfricanCharterandthe
African Union were not imposed on African countries by the West, but initiated by African leaders. This
shows the recognition and commitment of African leaders to the realisation of human rights. Finally, the

253Thisphenomenon,however,isnotlimitedtopeopleinruralvillages,butcanalsobeexperiencedinurban

settings.

254FHRIinterviewwithMs.GraceMukwayaLule,AssistantExecutiveDirector,PlatformforLabourAction,on

17thJuly2014.
255FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiriyaiTheophilus,DeputyRepresentative,OfficeoftheHighCommissionerfor
HumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
256J.Farrington,SustainableLivelihoods,RightsandtheNewArchitectureofAid,OverseasDevelopment
Institute,NaturalResourcePerspectives,No.69,2001,p.4.
257M.G.Johnson&J.Symonides,TheUniversalDeclarationofHumanRights:AHistoryofitsCreationand
Implementation(19481998),UNESCOPublishing,1998,pp.1970.
258ViennaDeclarationandProgrammeofAction,adoptedbytheWorldConferenceonHumanRightsin
Viennaon25June1993.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

61

ConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995has domesticated most of the rights provided for by the UDHR,


ICCPR,ICESCRandACHPR,therebyacknowledgingtheirimportanceforUgandassociety.

2. HRBAoveremphasisesrightsandneglectsconceptsofresponsibility
AcommonmisconceptionaboutaHRBAisthatitsimplementersaresimplylookingtoempowercitizensto
issueanendlesslistofdemandstotheprincipaldutybearer,thegovernment.Asexplainedinthischapter,
however, a HRBA identifies dutybearers at all levels, including the household level and seeks to create a
synergy between rightsholders and dutybearers in order for them to work together in the realisation of
humanrights.Itnotonlyempowerstherightsholders,butalsothedutybearerstostrengthentheircapacity
tocarryouttheirmandateasspelledoutbythelaw.

3. Theprinciplesofuniversalityandindivisibilitypreventtheestablishmentofprioritiesnecessaryina
contextwithlimitedresources.
Inthe1993ViennaConference,aconsensuswasreachedthatallrightsareequallyimportant,andthatall
human rights are universal, indivisible, and interdependent and interrelated.259This, however, does not
meanthatgovernmentsneedtoachievethefullrealisationofallrightsatthesametime.Inresourcelimited
settings, governments are allowed to prioritise the fundamental elements of ESC rights as long as
prioritisation reflects progressive realisation of all rights to the maximum of its available resources in
accordancewithArticle2oftheICESCR,andadheretotheprincipleofnondiscrimination.

AhighlyparticipatoryprocessposesanotherchallengetoaHRBA.Theemphasisonparticipationof
differentstakeholdersatallstagescanleadtodifficultieswhenparticipantshavedivergentviews
orideas,makingtheprocesstimeconsumingandexpensive.AnotherreasonwhyaHRBAmaybe
timeconsumingistheneedforcapacitybuildingatalllevels:

Wellit[HRBA]requiresabitoftechnicalknowledgeforyoutobeabletouseiteffectively.I
think that could be a limitation in its use. If those going out to preach about it are not
informed about it, it can be challenging for you to use it, because you have to go
systematically.Youhavetomakelinkagestothelaws.

Even though when a HRBA is effectively applied it strengthens accountability of state actors, it is
limited in strengthening accountability of nonstate actors, such as development partners and
(international) nongovernmental organisations (INGOs/NGOs). However, accountability
mechanismsfornonstateactorssuchastheINGOAccountabilityCharterdoexist.260

3.5

CONCLUSION

As this chapter has shown, a human rightsbased approach to development is not intended to
provide a completely new and different methodology to eradicate poverty. It instead calls for
conscious and systematic attention to human rights in all aspects and stages of policy or
programme work. Because it is based on internationally, regionally and domestically recognised
human rights laws and mechanisms, it strengthens accountability and provides for welldefined
targetsandclearlystipulatedrightsandresponsibilitiesofgovernmentandcitizens.

The most important documents when considering human rights violations related to poverty are
theUDHR,ICESCR,ACHPRandtheConstitution.Allthesedocumentsprovidefortherighttowork

259ibid.

260TheINGOAccountabilityCharterisacommitmentofinternationalNGOstoahighstandardof

transparency,accountabilityandeffectiveness.Retrievedfromhttp://www.ingoaccountabilitycharter.orgon
2ndFebruary2015.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

underdignifiedcircumstances,therighttohealthandhealthcare,therighttofood,261andtheright
to education. The Constitution provides for the rights to health and food only in the National
Objective and Directive Principles of State Policy, and even though these have been argued to be
justiciable,thereisaneedtoincorporatetheserightsintheConstitutionasclearlystipulatedand
bindingprovisions.Moreover,theACHPRandtheConstitutionalsoprovideforresponsibilitiesor
dutiesofcitizens,suchasrespectingotherpeoplesrightswithoutdiscrimination,payingtaxes,and
protectingandcontributingtonationaldevelopment.

For a HRBA to be successful it is crucial that throughout the design, implementation and M&E
stages the process continuously integrates human rights principles and standards to ensure
participation, nondiscrimination, accountability and availability, accessibility, acceptability of
services and goods. In addition, since the HRBA plans for the long term and requires intensive
capacity building, participatory processes and civic education, it is important for budgeting and
planningprocessestodothesame.

A HRBA adds value to the development strategy because it encourages effective participation of
everyone at all stages of the process; ensures that the needs of the people, especially the most
vulnerable are put at the centre of the development agenda; ensures a sustainable and holistic
approachtodevelopmentbyaddressingtherootcauses;decreasesthedependencysyndromeand
clarifies the roles of all citizens in the development process; and builds the capacity of the duty
bearerstotaketherequiredactionandoftherightsholderstoeffectivelyparticipateandengage
withthedutybearersinorderforsocietytomoveforwardasawhole.

261TheACHPRdoesnotexplicitlyprovidefortherighttofood.However,thedecisionbytheAfrican

CommissiononHumanandPeoplesRightsinSERACandCESCRv.Nigeriaclarifiesthattherighttofoodis
implicitlyprovidedfor,especiallythroughtheprovisionsontherighttolife,therighttohealthandtheright
todevelopment(Articles4,16and22respectively).

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63

CHAPTERFOUR:
LONGTERMDEVELOPMENTVISION

4.1

INTRODUCTION

To address development challenges and plan for the longterm development aspirations of the
country, the government introduced the Comprehensive National Development Planning
Frameworkin2007.Underthisframework,a30yearvisionwasdevelopedandlaunchedin2013
Vision2040.ThevisionoutlinedinthisdocumentisatransformedUgandansocietyfromapeasant
toamodernandprosperouscountrywithin30years.Vision2040setsforthanumberofambitious
goalsforthecountry,amongwhichisattainingofanuppermiddleincomestatusby2040(Table
2).262Vision2040alsoaimstointegrateaHRBAtodevelopmentinallpolicies,legislation,plansand
programmesofthegovernment.263

Table2:BaselineStatusandVisionTargets

No
1
2
3
4
5

6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22

Developmentindicator

Baselinestatus
(2010)
Percapitaincome
USD506
Percentageofpopulationbelowthepovertyline
24.5
Incomedistribution(GINICoefficient)
0.43
Sectoral composition of GDP Agriculture
22.4
(%)
Industry
26.4
Services
51.2
Labourforcedistributionin
Agriculture
65.6
linewithsectoralcontribution Industry
7.6
Services
26.8
%shareofnationallabourforceemployed
70.9
Manufacturedexportsasa% oftotalexports
4.2
GrossCapitalFormationas%ofGDP
24.1
Savingasa%ofGDP
14.5
ICTgoods&servicesasa%oftotalexport
0
Technology uptake and diffusion (Technology 0.24
AchievementIndex(TAI))
Publicexpenditureasa%shareofR&DtoGDP
0.1
Innovation as measured by patents registered per 3
year
Electricityconsumption(kWhpercapita)
75
%populationwithaccesstoelectricity
11
Waterconsumption(m3percapita)
26
%populationwithaccesstosafepipedwater
15
%ofstandardpavedroadstototalroadnetwork
4
%ofcargofreightonrailtototalfreight
3.5
% of population in Urban
51
plannedsettlements
Rural
0
%levelofurbanisation
13
Labour
productivity Agriculture
390
(GDPperWorkerUSD) Industry
3,550

262Vision2040,op.cit.,p.4.
263ibid.,p.108.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Target2040

USD9500
5
0.32
10.4
31.4
58.2
31
26
43
94
50
30
35
40
0.5
2.5
6,000

3,668
80
600
100
80
80
100
100
60
6,790
24,820

23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33

Services
Total
Lifeexpectancyatbirth(years)
Infantmortalityrateper1000livebirths
Maternalmortalityrateper100,000livebirths
Under5mortalityrateper1000
Childstuntingasa%ofunder5s
LiteracyRate(%)
GenderRelatedDevelopmentIndex(GDI)
Populationgrowthrate
ForestCover(%landarea)
Wetlandcover(%oftotalarea)
CorruptionPerceptionIndex
(source:Vision2040)

1,830
1,017
51.5
63
438
96
33
73
0.51
3.2
15
8
2.5

25,513
19,770
85
4
15
8
0
95
0.9
2.4
24
13
7.1

In Vision 2040, development challenges listed are: an underdeveloped private sector;


underdevelopedsecondaryandtertiaryindustries;ideologicaldisorientation;corruption;apoorly
educated and largely unskilled labour force; and a high population growth. In order to overcome
these challenges and exploit the existing opportunities, Vision 2040 identifies a number of areas
that need strengthening, including: human resource development in terms of skilling the labour
force; introduction of modern infrastructure and technologies; widened access to electricity for
increasedproductivityandindustrialisationcountrywide;strengthenedplanningforurbanisation
to relieve pressure on the available land and improve living conditions in urban centres; land
reforms in order to clarify land ownership for enhanced land utilisation and planning; and
consolidationofasecureandstablesocietyoperatingontheprinciplesofjustice,equalityandthe
ruleoflaw.

Vision 2040 pays special attention to social transformation and poverty eradication, through
actions aimed at improving health and nutrition, literacy and numeracy, housing, water and
sanitationconditions,andprovisionsofsocialprotectionforthepopulation.264

4.1.1 NationalDevelopmentPlan

To ensure effective implementation of Vision 2040, the longterm goals are broken down in five
year National Development Plans (NDP). The NDP is the successor to the Poverty Eradication
Action Plan (PEAP), and is designed and built on the achievements of PEAP 2 and PEAP 3.265
Whereas the PEAP reflected a focus on eradicating poverty, microeconomic stability, and
enhancement of human wellbeing, the NDP is growthoriented, focusing on the production of
goods and services, growth in percapita income but also enhancement of human wellbeing. The
NDP(2010/2011to2014/2015)hassevenobjectives:(a)increasehouseholdincomes;(b)enhance
thequality andavailabilityofgainful employment;(c)improvethestockandqualityofeconomic

264ibid.,p.87.

265ThePEAPwaslaunchedin1997forthepurposeofguidingpublicactiontoeradicatepovertybyproviding
aframeworkwithinwhichsectorsdevelopdetailedplans.TokeepthePEAPcurrentinthelightofchanging
circumstancesandemergingpriorities,thePEAPunderwenttworevisions,onein2000(PEAP2)anda
secondonein2004(PEAP3).Overall,thePEAPhascontributedsignificantlytothereductioninpovertyover
theperiodofitsexistence,particularlybystrengtheningthecooperationbetweentheGovernmentofUganda
anditsinternationaldevelopmentpartners,butalsothroughthepoliciesforfreeprimaryhealthand
educationandwatersupplythatwerelaunchedundertheumbrellaofthePEAP.However,thePEAPcould
havehadastrongereffecthaditnotneglectedotherpropoorareas,suchasagriculturalresearchand
developmentandfamilyplanning.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

65

andtradeinfrastructure;(d)increaseaccesstoqualitysocialservices;(e)promoteinnovationand
competitive industries; (f) harness natural resources and environment for sustainable
development;and(g)strengthengoodgovernanceandimprovehumansecurity.

However, the findings of the midterm review of the first NDP revealed shortcomings in policy
management; the implementation of agreed policies was particularly weak, dispersed and
uncoordinated while checks and balances that were anticipated through an effective monitoring
andevaluationmachinerygenerallyremainedpoorandineffective.Asaresult,theactualdelivery
ofserviceswasfarshortoftheplannedservicedelivery.266AnotherchallengeoftheNDPwasthat
itsfocuswasmainlyoneconomicgrowthratherthanhumandevelopment,therebymarginalising
governanceissues.Omaraagrees:

ThemajoremphasisintheNDPwasoneconomicgrowth.Inthataspectofeconomicgrowth,
humanrightsissuestendedtobemarginalized.267

The midterm review highlighted that the NDP had no situational analysis on concerns about
humanrightsinthecountry.Assuch,therewasnoanalysisinahumanrightscontextshowingwhat
has been done so far with respect to economic, social and cultural rights, as well as rights of
particular groups in the country. Human rights should have been one of the main tools in the
developmentoftheNDP.268OmaraexplainsthatproposalsforNDPIIaimtoremedythis:

During the review process of the NDP I, we recommended that in NDP II there should be a
change of focus that places the human being at the centre of planning/development. So the
value addition we were promoting is that if you look at the very sector for which they are
planning,theyshouldconsiderspecifichumanrightsissues,whichwemanagedtoidentifyfor
each of those sectors. If they do that, then the issues that affect individuals, especially the
marginalizedgroups,willbereflectedintheplanningprocess.Soitshouldbringforwardthe
real issues that the poor people are contending with, whether in agriculture, health or
educationandspecificinterventionstoaddressthem.269

TheNDPalsohadgapsinthesectorplanning.Thestrategiesandinterventionsformulatedunder
theNDP,thoughrelevantandgood,weretoogeneralandfailedtospecificallytargetthemajorityof
peasant farmers that are currently in a vulnerable state and can easily fail to benefit from the
planned interventions.270For instance, under investment priority areas, the NDP provides that
extension services will also be strengthened to support the farmers.271The NDP however fails to
categorise the various farmers, their needs and the necessary interventions to address the
challenges.FortheNDPtoachievethesetgoals,thereisneedtoensurethathumanrightsbased

266AnalyticalStudyonDemocraticGovernanceinUgandatoSupporttheFormulationoftheNational

DevelopmentPlanII(2015/162018/2019),p.28.
267FHRIinterviewwithMr.AliroOmara,GovernanceConsultantNDPIIandChairpersonBoardofDirectors,
HumanRightsCentreUganda,on21stNovember2014.
268JM.AliroOmara,C.Birabwa&R.Kirenga,AssessmentoftheIntegrationofFundamentalHumanRightsand
FreedomsinPlanning,Budgeting,Implementation,MonitoringandEvaluationinUgandasNational
DevelopmentPlan2010/20112014/2015,AstudycommissionbyNationalPlanningAuthority,Uganda,
2013,p.32.
269FHRIinterviewwithMr.AliroOmara,GovernanceConsultantNDPIIandChairpersonBoardofDirectors,
HumanRightsCentreUganda,on21stNovember2014.
270Omara,Birabwa&Kirenga,op.cit.,p.8.
271GovernmentofUganda,NationalDevelopmentPlan(2010/112014/15),p.75.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

principlesthatplacepeopleasrightsholdersatthecentreofdevelopmentareupheld.Thisshould
betheguidingfactorinthedevelopmentandimplementationoftheNDPII.

4.2

STRENGTHSANDWEAKNESSESOFVISION2040

Sincemanydevelopmentgoals,suchasaneducatedandskilledpopulation,amodernhighquality
healthcaresystem,ademographictransition,creationofatertiaryindustryandtheestablishment
ofgoodgovernanceamongallstateinstitutions,canonlyberealisedinthelongterm,Vision2040
becomes an important document. It provides longterm guidance on the direction the country
shouldtakeinordertoensurethatallplansandagenciesofthestatearegearedtowardsthesame
longtermdevelopmentgoals.Inaddition,theVision2040takesaholisticapproachandgoesinto
therootcausesofthecurrentchallengesandhowtheyshouldbeaddressedinordertotapintothe
existingopportunities.

This section analyses the strengths and weaknesses of Vision 2040 in relation to the following
areas: the human resource base, good governance and human rights, behaviour and attitude
change,economicequalityandprotectionofthemostvulnerable,andruraldevelopment.

4.2.1HumanResourceBase

Vision2040recognisesthatUgandahasanabundantlabourforcewithgreatpotentialbecausethe
populationislargelyyouthful.However,italsorecognisesthatthelabourforceispoorlyeducated
andinadequatelyorinappropriatelyskilled,whichcausesahighlevelofdependency.

Thedocumentspellsoutthevarious opportunitiesthecountryhasforthelargelabourforceand
theskillspeoplewillneedtotapintoopportunities.Itdetailshowthepopulationwillbeequipped
with skills,mostly through the transformation of tertiary and vocational institutions into modern
worldclass education systems with input from top universities and companies worldwide, and
improvementofpoliciesandprogrammessuchastheBusiness,TechnicalandVocationalEducation
andTraining(BTVET).272Itaimstorestructuretheeducationsystemtoemphasisepracticalskills
topreparestudentsfortheworkplace.273

Vision 2040 is largely silent on how to address the shortcomings of the primary and secondary
education systems. It mentions that the primary and secondary education systems should
emphasise character building and talent identification, but does not specify how that end will be
achieved and how challenges of quality in the primary and secondary education systems will be
addressed.274Asthisisthebasisforfurthereducationorskillingprogrammes,itiscrucialthatthe
problemsfacingtheeducationsystemareaddressedfromtheverybeginning.

In addition to improving the education and skills of the population, Vision 2040 proposes
improvementsinthehealthcaresystemandnutritionalstatusofthepopulationinordertobuilda
healthierandmoreproductivelabourforce.Toimprovethehealthofthepopulation,Vision2040
aims to shift from a facilitybased to a householdbased health care system, putting emphasis on
preventivehealthcareratherthancurativecare,whichwillreducecostsandmakethehealthcare
systemmoresustainable275Vision2040,however, doesnotaddressthechallengesinthe existing
health care facilities, which deserves simultaneous attention because some care can only be

272Vision2040,Uganda,op.cit.,pp.6869.
273ibid.,p.92.
274ibid.

275ibid.,pp.8889.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

67

provided in the facilities, and many health care centres are insufficiently equipped and staffed to
adequatelyprovidesuchcare.

Lastly,withregardtothehumanresourcebase,Vision2040recognisesthecontinuedhighfertility
rateandincidentalpopulationgrowth.ThishascausedUgandatohavetheyoungestpopulationin
the world, with almost 56 per cent below 18 years.276The young population causes a high
dependency burden as only a relatively small percentage of the population contributes to the
economy. Vision 2040 foresees a demographic transition where fertility rates will reduce
drastically, increasing the share of working age people in the population (the demographic
dividend). Even with the predicted drastic reduction in the fertility rate, Vision 2040 predicts a
doubling of the population to 61 million by 2040.277Without a reduction in the fertility rate, the
populationisexpectedtoreach93.4millionby2040.278Thiswillputimmensepressureonservices
suchaseducationandhealthcare,furthernecessitatingtheirexpansionandimprovement.

To reap the benefits of the demographic dividend, it is crucial that the government takes active
stepstoreducethefertilityrateandincreasetheabsorptivecapacityoftheeconomicsectors.The
Vision,however,insufficientlyaddressesthesetwoissues.Withregardtotheabsorptivecapacity,
Vision 2040 singles out the sectors it expects to be expanding over the years, and how skills
programmes should focus on those sectors in particular. It is, however, silent on the concrete
actionsthegovernmentwilltaketocreatemorejobsandincreasetheabsorptivecapacity.

Withrespecttoreducingthefertilityrate,strategiesspelledoutbyVision2040include:keepingall
girlsandboysofschoolgoingageinschool,withspecialemphasisonthegirlchild;ensuringthatall
students are absorbed into the job market upon completion of studies; and improving access to
quality reproductive health services. It, however, does not clarify how it aims to achieve these
ambitiousgoalsorhowitplanstoaddresstheculturalstigmaandmythsthatcontinuetoexistwith
regardtomoderncontraceptives.279

4.2.2 GoodGovernanceandHumanRights

TheVisionrecognisesthatgoodgovernanceisthebackboneofdevelopmentinordertoensurethat
the development process facilitates access to quality services and a peaceful and secure
environment.280Good governance, as explained by the Vision, requires constitutional democracy,
protectionofhumanrights,ruleoflaw,freeandfairpoliticalandelectoralprocesses,transparency
andaccountability,governmenteffectivenessandregulatoryquality,effectivecitizensparticipation
indevelopmentprocesses,andpeaceandsecurity.281

Governance
One of the methods through which the Vision aims to promote good governance is through
strengthening the oversight role of Parliament by removing ministers from Parliament.282Dr.
Muvawalaexplainstheimportanceofthisseparation:

276ibid.,p.52.
277ibid.,p.27.
278ibid.,p.88.

279Foramoredetaileddiscussiononthistopic,seepar.2.5.2ofthisreport.
280Vision2040,op.cit.,p.104.
281ibid.

282ibid.,p.18.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Youhave ministerswho arealsomembersofParliament.Theyarefailing todoeither well,


because they are all over the place. They are not focusing enough. The last two years, like
anybody would, they concentrated more on their constituencies than on the ministries. You
can see that they are really overburdened. So we are calling on the leadership to totally
separate the executive from the legislature. That will improve accountability and also
focus.283

Separation of powers will further be strengthened by reforms in the judiciary to ensure


independenceinrecruitmentandfinancing.284Forinstance,thejudgesandmagistratesatthehigh
courtandlowerlevelcourtswillbeappointedbytheJudicialServiceCommission,andtheJudicial
ServiceCommissionwillbeenabledtosetcompetitiveremunerationforjudicialofficers.285

Vision 2040 also aims to strengthen the role of the local governments to ensure that the local
communitiesdependlessonthecentralgovernmentandmoreontheirowninitiatives.TheVision
aims to transform the local governments from mere service delivery vehicles to agents of wealth
creationandlocaleconomicdevelopment.286TheVision,however,doesnotelaborateonwhatthis
will entail or how this will be achieved. To achieve this end, the local government will have to
receive a larger share of the budget and become more autonomous in order to meet the district
specificdevelopmentneeds.Effectiveandefficientspendingwillnecessitatecapacitybuildingatthe
localgovernmentlevel.

Toimprovequalityservicedelivery,Vision2040recognisestheimportantroleofefficientspending
and anticorruption actions. It aims to strengthen accountability and transparency through
strengthening of public institutions such as the Inspectorate of Government, the AntiCorruption
Court and the Directorate of Public Prosecution, among others. Public transparency will be
improved through, for instance, the strengthening of the oversight role of parliament and
encouragingpublicaccesstoinformation.287

Humanrights
Human rights mainstreaming is another core action of Vision 2040. For this purpose, the Vision
aims to incorporate the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy and Bill of
Rights as enshrined in the Constitution and regional and international human rights instruments,
andintegratethehumanrightsbasedapproachintopolicies,legislation,plansandprogrammes.288
TheVisionrecognisesthatthemainhumanrightsobligationlieswithgovernment,butthatevery
citizen has responsibilities to promote and protect rights. It further recognises that a HRBA will
strengthenthecapacityofthedutybearersatalllevelstocomplywiththeirobligations,andofthe
rightsholderstoclaimandrealisetheirrights.

To develop the capacity of the citizenry to undertake informed participation, human rights
educationwillbecarriedout.TheVisionemphasisestheimportanceofpublicparticipation,andthe

283FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th

December2014.
284Vision2040,op.cit.,p.18.
285ibid,p.109.
286ibid.,p.112.
287ibid.,pp.110111.
288ibid.,p.108.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

69

inclusion of the will of the people several times, thereby showing the importance of political and
developmentalprocessesthatarebasedontheinterestsofthepopulation.289

4.2.3 Behaviourandattitudechange

Due to the historic background of this country, there are a number of challenges with regard to
national identity, ideological orientation, productivity and integrity.290The Vision recognises this,
and extensively discusses the need for behaviour and attitude change at all levels. It states that
thereisalackofasharedUgandancultureandnationalvaluesystem.291AccordingtotheVision
this has led to ideological disorientation, it has limited unity and spirit of patriotism, and
diminishedintegrityandappreciationandvalueforthecommongood.

The Vision aims to improve work ethics, national identity, respect for others and human rights,
goodgovernance,transparencyandaccountability.Thiswillbeachievedthroughtheintroduction
of national service,292a policy on the national value system, strengthening of the rule of law, and
deliberate programmes to create a shift in thinking that will particularly target the youth. It also
promotes measures to reintroduce a spirit of togetherness that will bring people together to
discussissuesofdevelopment,securityandcleanlinessatthecommunitylevel.293

The strong emphasis on a shared national culture and identity, however important, risks
undermining the cultural diversity of the country. It is important that unity and patriotism are
achievedwhileleavingdiverseculturaltraditionsandpracticesintacttotheextentthattheydonot
harmthenationalvalues.Acompulsorynationalservice,aswellaspoliciesandprogrammesaimed
at inculcating patriotic values, may trigger resistance from the population. It will be important to
includetheentirepopulationintheprocessofdevelopinganationalvaluesysteminordertogain
acceptance.

4.2.4 Economicequalityandprotectionofthemostvulnerable

Besidesaimingtopromoteaccesstobasicneeds,suchaseducation,healthservices,food,housing
and equitable distribution of incomes among all citizens,294the Vision pays little attention to
incomeinequality.Itdoesnotrecognizethebenefitofreducingeconomicinequalityinthecountry.

The Vision does, to a limited extent, recognise the need to protect the most vulnerable and
marginalised groups in society. For instance, it aims to adopt a pension scheme for every citizen
above 65 years, as well as social protection systems for orphaned children, the disabled and
destitute. However, for a number of development areas, the Vision seems to deploy insufficient
measurestosafeguardtherightsofvulnerablegroups,includinglandreforms,urbanisationandthe
developmentoftheoilsector.

Landreforms
In order to plan for urbanisation, infrastructure development and agricultural commercialisation,
theVisionemphasisestheneedforlandreforms.Theselandreformsareaimedatclarifyingland
holdings. Therefore, all land, whether freehold, mailo, leasehold or customary, will be surveyed,

289ibid.,pp.104,107,110,111&113.
290SeeChapter2ofthisreport.
291Vision2040,op.cit.,p.95.

292Vision2040doesnotspecifywhetherthiswillbemandatoryornot.
293Vision2040,op.cit.,pp.95,107.
294ibid.,p.12.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Our proposal in Vision

demarcated and titled.295The Vision however is silent on how land 2040 is to ensure that all
land is titled, even the
rightsofthosewhodonothavetheresourcestogetalandtitlewillbe
customary owned land.
protected,orwhatwillhappentothoseunabletoobtainalandtitle.

- Dr Abel Rwendeire,
Deputy-Chairman NPA
Dr.Rwendeireexplainsthatthecostofthesurveying,demarcatingand
titlingoflandistheresponsibilityoftheindividual.Despitegovernment
planstocontrolmarketratesforsurveyingland,itishighlylikelythatthepoorwillstillnotafford
thecostoftitlingland:

The most expensive item on titling is actually surveying the land. You have to know the
boundariesoftheland,andgovernmentdoesnothavesufficientnumbersoflandsurveyors.So
youhavetoengageprivatesurveyorsandtheyasktheirfeecompetitively.Thenthecommittee
which sits, they have a small fee. But for a peasant it is not a small fee, because I think it is
about200,000[UGX].296So200,000,thenifyouhavetoengagethelandsurveyor,theamount
ofmoneythispersonwillchargeyou,andthenthelodgingofpapers.Butwethoughtthebest
thingtheycoulddoistrytoregulatethefeethatthelandsurveyorswouldcharge.297

Dr.Muvawalaconfirmsthatcostsaretoohighandthisrequiresattention:

Thatis atoughone.IdontthinkIevenknowhowwearedealingwithit.Ipersonallytitle
landandIdontthinkpoorpeoplecantitleland.Thecostoftitling200acresoflandisaround
7000USD.Thatisthecostoflandthatthispoormanneedstohave.Sothatisanareawhere
westillhaveastructuralbottleneck.Idontthinkanybodyhascomeupwithagoodideaabout
it.ActuallyIshouldnoteitandask.298

Thisshowsthenecessitytoputinplace measuresforthepoorestand mostvulnerablegroupsin


societytosafeguardtheirrighttoland.Theseareoftenpeoplewholiveonancestralland;theymay
nothaveofficiallandtitlesbutdohaverightstothatland.

Urbanisation
Urbanisationposesasimilarproblem.Whereasreformsanddevelopmentarenecessary,thepoor
andmostvulnerableareatriskofbeingleftout.Thegovernment,accordingtoVision2040,aimsto
controlurbansprawlingthroughlegislation,integratedphysicalplanningandstrictdevelopment
control.299AsDr.Rwendeireexplains,thiswillpartlyrequireupgradingurbanslums:

One is to try and upgrade the slums. We plan them physically, which has not been done
efficientlyforsometime.NowthephysicalplanningdepartmentinthatMinistry[Landsand
Urban Development] is going to be more aggressive this time around. So they have a
programmeforreplacingtheslumswithwelldevelopedsettlements.300

295Seep.122ofthisreportforadiscussionofthedifferentlandtenuresystems.
296Equivalentto60.64USDollars.

297FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th

November2014.
298FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th
December2014.
299Vision2040,op.cit.,p.82.
300FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th
November2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

71

He further explains that the people in the slums have been resistant towards this development,
becauseofalackofsensitisation:

Theproblemtheyhavebeenhavingisnotsensitizingthepeoplewhatitistheyaregoingto
do and when you try to introduce a new system they resist. So educating people and
sensitisingthemaboutthisprogrammeisveryimportant.301

It seems, however, that this is not the only weakness in the urban development plans. The other
problemisthattheupgradeofslumswillresultinmoreexpensivehousingwhichmajorityofslum
dwellerscannotafford:

Yes,itwilldefinitelybemoreexpensive,butonewouldbeinterestedtoknowthattheinterest
nowis,canwealsodevelopthoseunitsthatarewithintheincomeofthepeople,ratherthan
justputtingaunitandyoufindthattherentorthepurchaseforthosewouldbefarbeyondof
thecapacityofthepeoplewhohavebeenthere.302

Thereisthusaneedtosafeguardhousingforthepeoplelivinginurbanslumstoensuretheydonot
loseshelterandbecomehomeless.

CaseStudy3UpgradeofInformalUrbanSettlements

The NRM government, shortly after it came into power, outlined a National Human Settlement
Policy as a response to the appalling housing situation in the country. As part of the
implementation of this policy, government embarked on 2 housing projects: Namuwongo
UpgradingandLowCostHousingPilotProjectinKampalaandMaseseSelfHelpWomensProject
inJinja.303In1992,thegovernmentadoptedtheNationalShelterStrategy(NSS)whichcomprised
of the National Housing Policy and a program for the improvement of housing conditions to
ensureadequateshelterforallby2000.304In2005,theNSSwasreviewedandadraftNational
Housing Policy was prepared. Unlike the NSS, this policy specifically ensures that all Ugandans
own and have access to affordable decent housing with secure tenure in sustainable human
settlements.305

These policies have, however, suffered from low priority, weak implementation, and have only
benefitted a small proportion of urban slumdwellers, generally the more affluent.306These
challengesaretypicalofsimilarprogramsinternationally,wheretheextremepoorareunableto

301FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th

November2014.
302ibid.
303MinistryofLands,HousingandUrbanDevelopment(MoHLUD),NationalSlumUpgradingStrategyand
ActionPlan,RepublicofUganda,December2008,p.26.
304ibid.,p.27.
305ibid.,p.28.
306A.M.Brown,UgandasNewUrbanPolicy:Participation,PovertyandSustainability,paperpresentedatthe
SustainableFuturesConference,Kampala,Uganda,25th30thJune2012,p.80.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

afford the improved or new services and housing or moved to areas far from employment
opportunities,andoftenenduplivinginslumsagainshortlyafter.307Forinstance,accordingto
PaulMagimbi,planneroftheNamuwongoUpgradingandLowCostHousingProject,thisproject
benefited the medium and highincome households to whom the lowincome households sold
offtheirentitlements.308Aftersellingofftheirplots,somelowincomehouseholdsmovedfurther
into the valley, where they created a new informal settlement, while others moved to other
informal settlement elsewhere.309Similarly, the National Slum Upgrading Strategy and Action
Plan, 2008, recognizes as one of the lessons learned from past slum upgrading projects that a
common outcome was the departure of poorer sections of slum dwellers who could not afford
priceincreasescreatedbytheupgradingimprovements.310

Toaddressthechallengesinurbandevelopment,thegovernmentiscurrentlyintheprocessof
reviewingandfinalizingtheNationalHousingPolicydraftaswellastheUgandaNationalUrban
Policy. Under the National Urban Policy the government intends to put in place measures to
provideadequateandaffordablehousingbasedontherequirementsofthepopulation.311Oneof
thestrategiesunderthispolicyistoimplementtheNationalSlumUpgradingStrategyandAction
Plan,developedin2008whosegoalsistoimprovethelivingconditionsofslumresidentsliving
nthemostdepressedphysicalconditionsinUgandasurbanareasonasustainablebasisandto
preventfutureslumgrowth.312

Forasustainableimpact,itisimportantthatthesenewpoliciesareparticipatoryandpropoor.
Moreover, they should be embedded in a comprehensive urban development framework that
addresses the socioeconomic challenges of the urban poor holistically, including employment,
education,health,housingandsocialwelfare.

Genderequality
Whenlookingatvulnerablepopulations,theVisionplacesgreatemphasisonempoweringwomen
andworkingtowardsgenderequality.TheVisionproposesquitecomprehensivemeasureswhenit
comes to ensuring equal opportunity for men and women. It recognises the important role of
women in development. The government, however, will need to ensure a proactive approach
throughout the Vision period to ensure that the commendable aims are achieved, as gender
inequalityisdeeplyrootedinculturalpracticesandtraditions.

307ibid.

308Thishasmainlybeenattributedtotheincreaseinthevalueoftheland.

309A.NnaggendaMusana&D.U.Vestbro,UpgradingwithDensificationLearningfromKampala,Uganda,

GlobalJournalofEngineering,Design&Technology,GlobalInstituteforResearch&Education,Vol.2,No.1,
2013,pp.2772.
310MoLHUD,NationalSlumUpgradingStrategy,op.cit.,p.31.
311CMEConsultGroupLtd,DraftUgandaNationalUrbanPolicy,April2013,pp.3132.
312MoLHUD,NationalSlumUpgradingStrategy,op.cit.,p.35.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

73

CaseStudy4HoimaOilRefinery:DisplacementandGender

TheUgandangovernment'sdecisiontobuildarefineryinKabaaleTownshipinHoimaDistrict,
whilstpromisingsignificanteconomicbenefitsforthecountry,313hascausedthedisplacementof
7,118 people,314and most negatively impacted on women, with serious attendant risks for
impoverishmentintheregion.

Developmentinduced displacement and resettlement (DIDR) is known to heighten the risk of


impoverishment as a result of one or a combination of factors including landlessness,
joblessness, homelessness, food insecurity, loss of access to common property resources, and
community disarticulation, among others.315This is a point noted by Kamugisha of the African
InstituteforEnergyGovernance:

"[O]ne ofthe issues discussed [atthe African Mining Division conference in Lusaka]is howto
ensurethatmineralsdonotbecomeanobstacletocommunities?Andthebestwayistoensure
that the rights to land are respected. Because in most cases, companies come, working with
governments,theyexploitthemineralsandyoufindintheaffectedcommunities,thattheyare
poorerthanbefore."316

Additionally, other studies suggest that the risks associated with DIDR are not experienced
equally;womenaremorelikelytoexperienceimpoverishmentthanmen.317Thisisoftendueto
cultural practices which cause compensation payments to be made to men since they are
typicallythesolelandownersorcustodians,andthefactthatwomen,especiallyinruralareas,
tendtobemoredependentoncommonpropertyresourcesinordertoearnanincome.Belinda
KaturamuofGlobalRightsAlertexplainshowthevulnerability andimpoverishmentofwomen
hasbeenevidentamongcommunitiesdisplacedbytheHoimarefinery:

"Thegeneralnormisthatwomendonotownland,buttheyarethemainlandusers.So,where
land has been acquired and the man has signed and received the compensation, then the
womanwhowastheuseroftheland...ifherwayoflifeisdisplaced,thenhowcansheprovide
for her family? How can she afford medicine, food, and schooling for her children? ... Many
[men]runawaywiththemoney,andleavethewivesbehindwiththechildren...thewomendo
nothaveaccesstotheaccounts,tothepaperwork,sotheydonotbenefit,yetareleftwiththe
responsibilities."318

The decision of whether to accept cash compensation or resettlement rests with the property

Itwill"addvalue"tothecrudeoilbeforeitisexported,helptomakeUgandaselfsufficientinpetrol,diesel
andkerosene,offerthechanceofdirectemploymenttolocals,promotesecondaryindustrialactivities
throughtheproductionofmaterialsandchemicals,andstimulatetertiaryindustriessuchasconstructionand
maintenance.
314GlobalRightsAlert,OurLandisOurBank:GenderIssuesinUganda'sResettlementActionPlan,GlobalRights
Alert.2013,p.3.
315M.M.Cernea,Risks,safeguardsandreconstruction:amodelforpopulationdisplacementandresettlement,
EconomicandPoliticalWeekly,2000,pp.36593678.
316FHRIinterviewwithMr.DickensKamugisha,ChiefExecutiveOfficeroftheAfricanInstituteforEnergy
Governance,on27thNovember2014.
317J.Stanley,Developmentinduceddisplacementandresettlement.ForcedMigration,2004.
318FHRIinterviewwithMs.BelindaKaturamu,LegalOfficerofGlobalRightsAlert,on28thNovember2014.
313

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

and landowner, which istypicallytheman. Asaresult ofthis,and sociocultural norms which


make women feel "vulnerableregardingthelackofvoiceanddecisionmakingpowerathome",319
theirinfluenceovertheultimatedecisionmadeisoftenmarginal.Thevastmajorityofthe2,473
propertyownersorcustodiansintherefineryareaoptedforcashcompensation.320Asaresult,
women who have subsequently been displaced and have not benefited from the compensation
provided to men have been left without a home and without access to land. As the livelihood
strategy for most women in this area consists of farming, this adversely affects their ability to
generateincomeandmeettheirfamily'sbasicneeds.AswarnedinareportfromGlobalRights
Alert on this issue, "ifnotdonewithgreatcare,womenandchildren,whoarethemostvulnerable
insociety,disproportionatelybearthebruntofthepovertyandinjusticeoccasionedbysuchlarge
scaleresettlements."321

ThoughwomeninUgandaarenotexpresslyprohibitedfromowninglandandproperty,theyface
significant barriers due to cultural tenure systems which favour men.322For instance, whilst
Article 27 of Uganda's Succession Act entitles the widow to 15% of her husband's estate,
irrespectiveofawill,thisisoftennotknownoradheredtoinruralcommunities.Instead,under
customary practices, the land and property is administered to the closest male heir, as
determinedbytheheadofthefamilyoracommunityleader.Thissituationiscompoundedfor
many women in rural areas by the fact that couples are frequently not officially registered as
legally married. Since most Resettlement Action Plans (RAP), including that for the Hoima
refinery,directcompensationpackagestowardsthecustomaryownerofthelandandproperty
this results in an exclusion of women from the process. A 2004 amendment to the Land Act
makes spousal consent a requirement for the transaction of family land, which is a sign of
progress.323However,inpracticethisprovisionisfrequentlynotenforced.AsKaturamudetails,
evengovernmentofficialshandlingcompensationpackagesintheHoimarefineryareaoften"do
nottakespousalconsentortherightsofthespouseintoconsiderationwherethereisproperty
ownership".324

Furthermore, whilst the RAP contains several laudable gendersensitive provisions,325public


consultations and meetings have often not sufficiently addressed the specific needs of women,
namelytheirlowliteracylevels,theirchildcareresponsibilities,andtheirproductiverolesinthe
household.326This has limited their access to information, including what their rights are, and
thusleavestheminaweakerpositiontomeaningfullyparticipateindecisionmakingandclaim
theirrights.Nonetheless,evenwithensuringthatwomenhavegreateraccesstoinformation,are
includedinthedecisionmakingprocess,andareprotectedbylaw,socioculturalnormsstillplay
ahugelysignificantpartindisempoweringwomenwithregardtolandandcompensationissues,
marginalizingthemfromexpressingtheirconcernsandclaimingtheirrights.Suchnormsmust
bechallengedifwomenarenottobevulnerabletoimpoverishmentresultingfromDIDR.

319GlobalRightsAlert,op.cit.,p.21.

F.Nalubega,Governmentsecureslandforrefineryresidents,OilinUganda,12thMarch2014.Accessible
at:http://www.oilinuganda.org/features/land/governmentsecureslandforrefineryresidents.html
321GlobalRightsAlert,op.cit.,p.4.
322P.Lewis,Uganda:TheFightforWomen'sLandRights,ThinkAfricaPress,20thNovember2012.Accessible
at:http://thinkafricapress.com/uganda/womensfightlandrights.
323Land(Amendment)Act,2004.
324FHRIinterviewwithMs.BelindaKaturamu,LegalOfficerofGlobalRightsAlert,on28thNovember2014.
325GendersensitivityisoneoftheprinciplesonwhichtheRAPrests.TheRAPfurthercontainsasectionon
supporttovulnerablepeople,includingwomen,whichhighlightsanumberofaspectsthatneedtobe
addressedsuchascompensationstrategiesandminimizingpossiblenegativeeffectsofcashcompensationfor
womenandchildren.
326GlobalRightsAlert,op.cit.,p.22.
320

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

75

5.2.5 Ruraldevelopment

TheVision2040extensivelyaddressesurbandevelopmentandplanning,however,itdoesnotseem
to have a concrete action plan for rural development, even though that is where 80% of the
population,andthemajorityofthepoor,reside.Omararemarksthat:

Thehousingsysteminthiscountry,thepoliciesonhousing,concentrateonurbandwellings.It
ignoresthecountryside.Itispossibletohavehousingstandards.Evenifeverybodyusesgrass
thatchedhouses,itisstillpossibletoinsistonsubstandardsforahomestead.Whatisrequired
in a homestead can very easily be enforced. That is the way they used to enforce it in the
60s.327

The only provision the Vision 2040 makes for rural development is the rural electrification
programmeandtheprovisionofsafepipedwaterandmoderntoiletfacilities.328Forthispurpose
thegovernment,accordingtoVision2040,willpromoteplannedmovementofpeoplefromscattered
ruraltoplannedsettlementstoeasedeliveryofutilitiesandotherservices.329Therefore, rather than
lookingathowtobringqualityservicesandgoodsclosertothepeople,theapproachtakeninthe
Vision is to bring people closer to the services. Developing planned settlements and moving the
almost30millionpeopleinruralareastothesesettlementsmaynotberealisableovertheVision
period,ifatall.Peoplewhohavelivedonthesameancestrallandforgenerationsarelikelytoresist
movement to planned settlements, especially when they are dependent on the land for their
survival.Thegovernmentshouldthusnotonlylookhowitcanpromotesettlementwhereservices
are,butalsocontinuetoincreaseaccesstoqualityservices,housingandinfrastructurefortherural
communities.

4.3

CONCLUSION

Vision2040isacomprehensivedocumentthatprovidesausefulguidelineforlongtermplanning
purposes.Thestrengthofthisdocumentisthatittakesaholisticapproachandgoesintotheroot
causesofcurrentdevelopmentchallengesinthecountrythatneedtobeaddressedinordertotap
intotheexistingopportunities.

Certain areas, however, are inadequately addressed in the Vision and require further attention.
Mostnotably,theVisioninsufficientlysafeguardsthemostvulnerablegroupsinsociety,especially
withregardtotheplantotitleallland.TheVisionissilentonhowitwillprotectthelandrightsof
thosewhodonothavetheresourcestoobtainalandtitle.Eventheurbanpoorriskbeingleftoutof
thedevelopmentprocess,asplanstoupgradeurbanslumswillincreasethecostofliving,whichthe

poorestofthepoormaynotbeabletoafford.

327FHRIinterviewwithMr.AliroOmara,GovernanceConsultantNDPIIandChairpersonBoardofDirectors,

HumanRightsCentreUganda,on21stNovember2014.
328Vision2040,op.cit.,p.94.
329ibid.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

5.1

CHAPTERFIVE:
DEVELOPMENTEFFORTSANDCHALLENGESINUGANDA
INTRODUCTION

Internalandexternalfactorsareresponsiblefortheslowdevelopmentofthecountry.Throughout
history,inequalityandethnicorreligioustensionshaveaffectedtheattitudeofboththepopulation
andthegovernmentandcreatedasituationofinefficiency,corruptionandnepotism.Themodest
economicgrowththathastakenplacebenefittedtherich,whilethepoorwereleftbehind.

Overthepast26years,theGovernmentofUgandahaschampionedanumberofpovertyreduction
initiativesandprogrammes.Acentralaspectofeffortstoreduceandeventuallyeradicatepoverty
layinimprovingservicedelivery,whichhadbrokendownnearlycompletelyby1986.Researchhas
shown that great strides have been made in both the fight against poverty and in empowering
ordinarypeople,butthatsignificantshortcomingsremain.330

Thischapterexaminesdeprivationsofthepoorinlightofthecurrentsociocultural,economicand
political environment. It analyses the extent to which policies that aim to address these
deprivationshavebeensuccessful,andwheregapsremain.

5.2

SOCIOCULTURALENVIRONMENT

Sociocultural factors of poverty are those related to the beliefs, customs and behaviour of the
population, as well as living conditions. The sociocultural environment also entails the level of
socialservicedelivery,suchaseducationandhealthcare.

5.2.1 Mindsetandbehaviour

Thedeteriorationofethics,normsandvaluesinthecolonialandpostindependenceerasadversely
affected development. 331 The mindset and behaviour patterns of the poor, the elite and
governmentofficials,continuetoimpactondevelopment.

Itiswidelyassertedthatthepoorarepartiallyresponsiblefortheirsituationofpoverty.Laziness,
dependenceongovernment,andafailuretoworkhardandseizeopportunitiesaresomeoftheills
the poor are commonly accused of. It is, however, unfair to hold a poor person responsible for
mindsetandbehaviourpatternsthathavebeenshapedsincecolonialism,andparticularlybythose
involvedinpolitics,whoweretheelitesratherthanthepoor.

Aslongaspeopleexperiencethatcorruption,clientelismandnepotism,amongotherillsinsociety,
pay off, this attitude will not improve. The low levels of accountability in the country can in part
explainthepoorattitudeandbehaviour.Prof.Rwabukwaliarguesthatthedisregardforethicsand
moralsatthelowerlevelisamirrorofthecountrysleadership:

These days somebody cultivates in a wetland, knows it is going to cause trouble. Somebody
askswhyareyouworkinginawetland,hewillturnaroundandsaywhoareyou?Thisismy
land. There is a lot of impunity. It partly comes from the top. If you look at the biggest

330DRT&CPRC,The2ndChronicPovertyReport,op.cit.,p.26.
331Seeparagraphs2.3and2.4ofthisreport.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

77

exploitersofwetland,themajorityaregovernmentofficials.Theygoanddrainbigchunksof
wetland,andthesmallerpeoplealsosayhey,thiscanbedone.Ifaministercancuttreesand
growcoffee,whyshouldwecare?332

Another reason often given for the low productivity and laziness among Ugandans is that
Ugandansdonothavetoworkhardtosurviveduetotheclimate,naturalendowmentandculture
inthecountry.Mugenyiexplainsthisasfollows:

Somepeoplesaybecauseofourweatherandthenaturalendowmentwearelazy.Ifitwasin
Europeandyouknowitisgoingtofreezeupto2[C],ifyouhavenotpaidyourelectricitybills
thenyouaregoingtodie.Buthereyoucansurvive.Youcanhaveabananaplantationwithout
owningit,butyougettoeatfromthere.Youharvestsomething.Insomeareasyoufindpassion
fruits.Youdidnotgrowthem,butyoucanharvest.333

Dr.Khamalwaelaboratesonthis:

Peoplearelazybecauseyoudonothavetoworkhardtosurvive.TodayIcanwalktoLake
Victoria.IfIcannotfishIcanstillpickthedeadfish,eatandsurvive.Compared,forinstance,to
Kenya,ifyouhave1000UgandanshillingsyoucanhaveamealinKampala.InNairobithatis
notevenacupoftea.Therefore,youfindthatKenyansworkharderbecausetheenvironment
ismorehostile.Sotheoverdependenceherecomesfromthefactthatyougrowupwith the
notionthatthereisaway.Youcanjustgotoyourunclesorauntiesplaceandeat.Withthe
Kikuyu [Kenyan tribe], once you reach the age of 14 if your brother pays fees for you it is a
loan. In Uganda it is his obligation. So I think the solution to poverty in Uganda is not in
economics.Itisinanthropology.334

The low productivity has also been attributed to modern temptations, including sports betting,
gaminganddrinking:

Itisadifferenttimewelivein.Thesearepeoplewhoonlyhave1pairoftrousers,1shirtand
are not paying school fees for their children, but they can find money for gaming, watching
football,anddrinking.WhenIgotothevillage,theyaskwhatIamgoingtobuyforthem,andI
sayIllbuyyousomejuice.Theylaughwedontdrinkjuice,wedrinkChairmans(itisabeer
called Chairmans). These villagers drink so much. Then afterwards they say give me 500
UGX335wearepoor.Soitisreallynotalackofmoney,itisthewholelifestyle.336

332FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.CharlesRwabukwali,ProfessorofSociology,DepartmentofSociology,School

ofSocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on19thMay2014.
333FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMugenyi,Ag.AssistantCommissioner,PolicyandPlanning,Ministryof
PublicService,on24thOctober2014.
334FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.WotsunaKhamalwa,ProfessorofAnthropology,CollegeofHumanitiesand
SocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on14thJuly2014.
335Equivalentto0.15USDollars.
336FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.CharlesRwabukwali,ProfessorofSociology,DepartmentofSociology,School
ofSocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on19thMay2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Mageroconcurs:
Mageroconcurs:

If you go to town here now you find people in sports betting, they are there putting 1,000
If you
go to town here now you find people in sports betting, they are there putting 1,000
thinking they would get millions of money. That is now a better opportunity than
[UGX]337
[UGX]337thinking they would get millions of money. That is now a better opportunity than
goingtothegardenorgoingtodosomeworkwhichwillactuallybringmoneythatyouhave
goingtothegardenorgoingtodosomeworkwhichwillactuallybringmoneythatyouhave
sweatedfor.Sowheretheyseeanopportunityyoudonothavetoworkhardfor,thatiswhere
sweatedfor.Sowheretheyseeanopportunityyoudonothavetoworkhardfor,thatiswhere

theywanttogo.338
theywanttogo.338

MonitorPublicationsLtd
MonitorPublicationsLtd

YouthengaginginsportsbettinginMoroto
YouthengaginginsportsbettinginMoroto

Anotherfactorthathascontributedtolowproductivityanddependencehasbeenthefocusofnon
Anotherfactorthathascontributedtolowproductivityanddependencehasbeenthefocusofnon
governmental organisations (NGOs) and multilateral aid organisations.339Until recently, the
governmental organisations (NGOs) and multilateral aid organisations.339Until recently, the
approachofNGOsandmultilateralaidorganisationswasbasedoncharitywithlittletonotransfer
approachofNGOsandmultilateralaidorganisationswasbasedoncharitywithlittletonotransfer
ofknowledgeandskills.Manyorganisationsprovidedassistanceintheformofrelief,byproviding,
ofknowledgeandskills.Manyorganisationsprovidedassistanceintheformofrelief,byproviding,
for instance, food, clothing, shelter and medicine. However, over time people became used to the
for instance, food, clothing, shelter and medicine. However, over time people became used to the
reliefassistance,whichresultedinadependencysyndrome:
reliefassistance,whichresultedinadependencysyndrome:

What happened was that people were collected in camps Internally Displaced Peoples
What happened was that people were collected in camps Internally Displaced Peoples
camps.Theywerefed.Essentiallythegovernmentwenttothecountrysideandcollectedpeople
camps.Theywerefed.Essentiallythegovernmentwenttothecountrysideandcollectedpeople
andbroughtthemintocampsinurbancentres.Becausepeoplewerebeingconcentratedthey
andbroughtthemintocampsinurbancentres.Becausepeoplewerebeingconcentratedthey
couldntproducefoodontheirown,couldntengageinanymeaningfulactivities,andsothey
couldntproducefoodontheirown,couldntengageinanymeaningfulactivities,andsothey

337
Equivalentto0.30USDollars.
337Equivalentto0.30USDollars.
338FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMagero,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4th
338FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMagero,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4th

August2014.
August2014.
339ExamplesofmultilateralaidorganisationsaretheUnitedNations,WorldBankandInternationalMonetary
339ExamplesofmultilateralaidorganisationsaretheUnitedNations,WorldBankandInternationalMonetary
Fund.
Fund.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

79

were being fed by the government, the United Nations World Food program, and other
humanitarianorganizations.Andbecauseofthatpeoplelostworkethics.Evenwhenthewar
endedpeoplewereusedtoreceivingfreethings.Thispartlyexplainsthepoorproductivityin
NorthernUganda.340

Omanyi asserts that as WFP, they have been blamed for fostering the dependency syndrome in
NorthernUganda,resultinginachangeofstrategy:

WFP has been blamed in the past for increasing the dependency syndrome among the
communities. So we decided to change the approach. Currently we are more focused on
assistance rather than relief. For instance now we are giving out food based on conditions
ratherthanprovidingfreefood.Wetrytoreducefosteringdependencybyrequiringworkor
certainbehaviour(healthcareseekingbehaviourforexample) beforepeoplearegivenfood.
So we are carrying out both humanitarian and development work. We categorise the
populationintothreedifferentcategories:thesevereandmoderatefoodinsecureandthefood
secure.Weusethiscategorisationtotargettheextremevulnerable.Theseareprovidedwith
50%foodrationoftheminimumcaloricrequirement.Weonlyprovide50%becausethereare
other mechanisms they should use to fill the gap. The moderate food insecure receive a
differentpackage.Weprovidethemwithfoodforlabour.Welookatwhatthecommunitycan
do to increase production, increase food security and livelihood through water harvest et
cetera,leadingtoanincreaseinincomeatthehouseholdlevel.341

BaziweacknowledgesthetransformationprocessthatNGOshavehadtoundergo:

As NGOs we have transformed from engaging at a national level to ensuring citizen


participation at the lowest level. We are saying who are the people that we are actually
fighting for?Who are the people that we want the government to see? So some of the NGOs
havechangedtheirapproachandtheyarelookingmoreatempoweringthepeopletobeable
todemandtheirrightsandthatalsocomeswithknowingtheirrolesandresponsibilities.342

Baatomagreesthatprojectsbasedonhandoutsoftendonotrealisethedesiredresults:

Youfindthatafterskillingthemandsupportingthemwithstartingaproject,oncethedistrict
handsitover,itstopsthere.Ifitisapartner,andtheyhanditovertothecommunity,itstops
there.Theydonotproceedtosupportit,becausetheyknowthatattheendofthedayifthey
cryoutthatthereisaproblem,thatthereishunger,theywillstillbesupported.Ithinkco
fundingwouldbebettersothatthey[thecommunity]feelliketheyhavecontributedtoit.343

It is also a matter of perspective. For the educated and wealthy it may seem clear that the poor
simplyneedtoworkharderorspendmoneymorewiselysotheycansubstantiallyimprovetheir
lives. However, the poor are often seen to be much more sceptical about opportunities and the

340FHRIinterviewwithMr.EmmanuelKitamirike,ExecutiveDirector,UgandaYouthNetwork,on5thAugust

2014.
341FHRIinterviewwithCatherineGimonoOmanyi,ProgrammeOfficer/HeadofSubOfficeKaabong,
UnitedNationsWorldFoodProgramme,on9thJuly2014.
342FHRIinterviewwithMs.DorothyBaziwe,ExecutiveDirector,ShelterandSettlementsAlternatives:Uganda
HumanSettlementsNetwork,on5thJune2014.
343FHRIinterviewwithMr.BaatomBen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Kaabongdistrict,on8th
July2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

possibilitytosignificantlyimprovetheirlives.344Theywouldratherspendtheirmoneyandtimeon
activities that make their lives more pleasant. To realise a mindset change, it is important to
understand the thinking behind the choices of the poor and the social context in which they
act.345For instance, during a focus group discussion, the women in Bukatu village, Bugiri district,
arguedthatlackofadequatefoodleftthemdevoidofenergytochangetheirsituation,becausethey
always felt too tired.346They wanted someone to come to their village to provide them with the
necessaryskillstogenerateincomeandensurethattheyhaveadequatefood.

Oncetheneedsofthepoorareassessed,atransferofknowledge,informationandskillstothepoor
iskey.Thiswillfostercitizenempowermentandsustainabledevelopment.Nimunguaffirmsthis:

Itisokaytothinkof,youknowthemoneyandsettingupincomegeneratingactivities,butif
youdoitwithouttransformingthemind,theattitude,theskills,youcanbesureitwillonlylast
foraslongastheprojectisthere.Beyondtheprojectperiodpeoplewillrevertbacktotheirold
traditions.347

Empowerment,however,cannotberealisedovernight:

An irrigation scheme, Mahadra, was introduced. A demonstration farm had been put up,
however the challenge was how to maintain that place where the farm was put up. The
problemwasnotthatpeoplewerenotwillingtocontinuewiththeproject.Rather,theproject
ended prematurely. So the problem is that some of these programmes are not sustainable
mainlybecauseofthefunding,especiallyifthecontractisforoneyear.348

Yossaaffirmsthis,andfurthernotesthat:

Ifwearetorealizeanychangeinthiscountry,especiallyinthefightagainstpoverty,weneed
interventionsthatarecontinuous.Forinstance,whenitcomestoattitudinalchange,itisnot
something that happens overnight. I think we should stop giving them the fish. However
much they like getting the fish every day, we need to continuously teach them how to fish,
becausethatishowweshallchange.349

As soon as the poor realise that a change in behaviour can help create more opportunities and
better their lives, it is more likely that they will become motivated to change. Many development
partners and communitybased organisations have witnessed change in communities through
demonstrationsandtheuseofrolemodels.Forinstance,theUgandaRedCrossinKotidodistrict,
illustratedhowexposuregoesalongwayinrealisinglastingchange:

344A.V.Banerjee&E.Duflo,PoorEconomicsAradicalrethinkingofthewaytofightglobalpoverty,Public

Affairs,NewYork,2011,p.38.

345J.C.Munene,S.H.Schwartz&G.M.Kibanja,EscapingfromBehaviouralPovertyinUgandaTheRoleof

CultureandSocialCapital,FountainPublishers:Kampala,2005,p.27.
346FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithwomeninBukatuvillage,Bugiridistricton5thAugust2014.
347FHRIinterviewwithMr.AlfredDukuNimungu,AdvisorLivelihood&EducationforYouthEmpowerment,
SavetheChildren,on19thJune2014.
348FHRIinterviewwithMs.GloriaTumwesige(Accountant),Mr.LominoMartinHosea(FieldOfficer/Human
RightsParalegal),Ms.LokolJuliana(CommunityMobiliser),Ms.LoibokCharity(GenderOfficer),andMr.
ObuaTimothyDavid(CommunicationOfficer),AWAREUganda,Kaabongdistrict,on9thJuly2014.
349FHRIinterviewwithMs.DaisyYossa,ProjectOfficer,ActionforDevelopment(Acfode),on23rdMay2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

81

What we have also tried to introduce is exposure. You know there are some areas that I
identifyasexchangevisits.Wecarrythemfromonesubcountytoanotherone.Thensomeof
them,thegroupleaders,wereallyhadtotakethemoutsideKaramoja,toseehowthingsare
donedifferentlysomewhereelse,andtheyhavechanged.LikeinLoyolowehavesomegroups,
ifyouseewhattheyaredoingnowitisbecauseofwhattheylearnedfromsomewhereelse.We
tookthemtoLiraandWesternUganda.Theycamebackandarenowsavingmoney,theyare
startingtokeepbees,andgrowingvegetablealongthewaterponds.350

Dr. Kasirye underscores the importance of providing the poor with practical examples of how
thingscanbedonedifferently:

TheyneedademonstrationfarmratherthananagriculturalspecialistcomingfromKampala
to take them through the cycle of production with nice pictures, but with relatively little
handsonexperience.351

Gonzagaexplainshowtheyuserolemodelsaspracticalexamples:

We,asHungerFreeWorld,wetrytocreatemodels,becausethecommunitieswanttoseefirst
beforetheyact.Ifyoujusttellthem,youdothis,withoutanexample,arealphysicalexample,
they take it up only marginally, but we try to make models within the communities where
thesepeoplecangoandimitatefrom;sosomethingpractical,somethingdemonstrational.352

Dr. Muvawala explains that the leadership of the country is an important role model for this
purpose:

It is the leadership to address it, lead by example, because Ugandans imitate a lot. If your
villagehasonemodel,thatvillagewillchange.LookatWesternUganda.Ithaschangedthe
povertylandscapeinWesternUgandajustbyexampleofthePresidenthimself.Aslongas
thereiscorruptionandnepotismamongtheleadership,whywouldthepeopleinthevillages
behave differently? Most of the time they imitate the way we live. So it is also up to us to
showtherightexample.Itisnotsomuchaboutthemoney,theexamplesarealsolackingin
thiscountry.353

Theleadershipofthecountryshould,therefore,demonstratetothepoorhowtoovercomepoverty.
Inadditiontoprovidingthepoorwithpracticaldemonstrationsandrolemodels,behaviourcould
be regulated through the enactment and enforcement of bylaws. Prof. Rwabukwali explains how
bylawswereusedinthepast:

Where I grew up people used to have a lot of food. For example, there was a bylaw that
everyonemusthave2acresofcassava;everyfamilymusthavesomemaize,yams,milletanda
granary.Itwasenforced.TheChiefwouldcomearoundandaskwhereisthemaize.Ifyoudid

350FHRIinterviewwithMr.AkolMoses,BranchManagerKotido,UgandaRedCrossSociety,Kotidodistrict,on

10thJuly2012.

351FHRIinterviewwithDr.IbrahimKasirye,PrincipalResearchFellow,EconomicPolicyResearchCentre,on

1stJuly2014.
352FHRIinterviewwithMr.KidduGonzaga,SeniorFieldOfficer,HungerFreeWorldUganda,on19thMay
2014.
353FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th
December2014.

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not have it, they would lock you up. It did not even have to come to that. Everybody knew
instinctivelywhattodo.Everyfamilyknewthis.Sotherewasfoodsecurity,whichisamajor
componentofpoverty.IrememberinTororotherewasnoissueoffoodinsecuritybecauseof
thebylaw.NowtheChiefhasnoauthorityanymore,noonecares.NoonelistenstotheChief.
Theyspendtheirtimeplayingcards,discussingfootball.Itisincredible.354

Dr.Kabonesanarratesasimilarexperience:

Weusedtohavechiefsintheruralareas.Theirjobwastomobilisepeople.Weusedtoclean
thewellsourselves.Themenusedtocleanthewellsthemselves.Ifitwasthesewhattheycall
feederroads,theywerethecommunitiesresponsibilities.Theyusedtokeepthemveryclean.
Mostofthehomeshadwhatwecallagranary.Theyhadatoiletandakitchen,becauseitwas
emphasized. And we had people in the subcounties, when they came around and found out
thatyoudidnothaveagranaryanddidnothavefood,theycouldeasilyputyouinprison.The
issuethenwasemphasisingselfsufficiencyofthehousehold.355

Dr.Kasiryeexplainshowthemoveawayfromvillagechiefshasledtoidleness:

There has always been some huge person, a chief or king, who was making decisions and
enforcingrules.Itisonlyinthelast20yearswhenpeoplehavebeenleftontheirown,andthen
thelazinesscamein.Itisthesamewaywiththetaxes.Whatistheincentiveformetocultivate
thispieceoflandwhenifIdonotcultivateit,Icannotloseitanditwillnotbetaxed.Imightas
wellleaveitidle.Butiftherewasacostformyinaction,Iwouldbehavedifferently.Sotheissue
is not internal motivation. The incentive structure changed. The incentive before was that I
had to comply with these rules. If I do not, I will either serve some time in a village jail or
somethinglikethat.356

Behavioural change through the enforcement of bylaws may serve as an incentive for enhanced
productivity, but it may also fetter individual autonomy. A better approach is to make the right
choicethedefaultchoice.Thelatterhastheadvantagethatpeoplestillhavethefreedomtomake
thechoicestheywant,butwillbemoreinclinedtochoosethedefaultoption.357Anexampleofthis
approachistoimposeafineonparentswhodonotsendtheirchildrentoschool.Theystillhavethe
optionnottosendtheirchildren,butwillhavetoincuracosttomakethischoice.

CaseStudy5SaemaulUndong

After independence, Korea like Uganda, was heavily dependent on foreign aid and experienced a similar
dependency syndrome among the population.358As the Korean Ambassador to Uganda, H.E. Park JongDae,

354FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.CharlesRwabukwali,ProfessorofSociology,DepartmentofSociology,School

ofSocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on19thMay2014.
355FHRIinterviewwithDr.ConsolataKabonesa,DeanSchoolofWomenandGenderStudies,Makerere
University,on12thJune2014.
356FHRIinterviewwithDr.IbrahimKasirye,PrincipalResearchFellow,EconomicPolicyResearchCentre,on
1stJuly2014.
357Banerjee&Duflo,op.cit.,p.66.
358TheIndependent,InterviewwithHisExcellenceParkJongDae,SouthKoreanAmbassadortoUganda,
WrongattitudewillnottakeUgandaanywhere,saysSouthKoreanAmbassadorbyRonalMusoke,26th
April2013,retrievedfrom:http://www.independent.co.ug/column/interview/7710wrongattitudewill
nottakeugandaanywheresayssouthkoreanambassador.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

83

explains: Many men were idle, drinking and tampering while the women did all the work.359To tackle this
situation, President Park Chung Hee initiated a campaign in the early 1970s to motivate, mobilise and
empowerthepeople,calledSaemaulUndong.360

Thegovernmentwantedthepeopletomakechangesthemselves,stressingthereisnosuchthingasfree
lunch.Peopleweremobilizedaspublicworkforcetoundertakeprojectssuchaslandreclamationand
reforestation.About21millionpeopletookpartinthecampaign.361

The main components of the Saemaul Undong movement were: a rural development plan, ideological
orientation,industrialisation,andwomenempowerment.

1. Ruraldevelopmentplan
Under the rural development plan, the government provided thousands of villages across the country with
materials for the improvement of living conditions and infrastructure, as well as income generation. The
government provided rough guidelines and the villages together with Saemaul Undong village leaders set
specificplans.362Villagershadtoprovidelabourandworktogethertoachievethedesiredresults.Allvillages
wereperiodicallyevaluatedandreceivednewmaterialscommensuratetotheirperformance.363Thiselement
ofcompetitionmotivatedvillagestokeepinvestingintheprojectsandliftthemselvesoutofpoverty.364Atthe
same time, local Saemaul Undong leaders were also evaluated on the results at the village level, which
encouragedacooperativerelationshipbetweenthelocalofficialsandcommunitymembers.365

This campaign proved to be a successful bottomup and topdown comprehensive model of rural
development.Thegovernmenttooktheinitiativeandprovidedincentivesbypromotingcompetitionand
emulationasanincentive.Ironsheetswereprovidedtovillages,anditwasthevillagersthemselves
who decided where to use it. Villages were assessed into three categories, and those that were
performing well were given some extra incentives, while nonperforming villages were cut off from
them.Nohandouts,buthonoraryawardsweregiventotheleaderstorewardtheirefforts.366

Besides the upgrading of villages, the government also introduced heavy subsidies on rice production and
brought the Green Revolution to the countryside.367As a result of these interventions, living standards and
income levels in rural Korea were raised to the level of urban households during the 1970s: household
income increasedalmost 600%; rice yields increasedfrom 3.1to 4.0 metric tonsper hectare;andabsolute
ruralpovertydeclinefrom27.9to10.8percent.368

359Ibid.

360E.P.Reed,IsSemaulUndongaModelforDevelopingCountriesToday?,PaperpreparedforInternational

SymposiuminCommemorationofthe40thAnniversaryofSaemaulUndong,hostedbytheKoreaSaemaul
UndongCenter,30thSeptember2010.
361PresentationbyHisExcellenceParkJongDae,SouthKoreanAmbassadortoUganda,atthe1stAnnual
SocialEconomicSummitorganizedbytheCivilSocietyPrivatePublicSectorForumon5thNovember2014.
362JaiChangLee,NewSaemaulUndong,December2011,pp.48,retrievedfrom:
http://www.saemaul.com/eng/publications.
363Ibid.
364Forinstance:Approximately6000villagesthatwereexcludedafterthefirstroundofevaluationdueto
lowperformance,decidedtojointhesecondroundusingtheirownfinancialresourcesformaterials.Source:
M.Douglass,TheSaemaulUndong:SouthKoreasRuralDevelopmentMiracleinHistoricalPerspective,Asia
ResearchInstitute,WorkingPaperSeriesNo.197,February2013,p.10.
365Reed,op.cit.,p.8.
366PresentationbyHisExcellenceParkJongDae,op.cit.
367Douglass,op.cit.,p.3.
368Reed,op.cit.,p.9.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

2. Ideologicalreorientation
The Saemaul Undong movement promoted community spirit, selfhelp behaviour and cooperation. The
communityownedprojectsrevivedtheKoreanspiritofoptimismandselfreliance.369Thepracticalprojects
showedthepeopleintheruralcommunitiesthattheycanimprovetheirlivesiftheyworktogether.

This movement reared the motto of diligence, selfhelp and cooperation, and became a national
movementexpandingtourbanareasandbusinesses.EverybodyparticipatedandthespiritofSaemaul
Undongcontinuestoexisttothisday.Itwascrucialfortransformingtheruralregionandnarrowing
the income gap between rural and urban areas. The candour spirit, willingness and devotion of
residentstoworkvoluntarilytobuildbettercommunities,producedremarkableresultsinaveryshort
time.370

3. Industrialisationandurbandevelopment
Therevenuefromrapidindustrialisationwasusedtosubsidisetheruraldevelopmentplan.Farmersreceived
high pricesfor their rice, which was then sold ata lower price in the urbanareas. This increasedthe rural
householdincomewhilekeepingfoodpriceslowfortheurbanworkforce.371Aftertheinitialsuccessesofthe
ruraldevelopmentplan,theSaemaulUndongmovementwasspreadtothecities,factoriesandcompaniesto
furtherpromoteindustrialisationandurbandevelopment.372

Governmentleadershipwascrucial.ThePresidentofKoreahimselfchairedmonthlytradepromotion
meetings that gathered all the relevant ministers, bankers, government agencies, and of course
businesses.Governmentpickedwinnersbasedontheirperformanceandfinancialandvarioussupport
wasprovidedtoenhanceexports[sic].Alsothegovernmentgaveabadgeofhonourtothosecompanies
that performed well. Competition and emulation in businesses and industries, not to mention great
emphasisplacedoncultivatingaskilledworkforceandeducationingeneral,fueledbythegovernment
incentivesbroughtaboutrapideconomicgrowthofKorea.373

4. Womenempowerment
A fourth component of Saemaul Undong was women empowerment. Every village had to have at least one
woman among the Saemaul Undong leaders. This was accompanied by a women leadership training, and
smallscaleincomegeneratingprojectsforwomen.374

An adaptation and application of the Saemaul Undong principles to other countries, such as Uganda, could
achievesimilarresults,especiallybecausepartsofUgandaarealreadyfamiliarwiththespiritoftheSaemaul
Undongmovement,astheyhaveasimilartradition:BulungiBwansi(communitywork).375

IbelievetheSaemaulUndongisverymuchrelevantandapplicabletoUgandabecauseUgandaalsohas
thetraditionofBulungiBwansiandthecooperativemovement.TheSaemaulUndongCentreofKorea
is already conducting programmes in Uganda. There are now two pilot project villages practicing
SaemaulUndonginUganda,withoneinMpigiDistrict.376

However, it is importantto note that Saemaul Undongis nota transplantreadyprogram to bereplicated.


Therearemanyfactorsthatcontributedtoitssuccess.Forinstance,SaemaulUndonginKoreawaspreceded
by extensive land reform to promote egalitarian land ownership, which was crucial for its success. The

369Retrievedfrom:http://www.hyunjinmoon.com/saemaulnewvillagemovementchangemindset/.
370PresentationbyHisExcellenceParkJongDae,op.cit.
371Douglass,op.cit.,p.10.

372JaiChangLee,op.cit.,pp.48.

373TheIndependent,InterviewwithHisExcellenceParkJongDae,op.cit.
374Reed,op.cit.,p.9.

375BulungiBwansiisaBagandatraditionthatstartedafewhundredyearsagowherecommunitieswouldbe

responsibleforthemaintenanceandrepairsofwells,roadsandothercommunityfacilities.
376TheIndependent,InterviewwithHisExcellenceParkJongDae,op.cit.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

85

politicalcontext(anauthoritariangovernmentandthedelinkingoftheprogramfrompoliticalpartypolitics)
was equally vital for success. Therefore, rather than replicating Saemaul Undong, Uganda should draw
valuable lessons based on an assessment of its own development context. For instance, Dr. Rwendeire
suggests that the local governments should be used to transform communities in Uganda in line with the
spiritandprinciplesofSaemaulUndong:

Isawthewaywehadstartedwithourresistancecouncilsinthevillagewasthesame,exceptwedid
notmaintainit.Wedidnothavethatideologyaroundwhichtheselocalcouncilswouldbemobilized.
We moved out quickly to multiparty and the normal local government, but not one that is
transformative. Our local government system is not transformative. It doesnt address that innermost
partofanindividual.Thatiswhatweneedtodo.377

Thehumanrightsbasedapproachcanalsobeusedasamethodtoreducethelevelofdependency,
as it emphasises the role of everyone in society to take responsibility, something that has
insufficientlybeendoneinthepast,asarguedbyMbabazi:

Maybe it is time now that as human rights activistsyou go back to the drawing board and
remindpeoplethey also haveresponsibilities.Inthelast twodecadestheissuehas beenyou
haveagovernment,sodemand,andnotmuchemphasishasbeenputontheresponsibilityside.
If you want a good service, you have a responsibility to maintain whatever service
governmenthasgiven.378

The need to emphasise responsibilities of rights holders has been recognised by civil society and
takenupby,forinstance,theUgandaNationalNGOForum(UNNGOF).Mubeteraexplainsthat:

WeuseanapproachcalledtheHRBapproach(humanrightsbasedapproach),whichlooksat
empowering community members to know what roles are being played by different
stakeholders,includingthemselves.WetalkaboutrolesbeingplayedduringtheHRBapproach
andyoufindthattherearecertainissuesthataresupposedtobehandledbythecommunity
members. For instance, if it is feeding at schools that may not be a mandate that the
governmenthasofnow.Itmaybeamandateofthecitizenortheparenttotakethefoodor
contributethefoodforfeedingatschools.Ifitistheissueofteachersmotivationandsalaries,
thatbecomesthemandateofthegovernment,notofthecitizens.Butthecitizensmandateis
nowtodemandthattheseteachersarewellfacilitated,aredoingtheirworkofteachingthese
peopleandareinapositiontoproperlyaccountforthemoneythatcomestotheseparticular
schools.379

5.2.1 BeliefsandBehaviourRelatingtoReproduction

According to provisional results of the 2014 population census released on 18th November 2014,
Ugandahasapopulationof34.9millionpeopleandagrowthrateof3%.380Thisisaslightreduction
from 3.2% in 2010, but remains significantly higher than the 2.6% average for SubSaharan

377FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th
November2014.
378FHRIinterviewwithMs.MarionMbabazi,TechnicalOfficer,EconomicDevelopment,PolicyandResearch
Department,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.
379FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMubetera,ProgrammeCoordinator,NamutumbaDistrictNGOForum,on
7thAugust2014.
380UBOS&UNFPA,NationalPopulationandHousingCensus2014ProvisionalResults,Governmentof
Uganda,November2014,p.6.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Africa,381and puts Uganda in the top 10 of countries with fastest growing populations in the
world.382This can be attributed to a persistent high fertility rate while mortality rates are slowly
declining. On average, a Ugandan woman still produces 6 children.383The continued high fertility
ratecanlargelybeascribedtoculturalfactors:

Mostofusdonotusefamilyplanningmethods,becausethemorechildrenwehave,thebetter.
Producingmanychildrenisaformofdefence.Becausechildrencommonlydiefromillnesses.If
therearemanychildren,atleastsomechildrenwillremain.384

Aumaattributesthehighfertilityrateprimarilytothelackofeducation:

If you look at the issue around the high fertility rate, if a woman is not educated, does not
have control over her fertility, over her body and life in terms of the choices she makes,
whethershewantstoproduceachildnowortomorrowandhowmany,thenyouwilllikelyget
hertoproducesomanychildrenthatshecannotmanage.Weenduphavingthenumbersnot
thequalitywewant.385

Bategamya explains the influence of a patriarchal society on womens ability to control their
reproductivehealth:

Most of the time they [women] do not have power over their reproductive health. So if the
mansaysyouhavetohaveeightchildrenandalmosteveryyearyouhavetobepregnant,there
isnotimetogoandworktofindeconomicindependence,andofcoursethisisapatriarchal
societywherethemenhavepower.Thismeanswomenareverysubordinate.386

During the focus group discussions and interviews it was apparent that many women do not use
contraceptivesdespitehavingthemeansofaccessandadesirenottobecomepregnant.Thehigh
unmetneedforfamilyplanning(currentlyat34.3%)canlargelybeattributedtoculturalinfluences,
such as early initiation to childbearing, early marriage and high school dropout rates for girl
children.387Otherfactorsthatplayarolearerelatedtotheinteractionbetweenpartners,aswellas
mythsandexperiencesrelatingtosideeffectsofbirthcontrolmethods:

381MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopmentoftheRepublicofUganda,UgandaNational

ReportfortheImplementationoftheProgrammeofActionfortheLeastDevelopedCountriesfortheDecade
20012010,2010,p.3.
382WorldBank,DataPopulationGrowth(annual%),retrievedon3rdDecember2014from:
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.GROW?order=wbapi_data_value_2013+wbapi_data_value+wba
pi_data_valuelast&sort=desc
383PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2014:HarnessingUgandasDemographic
DividendforSocioEconomicTransformation,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,
2014,p.3.
384FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.
385FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on
27thNovember2014.
386FHRIinterviewwithMs.EdithBategamya,DistrictGenderOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust2014.
387PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2014,op.cit.,p.5.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

87

Whenitcomestotheattitudeofmentowardscontraceptives,thereasonsforthemtooppose
toitarefalsebeliefs,theythinkcontraceptivescausealotofbleedingandabnormalchildren
willbeborn.388

In every focus group held with women, complications arising from contraceptive use were
mentionedasanimportantreasonnottostartmodernfamilyplanningmethods.Thecomplication
most often experienced by women according to the focus groups is heavy bleeding. Focus group
discussionswithwomenalsorevealedafearof barrennessif themethod isnotappliedproperly.
Therefore, in addition to making contraceptives widely available, policies should address the
culturalbeliefsandbehaviours.

CaseStudy6EducativeEntertainment

In the early 1970s, Miguel Sabido, at the time VicePresident of the big commercial Mexican television
network, Televisia, created the first telenovela to improve social norms and behaviour. 389 He used
confrontation between good and bad role models to provide a unique opportunity to promote socially
desirablebehaviour.390

Asthesetelenovelasrunovertimeandallowtheaudiencetobondwiththecharacters,theyachievegreater
impactthan,forinstance,adocumentaryormovie.391Therefore,throughgradualevolutionofcharactersin
responsetoreallifeproblems,thetelenovelaspromotedesirablebehaviour.Combinedwiththebondsthat
are formed between audience members and the characters, audience members tend to adopt these
behavioursintheirownlives,eveniftheychallengeculturaltraditions.

In1977,Sabidodecidedtouseatelenovelatopromotefamilyplanning,whichranoveracourseof9months
andsignificantlyimprovedtheuseoffamilyplanning.Forinstance:informationrequestsonfamilyplanning
increased from 0 to an average of 500 per month; upon a suggestion in the soap opera 2,000 women
registeredasvolunteersinthenationalprogramoffamilyplanning;andcontraceptivesalesincreased23%
comparedto7%theprecedingyear.392

TheconceptoftheMexicantelenovelawastranslatedto,forinstance,Kenya.Inthelate1980sbotharadio
andtelevisionsoapoperawerebroadcasttopromotefamilyplanning.393Evaluationshowedthatbothsoap
operas reacheda largeaudience withtheir messages.The radio soap opera generatedgreatersuccessas it
reached the target audience, consisting of lesseducated and lowerincome individuals, to a greater extent
than the television broadcast.394By the time the two broadcasts ended, the use of contraceptives had
increased by 58% and the desired number of children reduced from 6.3 to 4.4.395According to a study
conductedbytheUniversityofNairobiSchoolofJournalism,manywomenseekingfamilyplanningservicesat

388FHRIinterviewwithMr.CharlesMwesigwa,SeniorNursingOfficer,Namutumbadistrict,on7thAugust
2014.
389W.N.Ryerson,TheEffectivenessofEntertainmentMassMediainChangingBehaviour,PopulationMedia
Center,Vermont,USA,n.d.,pp.23.
390M.Sabido,SoapoperasinMexico.PaperpresentedtotheEntertainmentforSocialChangeConference,Los
Angeles,UniversityofSouthernCalifornia,AnnenbergSchoolforCommunication,1989.
391Ryerson,op.cit.,p.1.
392ibid.,pp.23.
393Radiosoapopera:UshikwapoShikimana(Whengivenadvice,takeit);televisionsoapopera:Tushauriane
(Letsdiscuss).
394A.Singhal,E.M.Rogers&W.J.Brown,Harnessingthepotentialofentertainmenteducationtelenovelas,
InternationalCommunicationGazette,Volume51,No.1,pp.118,1993,pp.89.
395Ryerson,op.cit.,pp.45.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

ruralhealthcentrestestifiedthattheradioprogramhadcausedtheirhusbandstoallowthemtogoforfamily
planning.396

InTanzania,aradiosoapoperaonfamilyplanningwasbroadcastbetween1993and1997.397Tostudythe
impact of the radio broadcast, in one region of the country (the comparison area) a music program was
broadcast instead of the soap opera for the first two years. From 1995 onwards, the soap opera was also
broadcast in the comparison area. Results from the study showed a 153% increase in condom use in the
broadcast area in the first year, compared to a 16% increase in the comparison area.398Similarly, in areas
wherethesoapoperawasbroadcast,thenumberofnewpeopleadoptingfamilyplanningmethodsthrough
clinicsincreasedby32%between1993and1994,whiletheaveragenumberofnewadoptersatclinicsinthe
comparison area remained essentially the same.39925% of the new adopters indicated that the reason for
comingtotheclinicwasbecauseoftheradiobroadcast,andanother16%indicatedthattheyhadcometothe
clinicbecauseofsomethingontheradioandthenidentifiedthesoapoperawhenshownalistofprograms
currentlyonair.400

Media is, therefore, a useful means of promoting desirable behaviour change and a healthy productive
lifestyle. To maximise impact it is important to combine the telenovelas with supplementary multimedia
messages, including, for instance, billboards, radio announcements and epilogues linking the telenovela to
reallife.

The persistent high fertility rate and reduced child mortality rate have led to an increase in the
percentage of young people in the population over the past years, leading to a high dependency
ratio. Children and the disabled often contribute little to nothing to the economy, yet they are
amongthehighestconsumersofsocialservices.401Withthecurrentpercentageofpeopleunder15
at 48.7%402and the percentage of PWDs at 7.2%,403social services experience immense pressure
withfewpeopleprovidingforalargeunemployedpopulation.Moreover,ifthepopulationgrowth
is not reduced, efforts to strengthen the health care services, education and food production will
addresstheincreasednumberofpeopleratherthanincreasingthequalityandquantityofservices
forthealreadyexistingpopulation.

Since a large number of people are in reproductive stage or about to join that age group, the
population growth rate is unlikely to drop in the near future unless the unmet need for family
planning is reduced considerably.404As discussed earlier, increasing availability of and access to
modernfamilyplanningmethodsmaynotbetheanswertotheproblem.Itmaybemoreeffectiveto
devise policies that ensure that girl children stay in school longer, marriage is delayed, myths
around contraceptives are disproved and that both men and women are educated about the
importanceoffamilyplanning.

Educatingmenabouttheimportanceoffamilyplanningwilllikelyreducethefertilityratebecause
coupleswilljointlyown decisionsrelatingtochildbearing.Womenwhoparticipatedinthe focus

396ibid.,pp.45.

397TwendenaWakati(LetsGowiththeTimes)
398Ryerson,op.cit.,p.5.
399ibid.,p.5.
400ibid.,p.6.

401Childrenaretheprimaryconsumersofeducationservices,andthedisabledconsumehealthservices

relativelymorethanablebodiedpersons.
402Thisrateisalmosttwiceashighastheglobalunder15populationrate,whichstandsat26.8%.Population
Secretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2014,op.cit.,p.9.
403PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2013,op.cit.,p.84.
404PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2014,op.cit.,p.11.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

89

groupinBudakadistrictexplainedthattheyhave7childrenonaverage,butwouldhavepreferred
tohave4or5.Thereasontheyhavemorechildrenthantheywantisbecausetheirhusbandswill
takenewwivestogetthedesirednumberofchildren.Bategamyasharesthissentiment:

Sometimestheydonotwanttotelltheirhusbandsandtheywanttodoit[familyplanning]
secretly,becausemosttimesiftheytelltheirhusbandsthattheyaregoingonfamilyplanning,
hewillsaythenIamgoingtomarrysomebodyelsewhowantstohavekids.405

Research in India has shown that womens education and economic independence are the best
formsofcontraceptives.406ThesameresearchcomparedpoliciesusedinTamilNaduandKeralain
India that were focused on empowering women to Chinas restrictive onechild policy. Evidence
showedthatfertilitydeclinedmuchfasterinIndiathaninChina.407Anempowermentapproachis
thusmoreeffectiveinreducingfertilitythanrestrictingwomenschildbearingoptions.

Dr.MuvawalaexplainsthateffortstoreducefertilityinUgandaareprimarilyconcentratedaround
education:

Oneofthemainapproachesistomakesureweincreasetheaverageyearsinschool.Westand
at 4.7 and we are targeting 11. You do that and you will reduce many of the players in the
populationgrowth.408

AsignatLomukuraPrimarySchoolinKotidohighlightingtheimportanceofgirlchildeducation

FHRI

405FHRIinterviewwithMs.EdithBategamya,DistrictGenderOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust2014.
406A.Sen,DevelopmentasFreedom,op.cit.,p.218.
407ibid.,p.222.

408FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th
December2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Another solution to population growth is the introduction of a social security system. Mugenyi
explainsthebenefitsasfollows:

NowsomebodysaysifIdonothaveakidandIgrowoldorIfallsick,whotakescareofme?
Itmaynotbeintermsofincomeitcouldjustbetakingcare,attending.Soiftheissueofa
socialsecuritysystemcanbelookedinto,thenitcanhaveanimpactonhavingasustainable
population.BecausetheyknowifIfallsickmaybethereisaprogrammefortheaged,thereis
aninstitutionwhichwilltakecare,thenwhyhavesomanychildren?409

A reduction in child mortality rates is often followed by a reduction in levels of fertility, because
women have to give birth fewer times to get the desired number of children who survive.410This
means that the proportion of children in the population will reduce and women will be able to
becomemoreeconomicallyproductive.Atthesametimethechildrenwhowerebornwhenfertility
rates were still high will reach working age and start earningan income. When the demographic
transition reaches the moment where the labour force grows more quickly than the population
dependent on it, resources will be freed up for investment in economic development and social
service improvement.411An example of how this situation can aid service delivery is the case of
South Korea, where when birth rates fell and elementary school enrolments declined, funds that
were previously allocated to elementary education were reallocated to the improvement of the
qualityofeducationathigherlevels.412

Foracountrytoharnessthisdemographicdividend,asitiscalled,thegovernmentneedstoinvest
inhumancapitaltoensureahealthyandwelleducatedworkingforceandjobcreationinorderto
ensurethatthegrowinglabourforceisinvolvedingainfulemployment.413Iftheadditionalhuman
andfinancialcapitalavailableasaresultofthedemographicdividendarenotutilisedefficiently,it
will simply lead to more unemployed people who still have limited access to social services, a
situationthathasledtosocialandpoliticalunrestinmanycountries.414

Sincedevelopingaqualitylabourforceandsufficientjobstakestime,itisimportanttopreparewell
in advance if the demographic dividend is to be harnessed. Planning in this respect is crucial
becausethedemographicdividendisanopportunitywithalimitedtimeframe.Withtime,theage
distribution of the population changes again, increasing the proportion of the elderly and a
reductioninthelabourforceduetothefewernumberofchildrenbornduringthefertilitydecline.
A combination of these two factors usually leads to an increase in the number of dependents
again.415

409FHRIinterviewwithMr.StephenMugenyi,Ag.AssistantCommissioner,PolicyandPlanning,Ministryof

PublicService,on24thOctober2014.

410UNFPA,TheStateofWorldPopulation2014:ThePowerof1.8BillionAdolescents,Youthandthe

TransformationoftheFuture,UNFPA,NewYork,2014,pp.1415.

411ibid.,p.15.

412PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2014,op.cit.,p.11.
413ibid.,pp.45.

414Forinstance,unemploymentandeconomicinequalitywereimportantcausesoftherevolutionarywaveof
demonstrationsandcivilunrestduringtheArabSpringin2010.
415PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2014,op.cit.,p.12.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

91

5.2.2 LivingConditions

Substandard living conditions are rampant in rural and urban settings. In the rural areas
insufficientmeasurestoimprovehousingandsanitationconditionshavecontributedtopoverty.In
the urban setting, due to high levels of urbanisation as a result of fast population growth and a
growing migration from rural areas, the living conditions for the urban poor risk deteriorating
furtherifnoappropriatemeasuresaretaken.

FHRI

TypicalhousinginNagondeVillage,Namutumbadistrict

Rurallivingconditions
Themajorityoftheruralpoorliveeitheringrassthatchedroofhousesorrentaroominaniron
roofedhouse.Thewallsaremostoftenmadeoutofmudand/orbricks.Noneofthevillagesvisited
duringthestudyhadaccesstoelectricity.416

Duringthefocusgroupdiscussionsintheruralareas,manypeopleexplainedthatthelimitedspace
inthehousesmakesitdifficultforthehabitantstohaveadecentplacetosleep.Thereisoftenonly
onebed,ifatall,andotherssleeponpapyrusmats.Becauseofthepoorstructuresofthehouses,
therainsaffectmostpeople.Onewomanexplainedthatsheliveswithher10childreninagrass
thatchedroofhouseandwhenitrainsthehousefloods.417Whenthishappensatnightalltheycan
doispickuptheirmattressesandbelongingsandwaituntilthefloodingdisappears.

Thosewhorentahouseinaruralvillagepaybetween5,000and10,000UGX418foreitheraroomin
anironroofhouseoragrassthatchedroofhouse.Noteveryonecanaffordthisand,therefore,most
villagesexperienceacertainlevelofhomelessness,butattimesresidentsoffertheirhousingtothe
homelessinthevillage.

416Villagesvisitedinclude:Lotidevillage,Napakdistrict(7thJuly2014);Kamionvillage(ikcommunity),

Kaabongdistrict(9thJuly2014);Bukatuvillage,Bugiridistrict(5thAugust2014);andNangondevillage,
Namutumbadistrict(6thAugust2014).
417FHRIwomenfocusgroupdiscussioninBukatuvillage,Bugiridistricton5thAugust2014.
418Equivalentto1.603.20USDollars.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA


Most of the rural villagers indicate that they have pit latrines, except in the Ikcommunity419in
Kaabongdistrict.Theextenttowhichpitlatrinesareusedisunclearbecausesomepeoplecannot
affordtobuildtheirownandyetlatrinesarenotalwaysusedcommunally.Digginga20feetdeep
pit (the advised depth) can cost up to 200,000 UGX.420Men in the focus group in Namutumba
districtexplainedthatthepitsare,therefore,oftenonly5or10feetdeep.421

FHRI

Theoutside(left)andinside(right)ofagrassthatchedroofhouseinLotidevillage,Napakdistrict

Urbanlivingconditions
The urbanisation rate increased from 15% in 2009/2010 to 23% in 2012/2013, and the urban
population grew by 3.1 million people between 2012 and 2014.422The fast growing rate of
urbanisation should be accompanied by improvements in living conditions for the urban poor to
preventafurtherdeclineintheirsituation.Baziweexplainssomeofthechallengesassociatedwith
urbanisation:

You will find that while these people are moving from the rural areas to the urban areas,
thereisnoplanthathasbeenputinplaceforthem.Thecityisnotpreparedtocaterforall
these people coming in, because there is no infrastructure in place. There are no planned
settlementsforthem.Sotheycomeinandtheyjustfindwheretofit.Andtheurbanisationrate
isgrowing,becauseasacountrygrowsandurbanisesyouwilldefinitelyfindthatpeoplewill
movemoreandmoreoutoftheruralareas(whichisagoodthingbecauseitfreesuptheland
intheruralareasforwhatourcountryisreallygoodat:agriculture).However,iftheycometo
acitythatisnotplanned,thatmeanstheyaregoingtoliveinshoddyplaces.Thatmeansthat
their means of survival is going to be based on informal structures, informal settlements,
informalmeansofincome.423

419TheIkcommunityisamarginalizedethnicgrouplocatedinnortheasternUganda,borderingKenya.
420Equivalentto63USDollars.

421Thediggingofthepitisthemostexpensivepartofbuildingapitlatrine.
422MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2014,op.cit.,p.10.

423FHRIinterviewwithMs.DorothyBaziwe,ExecutiveDirector,ShelterandSettlementsAlternatives:Uganda
HumanSettlementsNetwork,on5thJune2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

93

Dr.Rwendeireexplainshowgovernmentisplanningtoaddressthisproblem:

Youcanseethatthereisalotofmovementfromruralareas.People,whentheyaresqueezed,
thereisnolandtheycantillandproducesomething,theyshifttotheurbanareastolookfor
employment.Then,ofcourse,excesshappensintheurbanareastoo.Whatwearetryingto
doistoseethattheurbanareasareproperlyplannedandtonothavetheseslums,butalso
createemployment[sic].424

FHRI

UrbansprawlinginKabalagala,Kampala.

Manyoftheurbanpoorliveintheslums.Duringinterviewswithresidentsintheslumslocatedin
BwaiseandKatangaitwasapparentthattheseareunsafeareaswithappallinglivingconditions.425
Majority of the residents decried the rampant thefts and robberies and blamed the high levels of
youth unemployment for the situation. Many people find their neighbourhood unsafe and are
unabletoleavetheirhousesunattended.Toimprovesecurity,mostresidentsproposedanincrease
inthenumberofsecuritypersonneldeployedandadditionalemploymentopportunities.

Similar to the rural poor, most slum residents are heavily affected by weather conditions. The
poorly constructed houses experience leakages through the roof or doors. Due to insufficient or
inadequatetrenches,heavyrainsoftencausefloodingofpeoplesresidences.InKimombasaslumin
Bwaisetherehavebeeneffortstoreducethisproblembyimprovingthedrainage,howevermore
trenchesarenecessary.

424FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th

November2014.
425FHRIinterviewswithresidentsinKatanga(21st22ndJuly2014)andBwaise(23rdJuly2014).

94

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

FHRI

PoorlyconstructedhousinginKatanga,Kampala.

Sanitation is also a problem in Katanga slum. Sewage from a nearby hostel flows into the
neighbourhood.AccordingtotheLCIIChairman,thehomelesspeopledonothaveaccesstotoilets
atnightbecausetheyclosethetoiletsat10pm,and,therefore,easethemselvesonthestreetsorin
the trenches, thereby worsening sanitation in the area. Effective and timely waste disposal also
continuestobeachallenge.

FHRI

PoorsanitaryconditionsinKatanga,Kampala.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

95

Many of the residents in Katanga live in fear of eviction. The residents have heard rumours that
KampalaCapitalCityAuthority(KCCA)isplanningtoevictresidentsaspartofongoingeffortsto
cleanupthecityandupgradetheslumsareas.426Moreover,theareahasbeenthesubjecttoaland
disputebetweenMakerereUniversityandthecurrentlandowners,whichhasledtofurtherconcern
amongtheresidents.Thereisthusaclearneedforinformationonthesituationinordertoallow
residentsampletimetoplanforpossiblerelocation.

FHRI

A woman with some of her children in front of the house where she stays with her husband and 6
children.Accordingtoher,theareaisunsafeduetothehighlevelofunemployedyouthwhohaveturned
to theft. She and her fellow residents have been hearing eviction threats on the radio due to the land
dispute between the current landlords and Makerere University, but they have never been formally
informed or consulted.

Sambaga argues that it is the governments responsibility to ensure that people have access to
adequateshelter:

Unfortunately,inUgandathereisabudgetforagriculture,health,infrastructure,education.
Thereisabudgetformanythings,butthereisnobudgetforshelter.Weknowthatthereare
people in communities who just cannot afford shelter on their own, so somebody has got to
stepin,orputinplacemechanismsthatenhancepeopleseffortstobuilddecenthouses.Sowe
feel the government has that obligation to provide decent shelter, either directly or
indirectly.427

426FHRIinterviewswithresidentsinKatanga(21st22ndJuly2014).

427FHRIinterviewwithMr.PatrickSambaga,NationalDirector,HabitatforHumanityUganda,on3rdJuly
2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Baziweholdsasimilarviewthathousingisinsufficientlyprioritised:

When you do an analysis and go into the budget allocation for housing, what are the
resources,whataretheprioritiesofgovernmentasregardshousing,everybodylooksatitas
the responsibility of the individual. So you find that no one is actually catering for or
prioritizinghousingperse.Butweallknowthatifyoudonotliveinadecenthouse,ifyoudo
not live in a decent environment, then chances of you being able to access sustainable
resourcesisveryminimal.So,housinghasnotbeengivenapriority.Itisdivestedintomany
differentsectorsbutnotadequatelyaddressedinthosesectors.428

Adequate shelter and living conditions are crucial components of any poverty reduction strategy
becauselivescan onlyimproveinahealthyliving environment.Itis,therefore,important forthe
governmenttoimproveruralandurbanlivingconditions.

5.2.3 Education

Universal Primary Education (UPE) is one of the governments main policy tools for achieving
povertyreductionandhumandevelopment.TheintroductionofUPEin1997ledtoadramaticrise
in primary school enrolment. Gross enrolment in primary schools increased from a total of 3.1
millionin1996to5.3millionin1997,anincreaseof73%inoneyear.InthedecadeprecedingUPE,
thegrossincreaseinprimaryschoolenrolmentwasjust39%.429Thesignificantincreaseinprimary
schoolenrolmentisanindicationthatthepaymentofschoolfeeswasamajorimpedimenttoaccess
toeducation.

Figure8:Pupilenrolmentratesinprimaryschoolsfrom20022013

7300000
7200000
7100000
7000000
6900000
6800000
6700000
6600000
6500000
6400000
6300000
6200000

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
(Source:MinistryofEducationandSports,EducationandSportsSectorFactSheet20022013)

However, the remarkably high enrolment rates have been accompanied by high dropout rates,
suggesting that, while the removal of financial barriers to education opened the way to higher
enrolmentrates,itwasinsufficienttoguaranteeorensuretheretentionofpupils.Ofthe2.2million
pupilswhoenrolledinthefirstyearofprimaryschool(P1)in1997,only400,000registeredforthe

428FHRIinterviewwithMs.DorothyBaziwe,ExecutiveDirector,ShelterandSettlementsAlternatives:Uganda
HumanSettlementsNetwork,on5thJune2014.
429PolicyBrief10,UniversalPrimaryEducationinUganda,2003,pg.3.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

97

primaryleavingexamination(PLE)in2003,averysmallincreaseinnumbersbeforefreeschooling
andanattritionrateof81%.430

Figure9:Comparisonbetweenenrolmentandcompletionrates

9,000,000
8,000,000
7,000,000
6,000,000

Enrolment

5,000,000

Completion
ratetoP.7

4,000,000
3,000,000
2,000,000
1,000,000
0

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

(Source:MinistryofEducationandSports,EducationandSportsSectorFactSheet20022013)

WhilethecompletionrateinUPEschoolscouldnotbeascertainedsincedatahighlightscompletion
rateinbothgovernmentandprivateschools,theoveralldropoutrateremainsveryhigh.In2013,
the drop out rate was at 29%.431Several observers point to the poor quality of education as the
majorreasonbehindthehighdropoutrate.Mukasaexplainsthat:

Governments initial aim was to ensure that all children access education under the UPE
policy.Sincethishasbeenrealised,priorityhasshiftedtoaddressingthequalityofeducation
hence interventions such as Early Grade Training that has been rolled out in 80 districts so
far.432

AspartofeffortstoimproveearlygradereadingandtransitiontoEnglishforprimarystudentsin
Uganda, the Early Grade Training program was rolled out in Uganda in 2012.433The Early Grade
Trainingprogramhasatwoprongedapproach.Ontheonehand,itbuildsthecapacityofteachers
throughtraininginmodernteachingmethodswhileontheother,itprovideslearningmaterialsto
childrentoenhancetheirliteracycapacity.434Bytheendoffinancialyear2013/14,theeducation
sectorhadprocuredanddeliveredatotalof615,381copiesofP5P7instructionalmaterials(local
language books). It had also procured and distributed 2,378,829 copies of core textbooks and
teachersguidesto14,000governmentprimaryschools.435

430DRT&CPRC,The2ndChronicPovertyReport,op.cit.,p.29.

431MinistryofEducationandSports,EducationandSportsSectorFactSheet20022013.

432FHRIinterviewwithMr.CharlesTonyMukasa,AssistantCommissioner,BasicEducationMinistryof

EducationandSportson28thNovember2014.

433Retrievedon13thOctober2014from:www/rti.org.

434FHRIinterviewwithMr.CharlesTonyMukasa,AssistantCommissioner,BasicEducationMinistryof

EducationandSportson28thNovember2014.

435MinistryofEducationandSports,TheEducationandSportsSectorAnnualPerformanceReport

2013/2014,p.87.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA


However, despite such interventions, concerns about the quality of education offered in UPE
schoolsremain.AccordingtotheUWEZOfindings,oneoutoffivechildreninprimarysevenisnot
abletopassboththeliteracyandnumeracytests.436

Figure10:LiteracyratesforP3andP6(%)

60
50
40

P3

30

P6

20
10
0

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

(Source:MinistryofEducationandSports,EducationandSportsSectorFactSheet,20022013)

Evidently, there is little to no correlation between the number of schooling years and skill levels.
Since 2003, with exceptions for 2007 and 2008, the literacy rates in primary six have been
significantlylowerthaninprimarythree(figure10).TheUPEsystemlacksbasicqualitycontrols.
Thereismoreemphasisonmovingpupilstothenextstagethanonwhetherthepupilsgraspthe
principlesandconceptstaught.437

Praffattributesthepoorqualityofeducationtothehighpupilenrolmentrates:

Thequalityofeducationhasbeencompromisedbythehighpupilenrolmentrates.Initiallya
class was constituted of 45 pupils. Currently, some classes have 100150 pupils. So it is a
challenge to teach classes such as needlework and physical exercise. Most of the extra
curriculaactivitiesthatusedtobecarriedoutcannolongerbedone;forexample,thehome
managementclasses.Theschoolisunabletoprovidematerialsforsomanypupils.438

The mismatch between infrastructure and human resource capacities visvis the increasing
numbers of pupils has also compromised the quality of education. The sudden reduction in
education quality indicators such as the pupilteacher ratio, pupilclassroom ratio and the pupil
textbookratioattesttothis.Theperiod1996to2003witnessedalargeincreaseinthenumberof
primaryschools,from 8,531to 13,353.The numberofprimaryschoolteachersequallyincreased

436UWEZO,AreOurChildrenLearning?LiteracyandNumeracyAcrossEastAfrica,2013,p.12.
437DRT&CPRC,The2ndChronicPovertyReport,op.cit.,p.30.

438FHRIinterviewwithMs.DianaPraff,LegalOfficer,PlatformforLabourAction,on17thJuly2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

99

from 81,564 to 145,587.439However, the enrolment rates of pupils in primary schools increased
even faster over the same period from 3.1 to 6.8 million. Despite the adoption of a policy that
institutionalises the teacherpupil ratio at 1:53, its realisation, especially in rural areas remains a
challenge.

Figure11:Pupilteacherratiobetweengovernmentandprivateschools

60
50
40

Government

30

Private

20
10
0

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

(Source:MinistryofEducationandSports,EducationandSportsSectorFactSheet,20022013)

FHRI research findings paint a grim picture. According to Lyadda, District Education officer in
Budaka,despiteeffortstoconstruct moreschools,thepupilteacherratio remainshigh.AtKapilli
Primary School in Budaka district, a newly constructed primary school, has four classrooms but
1,177pupilsand10teachers.440Thisismorethan100studentsperteacher.InBugiri,theDistrict
EducationOfficernotedthatthepupilteacherratioisalsohighat1:67.441Mukasaalsoagrees:

InLangoregionaclassroomcomprisingof130pupilsisunderoneteacher.InAruayoufind
an average of 150 pupils in a class. To make matters worse, this concentration is mainly in
primary1,2and3.Sowithsuchapopulationunderoneteacher,youcanhardlyexpectthem
toreceivequalityeducation.442

Thehighpupilteacherratioalsoimpactsonthemoraleofteachers.InBugiridistrict,itwasnoted
that the high pupilteacher ratio has contributed to the absenteeism of some teachers from
school.443InBudaka,absenteeismonthepartofbothteachersandpupilswasalsohighlighted:

Absenteeismofbothteachersandpupilshasgreatlyimpactedonthequalityofeducationin
Budakadistrict.Teachersfailtogotoschoolforonereasonoranotherandwhenitisplanting

439PolicyBrief10,UniversalPrimaryEducationUganda,2006.

440FHRIinterviewwithMr.LyaddaBakerWilson,DistrictEducationOfficer,Budakadistrict,on8thAugust

2014.
441FHRIinterviewwithMr.MasinganoMohammed,DistrictEducationOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust
2014.
442FHRIinterviewwithMr.CharlesTonyMukasa,AssistantCommissioner,BasicEducationMinistryof
EducationandSportson28thNovember2014.
443FHRIinterviewwithMr.MasinganoMohammed,DistrictEducationOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust
2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

season,thepupilsstayhometohelpoutinthegardens.Attheendofitallyoufindthatthe
timespentlearningisquiteinadequate.444

TheDistrictInspectorofSchoolsinBugiri,however,notesthatfailureofthegovernmenttoalign
theincreasingnumberofpupilsinschoolswithteachershasledtothehighrateofabsenteeism:

Government gives the total number of teachers that we should have. However, this number
has been constant for a long time yet the number of pupils continues to increase. Some
teachers are retiring, others fall sick, and for other reasons others may not afford to teach
everyday.Soyoufindthatanumberofourschoolsdonothaveenoughteachers.445

Hefurtherarguesthatpoorpayofteachershasalsoimpactedontheirabilitytoteach.Henotesthat
thishasgreatlydemotivatedmostteachersandencouragedthemtofindsupplementarymeansof
income:

Teachers have persistently requested for an increment in their salary however, this has not
yieldedanything.Itiswellknownthatteachershavemanyat timesgoneonstrikeoverthis
[sic]. The result however is that many have started small businesses to supplement their
salaries.Sowhenthepupilsgotoclassandthereisnoteacherthefirstday,theywillplay.The
secondday,theymaywonderwhytheycameatall.Thethirddaysomewillnotturnup.Sothis
hasaffectedthequalityofeducationinourschools.446

Mukasanotesthatteachershavelostthemoraletoteachasaresult:

Teachersfeelthattheyarepoorlypaidcadres.Thishasresultedinmanylosingthemoraleto
teach.Sothishasalsoimpactedonthequalityofeducation.447

Hehowevernotesthatthewelfareofteachersisapriorityforgovernment.448

The steep rise in enrolment rates due to the introduction of UPE has also led to a shortage of
structuresandfacilitiestoprovidequalityeducation.ManyoftheschoolsvisitedduringtheFHRI
study did not have sufficient chairs and desks for the pupils. For instance, at Kaabong Secondary
School,oneoftheteachersexplainedthatthedeskstheywereprovidedwereofpoorqualityand
quickly broke down. Recently, Irish Aid donated more durable furniture although the pupils still
havetoshare.449

444FHRIinterviewwithMr.LyaddaBakerWilson,DistrictEducationOfficer,Budakadistrict,on8thAugust

2014.
445FHRIinterviewwithMr.KabuloHenry,DistrictInspectorofSchools,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust2014.
446FHRIinterviewwithLomoeSimonLokure,ExecutiveDirector,DodothAgroPastoralistDevelopment
Organisation,Kaabongdistrict,on9thJuly2014.
447FHRIinterviewwithMr.CharlesTonyMukasa,op.cit.
448Ibid.
449FHRIinterviewwithMr.NjogoTomKoryang,KaabongSecondarySchool,Kaabongdistrict,on8thJuly
2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

101

FHRI

Many schools lack adequate facilities,

suchaschairsanddesksforthepupils.

FHRI

Moreover,anumberoftheschoolsvisitedfacedchallengessuchaslackofadequateclassroomsfor
thestudents.Manyofthestructuresaredilapidatedandclassroomsareovercrowded.AtSt.Daniel
CombonySecondarySchoolinMatany,Morotodistrict,someofthestudentsweretaughtoutsidein
animprovisedtent(seephotobelow).450

FHRI

St. Daniel Comboni Secondary School in Matany, Moroto district lacks sufficient classrooms and is,

therefore,forcedtoteachstudentsoutsideinatent.

450FHRIinterviewwithMr.JohnLokwii,HeadTeacher,St.DanielComboniSecondarySchool,Matany,Moroto

district,on7thJuly2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA


Anotherfactorthathasgreatlyimpactedonthepupilsabilitytolearninschoolsisthefailureby
pupilstoaccessessentialresourcessuchaslunch,uniformsandbooks.WhiletheUPEpolicymakes
primaryeducationfreeintermsoftuition,parentsstillcarrytheburdenofprovidingchildrenwith
writing materials, uniforms and lunch. Most parents especially the chronically poor in the
communities cannot afford such costs. In Budaka district, the district education officer attributes
thefailurebyparentstomeetsuchcostsonlackofownershipofgovernmentprograms:

Our communities have failed to own educational activities as their own. They consider UPE
policiesasgovernmentpolicies.Theydonotappreciatethatasparentstheystillhavearoleto
play.Soyoufindtheyhavenointerestinwhathappensinschool.Whentheirchildrenrequest
for books, or lunch the parents send them to go to school after all, President Museveni told
themtosendtheirchildrentoschoolandtherestgovernmentwillcaterfor.451

Regardless of the failure by some parents to meet these requirements, other factors still hinder
many children from attending school. This was noted in all the areas visited during research.
Ochola,ontheotherhand,attributesittoparentsnegativeattitudetowardseducation:

HereinKaabongdistrict,mostparentsdonotrealisethevalueofeducation.Sotheyarenot
concernedaboutwhathappensinschools.However,Ithinkitisalsoasaresultofmanynot
havinggonetoschool.Sotheydonotappreciatethevalue.452

Inthecourseofthisresearch,itwasnotedthatmostparentsinEasternUgandaandtheKaramoja
region engage their children in activities such as farming instead of sending them to school. In
additiontotheinabilitytomeetschoolcosts,manyparentsfeltthatthequalityhadgreatlydeclined
sincemanyoftheirchildrencouldneitherreadnorwritetheirnames.

Whileenrolmenthasincreasedsignificantlytothecreditofgovernmentanddevelopmentpartners,
theprimary dropoutrateremainsveryhigh, andthereforeilliteracyandinnumeracyremainrife.
This is partly a function of the low quality of services and the failure and/or inability of families,
particularly the chronically poor, to provide children with scholarly materials. Efforts should,
therefore, be targeted towards sensitizing the communities on their role, monetary or in kind, to
ensure effective implementation of UPE. The welfare of teachers is another issue that should be
prioritized.ThiswillpositivelyimpacttheUPEprogramme.

5.2.4 Health

Thereisanundisputedlinkbetweenhealthandpovertythatisevidentinseveralwaysincluding
theinabilityofthepoortoaccesshealthcare.Thismayeventuallytranslateintochronicdiseases,
which reduces the ability of people to engage in income generating activities, thereby pushing
familiesintochronicpoverty.453Walugembeexplains:

451FHRIinterviewwithMr.LyaddaBakerWilson,DistrictEducationOfficer,Budakadistrict,on8thAugust

2014.

452FHRIinterviewwithOryemaHarrisonEmol,ZonalManager,KaramojaPeaceandDevelopmentAgency,

andNareebahGrationOchola,EconomicDevelopmentTeamLeader,MercyCorps,Kaabongdistrict,on8th
July2014.
453DRT&CPRC,The2ndChronicPovertyReport,op.cit.,p.27.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

103

A population that is not healthy will not be productive. But also health seems to be one of
thoseaspectsthat,forexample, willdrainresourcesofafamilytrying to maintainaccessto
healthandevenpreventafamilyfromdevelopingresources.454

Uganda has experienced some commendable improvements in its health indicators. However,
several mortality and morbidity rates continue to exceed the targets as set in the Health Sector
Strategic Investment Plan (HSSIP). For instance, between 2001 and 2013 the maternal mortality
rate reduced from 524 to 360 deaths per 100,000 live births, yet the target is 131 deaths per
100,000livebirths.Ugandahasachievedbetterresultsinachievingtheunderfivemortalitytarget.
The underfive mortality rate was 152 in 2001 and reduced to 66 underfive deaths per 1,000
birthsin2013,whilethetargetstandsat56(Table3).

Table3:MortalitytrendsinUganda

2001
2005
2011
Maternal mortality rate (deaths per 100,000
524
418
438
livebirths)
Under5 mortality rate (deaths per 1,000
152
137
90
births)
(Source:UgandaDemographicHealthSurveys,1995,2001,2005,and2011)
*StatisticsfromUganda:WHOStatisticalProfile455

2013*
360
66

AnevenmoreworryingtrendistheprevalenceofpeoplelivingwithHIV/AIDS.Thepercentageof
Ugandans living with HIV/AIDS has risen in recent years from 6.4% in 2005 to 7.3% in 2011.456
While the number of new cases slightly reduced in 2013, the infection rate is still alarming.
HIV/AIDS greatly affects the working population and reduces productivity in the working age
group.

Toensureequitableaccesstohealth,thehealthsystemwasdecentralisedin1993andkeytothis
decentralizationpolicyisthePrimaryHealthCareStrategy,underwhichtheGovernmentofUganda
isfullycommittedtotheimprovementofhealthbythepeoplethemselves.Theprimaryhealthcare
implemented by the government aims at delivering the Uganda Minimum Health Care Package.
(MHCP)MalariacontrolandmanagementisacentralcomponentofMHCP.457In2001,usercharges
were discontinued in all government health facilities except for private wings in hospitals in an
attempttoensureaccesstohealthcare.

However,inrealtermsaremovalofuserchargesandconstructionofmorehealthfacilitieshashad
little impact on access to quality health care because of the failure of government to meet its
minimumcoreobligationtoprovidethebasicservicesguaranteedintheMHCPinhealthcentres.
Nakibuukaattributesthistotheinadequatestructures,insufficientstaffingandlackofequipment
andmedicine:

The Ugandan health care system is structured to operate by referral. However, this is not
functional.Atthecommunitylevel,wehavethevillagehealthteams(VHT).Theyarethefirst
pointofcontact.However,governmenthasnotrealisedtheircontributionandcurrentlydoes

454FHRIinterviewwithMr.JosephWalugembe,ProgrammeDirector,ActiononDisability&Development

International,on8thJuly2014.
455Retrievedfrom:http://www.who.int/gho/countries/uga.pdf?ua=1on15thApril2015.
456Retrievedfrom:http://www.aidsuganda.org/resourcecenter/documentation/159unaidswadbriefing
2013on8thOctober2014.
457MoFPED,ProgrammeofActionfortheLeastDevelopedCountries,op.cit.,p.6.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

notpaythemfortheservicestheyrenderyetthe structureisthere.Thenyougotoa health


centreIIwhichusuallyhastwohealthofficers.Forahealthworkertobeatthefacilityorclose
byischance.ThenyouhavehealthcentreIIIwhichisusuallyadistancefromthecommunity.
You require transport to access it. At this level there are also other challenges to do with
staffing,lackofequipmentandmedicinesandsoon.Thenyouareforcedtoproceedtohealth
centreIVatthedistrict.Mostlikelyyouwillnotfindadoctortoattendtoyoubecausetheyare
also usually under staffed. So by the time you reach the regional referral hospital, you are
either dead or in critical condition and you cannot really be helped. So I would say we have
good facilities if only they were functioning. Functioning to mean you have qualified health
workers, adequate medicine and equipment. However, in terms of structures being in place,
thatwehave.458

Aumaconcurs:

Thereareissuestodowiththequalityofcareatthehealthfacilities.Ifapatientgoesthere
andfindstheservicesnotpalatableandwelcoming,shewillgoandmobilisetheothersnotto
bother.Afterallevenifyougothereitwillnotmakeanydifferenceanyway.459

At Kalapata Health Centre III in Kaabong district, the facility lacks adequate staff and sufficient
equipment,especiallyatthematernalward.AtthetimeoftheFHRIvisit,thehealthcentrehadonly
one delivery bed and five medical officers and three training assistants. When asked how they
managetooperate,thenurseinchargecalmlystated:

Ofcourseyouhavetodoyourbest.Sometimesmorethanonewomanmaygointolabour.So
youhavetoprioritisewhomtostartwithsoastosavelives.Theonewhodeliversfirstgetsthe
bedandothersareplacedonthefloor.Alsomanywomencometohospitalwhenlabourhas
alreadyprogressedandyouneedequipmenttoresuscitatethebaby.Atthemomentwehave
noequipment.460

KamionHealthCentreIIinKaabongdistrictonlyhastwomedicalpersonnel;aclinicalofficeranda
midwife.Onaverage,thecentrereceive20patientsdaily.461Tocompoundthesituationfurther,the
facility does not have access to water. The midwife explained that it takes her an hour to fetch
waterfromthenearestborehole.462

In the financial year 2012/13, the Ministry of Health together with political and civil society
partners advocated for urgent recruitment of additional health workers. Even though additional
staffing in remote areas is the most pressing, the remote districts have so far not fully benefitted
fromtherecruitmentdriveinthepastyears.Thiscanmainlybeattributedtothetendencyofhealth
carepersonneltoavoidareaswithpoorsocialinfrastructure.463TheDistrictHealthOfficer(DHO)of
Kotidodistrict,Dr.Olinga,highlightsthisasoneofthebiggestchallengesinthedistrict:

458FHRIinterviewwithMs.NoorNakibukaMusisi,ProgrammeManager,StartegicLitigation,Centrefor

Health,HumanRightsandDevelopmenton16thMay2014.
459FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on
27thNovember2014.
460FHRIinterviewwithMs.BettyTopos,Nurseincharge,KalapataHealthCentreIII,Kaabongdistrict,on9th
July2014.
461FHRIinterviewwithMs.Nakong,Midwife,KamionHealthCentreII,Kaabongdistrict,on9thJuly2014.
462Ibid.
463MinistryofHealth(MoH),AnnualHealthSectorPerformanceReportfortheFinancialYear2013/2014,
GovernmentoftheRepublicofUganda,October2014,p.16.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

105

Ofcoursetherearehumanresourceissues,thisisahardtoreach,hardtostay,area.Coupled
with a low education level of the local communities here, we do not have many locally born
healthworkers.Soyoufindtherearequitesignificantshortages,especiallyinthelowerhealth
unitsintermsofhumanresources.464

Countrywide the percentage of approved posts filled by health workers in public facilities has
improvedfrom56%in2011to69%in2013/14(Table4).465

Table4:Healthcaresectorstaffinglevels
No.ofUnits
Norm
Filled
Name
ButabikaNationalReferralHospital
1
422
359
MulagoNationalReferralHospital
1
2,461
1,880
UgandaBloodTransfusionServices
1
242
215
UgandaCancerInstitute
1
213
122
UgandaHeartInstitute
1
190
134
RegionalReferralHospital
14
4,744
3,820
SubTotalCentralLevel
19
8,272
6,530
DistrictHealthOfficersOffice
105
1,155
938
MentalHealthOfficersOffice
21
189
184
TownCouncil
69
345
111
GeneralHospital
42
7,980
5,383
HealthCentreIV
179
8,640
6,734
HealthCentreIII
936
17,746
13,399
HealthCentreII
1,618
14,364
7,096
SubTotalLocalGovernment
2,979
50,419
33,845
TotalNationalLevel
2,998
58,691
40,375
Source:MinistryofHealth,HumanResourcesforHealthBiAnnualReport,July2014.

Vacant%
15%
24%
11%
43%
29%
19%
21%
19%
3%
68%
33%
22%
24%
51%
33%
31%

Governmenthasalsomadeeffortstoincreasethenumberofhealthfacilitiesinordertoreducethe
distancepeoplehavetotraveltothenearestfacility.Theaveragedistancereducedfrom4.8kmin
2009/10to3.2kmin2012/13.However,thepercentageofpeoplelivingwithina5kmradiustoa
government health centre still only stands at 34.9% (Table 5). DHO Lemukol, explains how in
remoteareaslikeNapakthedistancetohealthfacilitiesremainsproblematic:

Accesstohealthserviceisstillaprobleminthisdistrict.Around40%ofthepopulationlives
beyonda40kmradiusfromthenearesthealthfacilityinthisdistrict.Rightnowwehavegot
12healthcentreswhicharefunctional,andoutoftheseoneisaprivatehospital.Thenwehave
6healthcentresIIIand5healthcentresIIthatarefunctional.Wedonothaveahealthcentre
IV,althoughweareplanningtoupgradeoneofthehealthcentresIIIintoahealthcentreIV.
Manypeoplehavenowspreadaparttoresettleinplacesthataremorefertiletoimproveon
the food security situation. So they have gone far away and left health centres 20 to 30km
behind. We have been trying to provide medical outreaches to such communities but we
cannotdothatonaregularbasisbecauseyouneedalotofresources,andbesidesthosecost
implications,thelevelofservicesyouwillprovideinanoutreacharenotlikewhatyoucould
provideatahealthservicefacility.466

464FHRIinterviewwithDr.Olinga,DistrictHealthOfficer,KotidoDistrict,on10thJuly2014.
465MoH,AnnualHealthSectorPerformanceReportFY2013/2014,op.cit.,p.16.

466FHRIinterviewwithDr.JamesLemukol,DistrictHealthOfficer,Napakdistrict,on7thJuly2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

FHRI

SincesecurityhasreturnedtoKaramojapeoplehavestartedresettlinginmorefertileareastoimproveon

foodsecurity,howevertheseareasareoftenremoteandlackaccesstosocialservices.

Table5:Distancetohealthfacilities
Averagedistance(km)
HealthFacility
2005/062009/102012/13
Privatehospital/clinic
3.8
4.1
3.2
Governmenthealthcentre
3.6
6.3
3.4
Shop
1.1
2.6
1.5
1.8
3.7
1.3
Pharmacy
Governmenthospital
11.3
6.6
7.6
Fieldworker/VHT
0.8
1.9
1.0
Outreachservice
N/A
N/A
3.3
Other
3.4
4.2
3.0
Source:UgandaBureauofStatistics,UgandaNationalHouseholdSurvey2012/2013.

% within 5km radius


2012/13
37.5%
34.9%
8.6%
7.8%
4.9%
1.7%
0.9%
3.7%

Thegovernmenthasthusundertakenanumberofstepstoensureavailabilityandaccessibilityof
health care facilities and services. The next step in the provision of health care needs to be the
improvement in the quality of care as well as the situation of health care workers, which is still
dismal.

Focus group discussions in villages in Northern and Eastern Uganda have revealed that the main
problem people face with regard to health is quality health care, which includes accessibility and
availabilityofdrugsandservices.Affordabilityislessofaproblemasservicesareprovidedfreeof
chargeinthegovernmenthealthcentres.However,becausethesegovernmenthealthfacilitiesare
oftenfarawayordonotoffertheservicesordrugsthatarerequired,peopleendupgoingtoprivate
clinicsortraditionalhealerswheretheyarechargedasmallfee.Forinstance,duringafocusgroup
discussionwithmeninBudakadistrict,itwasexplainedthatthereisaHealthCentreIIInearby,but
thatitalwayslacksnecessarydrugsandtheyenduphavingtogotopharmaciestobuythedrugsor
go to the Health Centre IV which is 10km away.467During a focus group in Nangonde village in

467FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

107

Namutumba district, men stated that they use traditional healers because the free health centres
oftenlackdrugsandthoseatthepharmacyareunaffordable.Theyobservedthatpeoplewhoseek
help from traditional healers more often die than get cured, but that they do not have another
choice.468ResidentsofLotidevillageinNapaknotedthatthereisastrongpreferenceforthenearby
private hospital because the health centres are more difficult to reach and may not have the
servicesormedicinesthatarerequired.469

Basedonthesetestimoniesitmaybemoreeffectivetoreintroduceasmalluserfeefrompatients
(e.g.1,0002,000UGX)470thatwouldenablehealthcentrestoimprovestaffingandhealthservices.
Thisisespeciallyimportantinareaswherepeoplehavetotravellongdistancestoaccessahealth
centre. Unless health centres provide the advertised services, people will continue to seek help
fromtraditionalhealers.

Atthehealthcentresitisoftenperceivedthatthelongdistanceandtimespentatthehealthcentre
influenceshealthseekingbehaviour:

People are working hard in their fields. So the time one spends here [at the health centre]
waitingforaprocess,goingthroughthelabs,treatmentandallthat,willbeenoughforyouto
have done something in the garden. Then the distance also matters. So they prefer to come
onlywhentheydonothaveanalternativebuttocometothisplace.471

The long distance to health facilities is particularly problematic for pregnant women going into
labour.Dr.GabagayaexplainstheproblemtheyfaceatDoctorswithAfricainKotido:

Youlookatthedistanceamotherhastomovetodeliver.Outofthe17healthunitsonly8are
ahealthcentreIIIorIVlevel,andyetdeliveriesshouldhappeninhealthcentresIIIandabove.
Look at the distance a mother has to walk to access a health centre III and deliver from a
health unit. You just keep wondering how they make it there because it is really far. So we
woulddefinitelydowithmorehealthfacilities.472

ThenursingassistantatKaitiHealthCentreIIinNamutumbadistrictnotesthatmanywomencome
tothemwhentheyareabouttodeliver,yettheydonothavethefacilitiestoadequatelyhelpthem:

Wecareforantenatalmothers.Somemotherscomehereanddeliver,buttheproblemisthat
wedonothavelight,weusesmallcandles.Wedonotevenhaveaccommodationformothers
after birth. After they give birth they sleep on mats. We also lack delivery kits, but the DHO
[DistrictHealthOfficer]emphasizedthatbecauseitisahealthcentreIIanddoesnothavea
midwifeitcannotbeprioritized.473

468FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmaleresidentsofNangondevillage,Namutumbadistrict,on6thAugust

2014.
469FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithvillagersofLotideVillage,Napakdistrict,on7thJuly2014.
470Equivalentto0.300.61USDollars.
471FHRIinterviewwithtwonursingoffiersatNabukalaHealthCentreIII,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust2014.
472FHRIinterviewwithDr.GraceGabagaya,TechnicalAdvisor,DoctorswithAfrica(CUAMM),Kotidodistrict,
on10thJuly2014.
473FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiingiMbabaziJoyce(Doctorincharge)andMs.Kamekete(NursingAssitant),
KaitiHealthCentreII,Namutumbadistrict,on6thAugust2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Gabagaya describes how they have tried to address this issue by setting up a transport voucher
scheme:

Rightnow,wehavesomethinginplacewecallthetransportvoucherscheme,whichweare
running.Wehavetriedtoidentifytransportersinthecommunitywhocantransportmothers
to health units. A mother in labour can contact a person who has a motorcycle or a bicycle.
Thenthispersontakesthemtothehealthcentreandremainswithavoucher.Attheendofthe
monthwecashoutvouchers.Butofcoursetheyalsohavetheirchallenges.Whentheweather
isbadandthereisalotofraintheycannottransportthemothersontheirmotorcycles.474

Transport to refer patients to a different facility remains a problem in general. For instance, at
NsinzeHealthCentreIVinNamutumbadistrict,theambulancebrokedownandthefacilitylacksa
budgetforitsrepair.Patientscanonlybereferredtothenearesthospitalbypublicmeans,whichis
problematicforthepoor:

Mostofthepeopleinourcommunitiesarepoor.Wereferapatient[tothehospital]andhe
doesnothavethemoneytotravelthere.Theygohomeandnaturesolvesit.Someofthemdie
andsomeofthemimprove.475

FHRI

AtKotidoHealthCentreIVtheydonothaveaworkingambulance.Thisvehiclewaspreviouslyusedasan

ambulancebutbrokedownandthereisnomoneyforrepairs.

474FHRIinterviewwithDr.GraceGabagaya,TechnicalAdvisor,DoctorswithAfrica(CUAMM),Kotidodistrict,

on10thJuly2014.
475FHRIinterviewwithMukambweJamesandMuzeyiAndrew,NsinzeSubCountyHealthCentreIV,
Namutumbadistrict,on7thAugust2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

109

FHRI

A critically ill patient at Kotido Health Centre IV. The Health Centre has been unable to diagnose the
patientandrequestedforreferraltothenearesthospital,butafteraweekthepatientstillhasnotbeen
transferredduetolackoffunds.

TheDHOinNapakdistrict,experiencessimilarstruggleswithreferrals:

Referral,generally,isanotherbigchallengehere.Mostofthecommunitiesarelivingfaraway
fromthehealthfacility.Ofthe12healthfacilitieswehaveambulanceservicein3facilities.In
thehospital,theninonehealthcentreIII,whichwehopetoupgradetohealthcentreIV,and
theninonedistanthealthcentreII,whichisaround90kmfromhere.Soitisabigchallenge,
sometimesevenwiththeseambulanceservices,becauseoftheroadinfrastructurehere.When
itrainsheavily,mostoftheroadsaresubmerged.Theyarenotpassable,andsoitisaverybig
challenge to refer most of the patients. Some people just die on the way and others die at
home.476

Napakdistrict

AnambulancestuckduetoheavyrainsinNapakdistrict.

476FHRIinterviewwithDr.JamesLemukol,DistrictHealthOfficer,Napakdistrict,on7thJuly2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA


Another major challenge raised by health workers and officials was the lack of staff
accommodation. Accommodation for staff was insufficient at most health centres visited. Often,
accommodation is for a limited number of staff who have to work extra hours at night because
otherstafflivetoofarfromthehealthcentre.477AtKaitiHealthCentre,forinstance,theonlystaff
thathasaccommodationatthefacilityisthenursingassistant.Shenotes:

Wedonothavestaffhouses,Isleepherebutthewindcameoffandblewofftheironsheet,so
nowIsleepinthesmallstore.Iamheredayandnightandeveryonewhowantsdrugsatnight,
hastocomeandknock.Itwouldhelpifwehavestaffquarters,thenIcouldbringmyfamily
here.NowIgotomyhusbandontheweekend.478

FHRI

Dilapidated structures at Kaiti Health Centre II,


Namutumba district, have forced the nursing assistant,

theonlyaccommodatedstaff,tosleepinthestorageroom

FHRI

Many health workers and officials also identified low salaries and delays in payment thereof as
major challenges. Two nursing officers at Nabukala Health Centre III in Bugiri district explained
that they often receive only half of their salary or even a quarter, and one time it took 7 months
beforetheygotpaid,leadingtohighdebts.479Dr.Gabagayaexplainshowdelaysinpaymentsleadto
demotivationamonghealthworkers:

477FHRIinterviewwithMs.MiriamSumbaatalaandMr.AlexBakanuze,nursingoffiers,NabukalaHealth

CentreIII,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust2014.
478FHRIinterviewwithMs.BiingiMbabaziJoyce(Doctorincharge)andMs.Kamekete(NursingAssitant),
KaitiHealthCentreII,Namutumbadistrict,on6thAugust2014.
479FHRIinterviewwithMs.MiriamSumbaatalaandMr.AlexBakanuze,nursingoffiers,NabukalaHealth
CentreIII,Bugiridistrict,on4thAugust2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

111

Wehaveanissueofsalaries.Peoplehavenotreceivedtheirsalariesinalongtime.Ithasbeen
aboutthreemonthsandtheyaresodemotivated.Yougoandmentorthem,buttheytellyou
thattheyaredemotivated,becausetheirchildrenareathomeastheydonothavethemoney
tosendthemtoschool.480

Besidesdelaysinpaymentofsalaries,healthworkersalsoexperienceregulardelaysindeliveryof
drugs.Gabagayanarratedherexperiencewithdrugshortages:

Drugshortageshappensooften,becauseattimesthehealthunitsdoorderfortheirdrugsbut
theytakelongtocomein.Someorderbuttheygetthewrongsuppliesfortheirlevel.Soifitisa
healthcentreIIIthentheybringinsuppliesmeantforahealthcentreII.481

Health workers at Nsinze Health Centre IV in Namutumba district also narrated their problems
withtimelyandadequatedrugdeliveries:

The National Medical Store supplies drugs to us. They make their schedule from January to
December, but sometimes they delay to deliver drugs in time according to the schedule. The
currentdeliverywassupposedtobedeliveredamonthago,butwereceiveditjustaweekago.
Secondly,whentheybringthedrugs,attimestheydonotbringthedrugsweneed.RecentlyI
got drugs but drugs for which we need an injection are completely out of stock. So we are
telling patients to go and buy themselves. If we need extra drugs between scheduled deliver
theycannotdothat.482

Afinalchallengethathealthworkersfaceistheabsenceofabudgettoprocurefoodtoprovideto
the patients, especially in Karamoja where malnutrition remains a serious problem. As of 2012,
nearly half of Ugandan households were food energy deficient (those whose regular diets fail to
providethemwiththeminimumdietaryenergyrequirement),withNorthernUgandaexperiencing
thehighestlevel(Figure12).

Figure12:Proportionofthepopulationthatisfoodenergydeficientbyregion

60%
50%

43%

40%

46%

46%

46%

Kampala

Western

Central

59%

30%
20%
10%

0%

Eastern

Northern

480FHRIinterviewwithDr.GraceGabagaya,TechnicalAdvisor,DoctorswithAfrica(CUAMM),Kotidodistrict,

on10thJuly2014.

481ibid.

482FHRIinterviewwithMukambweJamesandMuzeyiAndrew,NsinzeSubCountyHealthCentreIV,
Namutumbadistrict,on7thAugust2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

ThemajorcontributingfactorstothisincludethehighpovertylevelsinNorthernUganda,thelower
percentage of workingage men, as well as conflict and insecurity in the region. Food energy
deficiency often times results into preventable diseases such as anaemia, diarrhoea and
malnutrition.483

FHRI

An HIV positive patient at Kotido Health Centre IV who does not have access to food and only lives on
waterandattimesporridge.EventhoughhehasaccesstoARTs,theyareunlikelytobeeffectiveduetohis
malnourishment.

Toaddressmalnutritionandotherpreventablediseases,ithasbeenarguedthatmorefocusshould
be placed on preventive rather than curative care. This will address many of the health issues
currentlyplaguingthehealthcaresystem.ThisisalsosupportedbyVision2040asdiscussedinthe
previouschapter.Dr.Sekimpiarguesthat:

Toachieveuniversalaccesstohealthcare,abiggerfractionofthegovernmentsbudgettothe
health sector should be in health promotion and prevention of ill health rather than
concentrating on construction of more health facilities. Government has already undertaken
this by up scaling access to immunisation and provision of insecticide treated mosquito nets
though there is need for deliberate targeting of the communities to appreciate such
interventions.Manyofthepreventiveaspectspeoplecandothemselvesifmadetoappreciate
therationaleHowever,governmentneedstoprioritisetheroleofVHTstoenablethemfully
coordinatethisfunction.Theresultwillbetwofold:peoplewillbecomehealthierhencemore
productive economically and secondly, the health facilities will be more efficient due to the
reducedworkload.484

483UgandaNutritionAnalysis,OfficeofthePrimeMinisterUgandaNutritionActionPlanCoordination

Secretariat,pp.3637.
484FHRIinterviewwithDr.DeograciasSekimpi,Ag.ExecutiveDirector,UgandaNationalAssociationof
CommunityandOccupationalHealth,on11thJuly2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

113

A number of NGOs have complemented this role by sensitising the communities on the need for
behaviourchange.Forinstance,WorldVisioninKotidodistrictisrunningaprogramme aimed at
empowering the communities by improving on their nutrition intake, ability to seek for family
planningmethodsaswellastheirgeneralwellbeing.Theyhavebeenabletoachievethisthrough
strengtheningofVHTsatthecommunitylevel.485

Vision 2040 identifies universal health insurance as one of the key strategies to improve the
efficiency, costeffectiveness and responsiveness of Ugandas health service delivery system. The
Ministry of Health has proposed plans for a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Under the
scheme, persons employed in formal employment will be expected to contribute to and benefit
from the scheme, helping to increase financing for the health sector. The NHIS is also an
opportunitytoensurethatpoorandvulnerablepeopleareabletoaccessqualityhealthservicesat
affordableprices.

Forpersonslivinginextremepoverty,accesstohealthcareservicesappearstobeabiggerproblem
thanitscost.Forthepoor,alackofbasichealthservicesistantamounttoillhealth.Overall,atthe
householdlevel,illnesscanbeashockthatcouldsendafamilyintoaspiralofimpoverishment.The
best guarantor of security against such harrowing experiences is a functioning healthcare
system.486Considering the high burden of communicable diseases in Uganda, prevention of ill
healthshouldbethemainfocus.

5.3

ECONOMICENVIRONMENT

Since 1990, Ugandas economy has recovered steadily from the economic recession experienced
during the 1970s and 1980s,487and the economic growth has been evidently impressive. The
average growth rate between 2001 and 2010 was 7.9%.488The rapid growth of Ugandas GDP is
largely attributable to the expansion of the service sector, whose contribution to GDP grew from
41.2% in 2001/2002 to over 51.2% in 2008/2009. The strong growth of the service sector has
mainly been due to the high growth in the transport and communications subsectors.489The
industrial sector has experienced a similar growth pattern, while the contribution of the
agricultural sector to the economy has declined steadily. Nevertheless, the vast majority of
Ugandans generate income from the agricultural sector, although the percentage of people
dependingonagricultureisalsodeclining(Table6).

Table6:Householdprimarysourcesofincomein2005/06and2009/10
SourceofIncome
Rural
Urban

2005/6
2009/10
2005/6
2009/10
Subsistenceagriculture
64%
54%
15%
6%
Commercialagriculture
4%
5%
2%
2%
12%
17%
36%
45%
Wageemployment
Nonfarmenterprise
13%
18%
36%
37%
7%
6%
11%
10%
Other
(Source:MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,2012)

485FHRIinterviewwithDr.SimonAkena,ProgramManager,WorldVision,Kotidodistrict,on10thJuly2014.
486Green,FromPovertytoPower,op.cit.,p.231.

487SeeParagraph2.4ofthisreportforamoredetaileddiscussionontheeconomicenvironmentduringthe

postindependenceera.

488MoFPED,ProgrammeofActionfortheLeastDevelopedCountries,op.cit.,p.10.
489ibid.,p.11.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Oneoftheargumentsexplainingwhygrowthintheagriculturalsectorhaslaggedbehindisthatthe
small and declining proportion of the national budget allocated to agriculture (figure 13) is
arguably insufficient to create a transformation from subsistence farming to commercial
agriculture.490In the financial year 2010/11, the agricultural sector was allocated 5% of the
national budget, which was reduced to 2.6% in 2014/15. Similarly, the budget allocated to the
educationsector,althoughsubstantiallyhigher,hasalsobeendecliningovertheyears,from16.8%
in 2010/11 to 11.1% in 2014/15, despite the everincreasing enrolment rates and the need to
improve the quality of education. The proportion allocated to the health sector has remained
stagnant at 8% since 2010, significantly lower than the governments commitment under the
Abujadeclarationthatrequiresstatestoallocateatleast15%ofthenationalbudgettothehealth
caresector.491

Figure13:Proportionofthebudgetallocatedtopropoorsectors

18
16
14
12

Agriculture

10

Education

Health

6
4
2
0

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

FY2013/14

FY2014/15

(Source:MinistryofFinance,BackgroundtotheBudgetandNationalBudgetFrameworkPapers)492

PovertyActionFund
The Poverty Action Fund (PAF) protects poverty priority areas from budget cuts during budget
execution.493The PAF consists of a subset of expenditures within the MediumTerm Expenditure
Framework which are seen as directly contributing to poverty reduction. These expenditures are
fundedfromthesamerevenuesourcesasnonPAFexpenditures;therefore,thePAFdoesnotrefer
to a separate specificpurpose fund. Rather it is a virtual grouping of expenditures in the budget,
linkedtothepriorityofpovertyreduction.ThePAFwassetupin1997/98inordertochannelthe
additionalresourcesreceivedundertheHeavilyIndebtedPoorCountries(HIPC)initiativedirectly
to povertyreducing areas. Since that time, the PAF has expanded as donors are providing
additionalfundsthroughbudgetsupport,andtheyearonyeargovernmentcontributionhasbeen
increasingsteadily.494

490D.Lukwago,IncreasingAgriculturalSectorFinancingWhyitMattersforUgandasSocioEconomic

Transformation,ActionforDevelopment,PolicyResearchSeriesNo.40,2010,p.ix.
491Paragraph26oftheAbujaDeclarationonHIV/AIDS,TuberculosisandOtherRelatedInfectiousDiseases,
2001.
492ThenumbersforFY2010/11andFY2013/14areretrievedfromtheBackgroundtotheBudgetfortheFY
2010/11and2013/14respectively.ThenumbersforFY2011/12,2012/13and2014/15areretrievedfrom
theNationalBudgetFrameworkPapersforFY2012/13,2013/14and2015/16respectively.
493Kuteesa,Magona,Wanyera&Wokadala,op.cit.,p.10.
494ibid.,p.11.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

115


The Ministry of Finance in consultation with other line ministries, donors and civil society
determines which programmes qualify to benefit from the PAF. Such a participatory process in
budgetingforpropoorprogrammesisanimportantmilestoneinensuringprioritisationofpoverty
reduction in public expenditure programmes and transparency in actual utilisation of funds.495
However,themajorshortcomingofthePAFhasbeentheapproachundertakeninensuringservice
deliverytothepoor.Anevaluationconductedrevealedanumberofconcernsinboththeutilization
andcompositionofPAF.Thestudynotesthatonaverage,only20%ofPAFallocationstohealthand
education are directed to priority interventions within these sectors. The largest share of PAF
provisionsgoestowardswagesandonaveragenolessthan77%ofthehealthandeducationPAF
budgets are spent on staff salaries. The study notes further that the composition of PAF
programmesandexpenditureitemshasbeencompromisedbytheneedtoincreasetheproportion
of the PAF in the national budget. This has not been done holistically, and it has been done with
minimalparticipationoftherelevantsectors.Theresultisasetoffragmentedinterventions,with
individualitemsofexpenditureservingnarrowpurposes,whileseverelyunderminingtheeffective
implementationofthePAF.Forexample,in2005/06thebreakdownofthePAFeducationbudget
included 89.6% on wages, 1.5% on school sanitation, 0% on teacher incentives, 4% on basic
materialsand3.1%onclassroomconstruction.Thismeansthatonly8.6%ofthebudgetwasgeared
towards the sector priorities as initially planned.496As such, the PAF falls short in tackling the
actualissuesthatimpedeservicedeliveryforthepoor.

Donorsupport
The role played by the donor community cannot be underestimated. The agricultural, health and
educationsectorsreceiveaconsiderableproportionfromdonorcontributions(Figure14).

Figure14:Percentageofdonorcontributionstokeypropoorsectors

45
40
35
30

Agriculture

25

Education

20

Health

15
10

5
0

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

FY2013/14

FY2014/15

(Source:MinistryofFinance,BackgroundtotheBudgetandNationalBudgetFrameworkPapers)497

495J.A.Okidi&G.K.Mugambe,AnOverviewofChronicPovertyandDevelopmentPolicyinUganda,Economic

PolicyResearchCentre,CPRCWorkingPaper,January2002,p.31.

496OfficeofthePrimeMinister,IndependentEvaluationofUgandasPovertyEradicationActionPlan(PEAP)

19972007,p.1617.

497ThenumbersforFY2010/11andFY2013/14areretrievedfromtheBackgroundtotheBudgetfortheFY

2010/11and2013/14respectively.ThenumbersforFY2011/12,2012/13and2014/15areretrievedfrom
theNationalBudgetFrameworkPapersforFY2012/13,2013/14and2015/16respectively.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Theamountofmoneyfromdonorcontributionshasslowlyincreasedovertheyears,thoughaslight
decline can be observed in FY 2014/15. However, the proportionof the national budget that has
sourced from donor funding has decreased greatly over the years due to the relatively sharp
increaseindomesticfundingofthebudget(Figure15).

Figure15:Proportionofthenationalbudgetfromdonorsupport

20,000.00

18,218

15,000.00
10,000.00

5,000.00
0.00

7,377
1,387

FY2010/11

9,028
1,274

FY2011/12

13,065

10,903
1,993
FY2012/13

2,547
FY2013/14

TotalBudget
2,320

External
Financing

FY2014/15

(Source:MinistryofFinance,BackgroundtotheBudgetandNationalBudgetFrameworkPapers)498

Often,however,donorsupportcomeswithpolicyprescriptions,suchastheStructuralAdjustment
ProgrammeoftheWorldBank.Thesepolicyprescriptionsarenotalwaysinthebestinterestofthe
recipientcountryoradequatelycontextualised,asarguedbyNamusobya:

Sometimes you find policies by the World Bank that entail structural adjustments such as
privatization. However, to get a country like Uganda out of poverty, you need government
controloverpublicservicesbecausethemarketwillnotrunitself.499

Furtherstill,donoraidinsomeinstancesisundependable.ThecuttingofaidtoUgandafollowing
the Presidents assent to the then Antihomosexuality Act, 2014 attests to this. Norway and
Denmark cut aid, while others, including the United States, reviewed their aid budgets.500Such
actions often have limited impact on the recipient government but greatly affect the lives of the
peopleinthecommunities.

Thefollowingsectionsdiscusseconomicfactorsthatimpactontheabilityofthepoortomoveout
of poverty, including challenges faced by the rural poor engaged in subsistence agriculture, and
problemsrelatedtothehighlevelsofunemploymentandincomeinequalityinUganda.

5.3.1Agriculture

Over85%ofUgandaspopulationlivesinruralareas,andderivestheirlivelihoodfromagriculture.
However,despitethissectorbeingthemostimportantinthefighttoeradicatepoverty,itsgrowth

498ThenumbersforFY2010/11andFY2013/14areretrievedfromtheBackgroundtotheBudgetfortheFY

2010/11and2013/14respectively.ThenumbersforFY2011/12,2012/13and2014/15areretrievedfrom
theNationalBudgetFrameworkPapersforFY2012/13,2013/14and2015/16respectively.
499FHRIinterviewwithMs.SalimaNamusobya,ExecutiveDirector,InitiativeforSocialandEconomicRights,
on14thJuly2014.
500TheGuardian,Ugandadonorscutaidafterpresidentpassesantigaylaw,byMartinPlaut,25thFebruary
2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

117

has been dismal in comparison with other sectors of the economy.501Growth in agricultural GDP
averaged 2% per annum over the 2001/02 2010/11 period compared to an average of 9% per
annumfortheindustryandservicesectors.Asaresultoftheunderperformanceoftheagricultural
sector,itscontributiontototalGDPdeclinedfrom51%in1992/93502to22.2%in2014.503Various
factors have contributed to this dismal performance of the agricultural sector. The land tenure
system,failurebyfarmerstoaccesscredit,andpoororganisationoffarmerswereperceivedasthe
biggesthindrancestoagriculturalproductivity.

LandTenureSystem
Landisthemostbasicresourceintermsofthecapitalitrepresentsandgenerates.Itisoneofthe
most important assets in Uganda, particularly for the rural poor who are primarily engaged in
(subsistence) farming. However, for land to play a transformative role in income generation and
povertyreductionsecurityoflandtenureiskey.

Article237(3)oftheConstitutionandSection2oftheLandAct,Cap.227providethatlandmaybe
heldunderonlyfourcategoriesoftenure:customary,504freehold,505mailo,506andleasehold.507The
majority of Ugandans hold their land under customary or mailo land tenure systems,508and,
therefore, do not have full ownership rights of the land. Insecurity lowers land productivity, as
farmersarelesslikelytoinvestinthelandtheycultivate.Thelackoffullownershiprightsunder
thecustomarytenuresystemreducesagriculturalproductivitybyatleast25%.509Anotherproblem
withthecustomarysystemisthatitisplagued by overlappingclaims,often makingitdifficultor

501L.Bategeka,J.Kiiza,&I.Kasirye,InstitutionalConstraintstoAgricultureDevelopmentinUganda,

EconomicPolicyResearchCenter,ResearchSeriesNo.101,May2013,p.8.

502ibid.,p.14.

503MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,BackgroundtotheBudget2014/2015Fiscal
Year,GovernmentofUganda,2014,p.104.
504ThereareanumberofdifferenttypesofcustomarylandtenureindifferentpartsofUganda.Insome
placesthelandisheldcommunally,insomeitbelongstoaparticularclanwhileinothersitisheldby
individuals.Therulesofcustomarylawalsovaryindifferentpartsofthecountry.TheLandAct,1998states
thatcustomarylandtenureshallbegovernedbyrulesgenerallyacceptedasbindingbytheparticular
community.Anyonewhoacquireslandinthatcommunityshallalsobeboundbythesamerules.The
exceptionstothisarethatnocustomispermittedwhichisrepugnanttonaturaljustice,equityandgood
conscience,orbeingincompatibleeitherdirectlyorindirectlywithanywrittenlaw.
505Freeholdtenuremayinvolveeitheragrantoflandinperpetuity,orforalesserspecifiedtimeperiod.The
LandActspecifiesthattheholderoflandinfreeholdhasfullpowerofownershipofit.Thismeansthatheor
shemayuseitforanylawfulpurposeandsell,rent,lease,disposeofitbywillortransactitinanyotherway
asheorsheseesfit.OnlycitizensofUgandaareentitledtoownlandunderfreeholdtenure.Noncitizensmay
leaseitforaperiodupto99years.
506Undermailotenure,registeredlandcanbeheldinperpetuityandamailoownerisentitledtoenjoyallthe
powersofafreeholdowner.Theonlysignificantdifferenceisthatmailoownersshouldnotusethesepowers
againsttheinterestsofcustomarytenants,bonafideorlawfuloccupants.Thisprovisionwasintroduceddue
toconcernsofpossiblemassevictionofthousandsofpeoplewhowereoccupyingmailoland,ascustomary
tenantsorsquatters,atthetimewhentheLandActwaspassedin1998.
507Leaseholdtenureisaformoftenurewherebyonepartygrantstoanothertherighttoexclusivepossession
oflandforaspecifiedperiod,usuallyinexchangeforthepaymentofrent.AnyowneroflandinUganda
whetherthroughfreehold,Mailoorcustomarytenuremaygrantaleasetoanotherperson.
508Forinstance,inNorthernUganda,only9%ofthelandusedbyhouseholdsispurchased.Source:Ministry
ofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,PovertyStatusReport:PovertyReductionandtheNational
DevelopmentProcess,May2012,p.84.
509DeiningerandAli,DoOverlappingClaimstoLandReduceAgriculturalInvestment?Evidencefrom
Uganda,AmericanJournalofAgriculturalEconomics,Vol.90,No.4,2008,pp.869882.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

impossible to rent out, sell or pledge the land as collateral.510Kitakule elaborates on the difficult
situationforcustomarylandowners:

IfyougotoNorthernUganda,youfindthatlandthereisownedundercustomarylandtenure
system. Such a system does not facilitate meaningful economic activities because you do not
actuallyownthelandsinceitisownedbymany.Soyoucannotusethislandascollateralto
getaloantodevelopthislandorgointootherbusinessventures.Socustomaryownershipisa
bigprobleminsomepartsofthecountry.511

Suchrestrictionsthusonlyservetodrivepeoplefurtherintopoverty.Dr.Rwendeirenotesthatone
ofthekeyproposalsinVision2040istoensurethatalllandistitled.Hebelievesthatoncethisis
realised,theeconomicstatusofmanyUgandanswillimprove:

One of our proposals in Vision 2040 is to ensure that all land is titled. Even the customary
owned land, because in the Northern part of Uganda you have land which is owned under
customary tenure by either clans, families or individuals. We propose that even such land
shouldbetitled.Oncetheyacquirethesecertificatesoftitle,theymayusethemascollateral.In
someareaswherethisinitiativehasbeentestedlikeinBushenyiandRukungiri,titlingofland
hastransformedtheireconomicsituation.Inaddition,theyarenotlikelytosubdividetheland
somuchduetotheintensiveprocedureofsubdivision.512

Communities in the central and western regions have experienced significant successes from the
initiative to title the land. For instance, communities where agricultural land is under freehold
tenure have a 1320% higher income growth than communities where customary tenure
prevails.513Higher incomes resulting from increased agricultural productivity also increase the
demand for nonagricultural products and services and help to generate new economic
opportunities.

For people who do not own land, the most viable option remains to rent land as a means of
generatingincome.InBudakadistrict,themeninformedFHRIthatthosewhodonotownlandrent
it from landowners for crop production at 200,000 UGX514per season (six months).515In a focus
group discussion in Bugiri, the men stated that increasingly, people rent land from landowners
becauseofthehighpopulationgrowthintheregion.516

Article237(8)oftheConstitutionprovidesthatlawfulorbonafideoccupantsofmailo,freeholdor
leaseholdlandshallenjoysecurityofoccupancyofthelanduntilanappropriatelandlawisenacted.
Misinterpretation of this clause and the meaning of a bona fide occupant517has resulted in a

510MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2012,op.cit.,p.84.

511FHRIinterviewwithMr.JoshuaKitakule,SecretaryGeneral,InterReligiousCouncilUganda,on4thJuly

2014.

512FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th

November2014.
513MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2014,op.cit.,p.57.
514Equivalentto63USDollars.
515FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.
516FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmaleresidentsofBukatuvillage,Bugiridistrict,on5thAugust2014.
517AbonafideoccupantwasdefinedbyArticle29(2)oftheLandAct,Cap227asapersonwhobeforethe
comingintoforceoftheConstitution(a)hadoccupiedandutilisedordevelopedanylandunchallengedby
theregisteredowneroragentoftheregisteredownerfortwelveyearsormore;or(b)hadbeensettledon
landbythegovernmentoranagentofthegovernment,whichmayincludealocalauthority.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

119

hesitantattitudeamonglandownerstorentoutlandforfearofconflictovertheownershipofthe
land.518Dr.Muvawalaconfirmsthis:

The law grants squatters rights over land. This law has constrainedlandlords from renting
out their land for fear of conflict over ownership. Therefore, landlords would rather have
theirlandremainidlethanrentitout,whichisverybad.Theyneedtoamendthisprovisionto
allowlandlordslikemetorentouttheland.Thatmarketshouldgrowandshouldberegulated
becauseitwillincreaseproductivityandallowpeopleaccessland.Theydonothavetoownit.
Theycanuseitandgetwhattheywantwhilethelandlordisprotected.519

Thereisthusaneedtosensitisecommunitiesthatthisprovisiononlyappliestooccupantsofland
before 1995. This will avert further conflicts and increase productivity of the land owned by
absenteelandlords.

Accesstolandbywomenisparticularlyproblematic.Theyaregenerallyunabletoownorinherit
land due to restrictive practices under the customary land tenure system and are often not
economically endowed to purchase land. As such, the capacity of women to generate income is
furtherundermined.InafocusgroupdiscussioninBugiridistrict,themennotedthatonlyboysare
entitled to a share of their parents land.520Buluba confirms that in the current cultural setup
womendonotownassets:

Aruralwomandoesnothave[own]property;culturedictatesthat.Awomanistheproperty
of a man. She is bought from somewhere to this mans home. So whatever is around her
belongstotheman.Eveniftheydivorce,stillshegoesoutasshecame.Secondly,shegives
birth.Shetillstheland,sheproduces,butevenwhatsheproducesissold.Themansellsitand
shedoesnotgetmuchoutofit.521

Dr.Kasiryeelaboratesonthenotionthattheman,thehusband,isincontrolofallassets:

Power relations are more pronounced within the household. You have a powerful husband
who controls what is marketed and what is done with the income from the marketed crops,
and the less powerful wife who works most of the time in the gardens but does not have
control over this. Why? Because she got married here, she left her home and came and is
workingmoreorlessonthehusbandsland.Bydefinitionofownership,theowneroftheland,
nottheownerofthelabour,istheowneroftheproduct.522

During a focus group discussion in Nangonde village in Namutumba district, women stated that
while they grow crops together with the husbands, the crops are sometimes sold without their
knowledgeorconsent.Itiscommonplaceforthementospendtheproceedsonalcohol.Onlyina
few instances do the men purchase household necessities. Women in these situations are left

518OccupantsoflandcontinuetochallengelandownersovertheownershipoflandunderArticle29(2)(a)of

theLandAct,Cap.227thatdefinesbonafideoccupants,eventhoughthisprovisiononlyreferstooccupants
whohadoccupiedlandfor12yearsormorebeforetheConstitutioncameintoforce.
519FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th
December2014.
520FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmaleresidentsofBukatuvillage,Bugiridistrict,on5thAugust2014.
521FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceBuluba,ExecutiveDirector,NationalCommunityofWomenLivingwith
HIV/AIDS,on23rdJune2014.
522FHRIinterviewwithDr.IbrahimKasirye,PrincipalResearchFellow,EconomicPolicyResearchCentre,on
1stJuly2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

helplessbecausechallengingthehusbandoftenresultsinviolence.Thewomenproposedapolicy
be put in place that gives them decisionmaking power regarding the proceeds of the harvest.523
During a focus group discussion with women in Budaka district, a similar concern was raised.
Women explained that they do not have control over the money that comes into the household,
becauseitgoestothemenwhouseittodrinkalcohol.524

FHRI

Even though women rarely inherit or own land, they are often the ones cultivating the land. The photo
showswomencultivatinglandinFortPortaldistrict,WesternUganda.

Masssensitisationonlandlawsandenforcementoflandrightswillbenefitsmallholderfarmersand
other land users, and will increase productivity and economic security. However, to ensure
equitabletitlingofland,governmentshouldputinplacesafeguardstoensureaccesstolandforthe
extremepoor,suchassubsidisedtitlingfeesforthedestitute.

Accesstocredit
In 2001, in an effort to facilitate access to affordable and convenient financial services, the
governmentsetuptheMicrofinanceSupportCentreLimited(MSC).TheMSCisprimarilymandated
to provide affordable microcredit and business development services to cooperatives, micro
financeinstitutionsandsmallandmediumenterprises.TheMSCdisbursedloanstotallingUGX74.9
billion between January 2000 and September 2012.525The loans were disbursed to 1,042 clients
across the country526through Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs).527The Poverty
StatusReport2014indicatesthatSACCOshavehelpedindividualstoacquireland,paymedicalbills
and school fees, and to expand businesses. SACCOs have played a significant role in reducing

523FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwith15womeninNagondevillage,Ivukulasubcounty,Namutumba

district,6thAugust2014.
524FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwith15womeninBudakadistrict,8thAugust2014.
525Equivalentto22.7millionUSDollars.
526Retrievedon12thDecember2014from:www.msc.co.ug.
527ASACCOisaformofabusinessorganisationwherebypeopleagreetovoluntarilyassociateonthebasisof
equalityforthepromotionofeconomicinterests.ThoughSACCOshavebotheconomicandsocialaims,they
areprimarilyeconomicinstitutionsthatmustsucceedinbusinessinordertobesustainable.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

121

povertyinmanycases,especiallyinsouthwesternUganda.However,mostSACCOsareconstrained
byaweaksavingsculture.ThemajorityofindividualsuseSACCOstoaccesscreditratherthanto
save.Assuch,withoutastrongsavingsculture,SACCOshaveprovedlessresilient,withmembers
often having little incentive to respect the group rules that would ensure the SACCOs longterm
sustainability.528Dr.RwendeireexplainsthetransformationfromcommercialloanstoSACCOsand
itschallenges:

Accessingfinancesfromcommercialbankswasverydifficult.Withoutcollateralandagood
proposal you cannot get credit. So the issue of SACCOs came up. A number of these SACCOs
havebeenformedandtheyhavehelpedmanyfarmerstoaccesscredit.However,otherswere
alsoformedandmismanagedwhichhasscaredsometojoinSACCOs.Forthosethathadgood
committees,theyhaveflourishedandareprovidingresourcestofarmers.529

The District Community Development Officer in Bugiri notes that the SACCOs by design have
excludedthepoorwithinthecommunities:

ThecurrentsetupoftheseSACCOsexcludesthepoorinthecommunities.Thisisbecausehere
inBugiri,theyusuallymeetweeklyandeachtimeyoumeetyouhavetobringacontributionof
eitherUGX500or1000.530Apoorpersoncannotaffordtomakeweeklycontributions.Sothey
will decide not to attend the meetings since they perceive they cannot afford the weekly
contributions.531

ThiswasconfirmedduringafocusgroupinBukatuvillageinBugiri.Thewomenexplainthatthey
cannotputanymoneyintotheSACCOforsaving,becausetheydonotearnenoughtoputmoney
aside. Therefore, they also do not benefit from the existence of the SACCO.532The design of the
SACCOsdidnottakeintoaccounttheinabilityoftheextremepoortoputanymoneyaside.Yetfor
thiscategoryoffarmers,accesstocreditisaprerequisiteforgettingoutofpoverty.Consequently,
such farmers are not able to access inputs, such as improved seeds and fertilisers that would
improveproductivityandincreaseyieldstoallowforincomegeneration.Theyinevitablycontinue
practicingsubsistencefarming.

Among the challenges facing the SACCOs is that many people are misinformed or unaware of the
purposeofSACCOs.Thisinturnlimitstheirtransformativerole.Kitakuleexplains:

Theyaretooinformal,localisedandcannotnegotiatenorbargaintoensureempowermentof
their members. So even if they mobilise, what exactly are they mobilising for? What is the
overall purpose? There should be clear indication of what you are mobilising for to foster
incomegeneration.SometimebackthePresidentgavetheyouth250millionshillingsbutdid
notindicatewhatitwasfor.Wasittobuyseeds,fertilisersorameredonation?Thisiswhythe

528MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,PovertyStatusReport2014,StructuralChange

andPovertyReductioninUganda,November2014,p.22.
529FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th
November2014.
530Equivalentto0.15or0.30USDollars.
531FHRIinterviewwithMr.MageroStephen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4th
August2014.
532FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithfemaleresidentsofBukatuvillage,Bugiridistrict,on5thAugust2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

impactofSACCOsislimitedbecausethereisnoconsensusonhowmembershiptoaSACCOwill
benefitthem.533

Moreover, the failure to regulate microfinance institutions effectively has made farmers
vulnerabletoeconomicinsecurityanddebts.Dr.Rwendeireexpoundsonthis:

Microfinanceinstitutionslevyveryhighinterestrates.Ithinkitrangesbetween2to10%per
month,notperannum.SothemajorityofwhatIhaveseenareabout4%.Thismultipliedby12
monthstotalsto48%perannum!Thatisquitehigh.Itismorethanthecommercialrate.534

Kitakuleconcurs:

The interest rates charged by these microfinance companies are too high. I think the
minimumisnow29%forbusinessesandagriculture.Indevelopedcountries,younegotiatethe
interestratedependingonyourincomeitisnotimposedonyou.InUganda,itis29%andyou
alsorequirecollateralforyoutoaccessthismoney.Sothesefarmerscannotengageeffectively
intermsofbusinessbecausetheydonothavethecapitalandthemicrofinanceinstitutions.535

To address these challenges and provide farmers with medium and longterm loans on more
favorable terms than those available from financial institutions and microcredit schemes, the
government in partnership with commercial financial institutions established the Agricultural
Credit Facility (ACF) in 2009.536The scheme is administered by the Bank of Uganda (BoU), with
loanperiodsofupto8years,amaximumgraceperiodof3yearsandamaximuminterestrateof
12% per annum.537By June 2014, 253 farms had accessed the credit amounting to 162 billion
UGX. 538 The terms and conditions of the ACF were, however, constraining the effective
implementation. The interest rate was considered too high by many farmers. Those who did not
managetoearnatleasta12%rateofreturnwerelikelytoenduppoorerastheywereforcedto
liquidateassetsinordertorepayloansintime.539Attimes,farmerswerealsonotgrantedagrace
period,evenincaseswheretheloanwastobeinvestedinalongtermventurethatwouldnotyield
immediatereturns.540Therefore,farmershadtostartpayinginterestbeforethefirstreturnswere
actualised. Subsistence farmers were also largely excluded from accessing credit from the ACF,
since the ACF mainly provided loans for fixed assets for value addition and agricultural
machinery.541

533FHRIinterviewwithMr.JoshuaKitakule,SecretaryGeneral,InterReligiousCouncilUganda,on4thJuly

2014.

534FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th

November2014.
535FHRIinterviewwithMr.JoshuaKitakule,SecretaryGeneral,InterReligiousCouncilUganda,on4thJuly
2014.
536BankofUganda,retrievedon23rdJune2015from:
https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/media/from_the_bank/Agricultural_Credit_facility.html.
537MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,TheAgricultureCreditFacility:Whatis
constrainingitseffectiveimplementation?BMAUBriefingPaper11/13,July2013,p.2.
538Equivalentto51millionUSDollars.About59%ofthefundswereusedbyfarmersforacquisitionof
agroprocessingmachinery,17%forpurchaseoffarminfrastructureand14%topurchasetractorsandother
farmequipment.Source:K.Muhakanizi,StatusofPublicServiceDelivery:Status,ChallengesandMeasures
forImprovement,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,December2014.
539MoFPED,TheAgricultureCreditFacility,op.cit.,p.2.
540ibid.
541ibid.,p.3.

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123


For instance, Centenary Bank, one of the financial institutions partnering under the ACF only
targets commerciallyoriented smallholder farmers. 542 Lending to the poorer farmers was
describedascommittingsuicide.543Thisismainlybecausethenatureofsubsistenceagricultureis
moreriskyduetodependencyonweather.Mukwayanotesthatbanksarereluctanttoextendloans
totheagriculturalsectorduetothenatureoffarmersinvolved:

The majority of farmers engaging in agriculture are smallholder farmers. So banks such as
Standard Chartered, which are international, do not support the agriculture industry. They
will not invest into it because it is a risky business. Moreover, even government has not
invested into it. So why should they? They would rather support expansion of commercial
agriculture.544

Dr.Nakayiconcurs:

Access to loans remains a big hindrance for most poor households engaging in subsistence
farming.Thisisbecausetheylackthecollateraltoborrowandalsodonotproduceasmuchas
thoseproducingatalargescale.545

DuringafocusgroupdiscussioninNamutumbadistrict,farmersconfirmedthedifficultytoaccess
credit:

We have tried farming but this has failed. If only we had access to capital to venture into
other businesses such as rearing chicken or other animals then we would be able to make
money.Atthemomentthisisnotpossiblebecausenoonewillgiveusthiscapital.546

Limited access to credit for the extreme poor engaged in subsistence farming will likely prevent
themfromincreasingyieldsforincomegeneration.Withoutaccesstocredit,thisgroupoffarmers
is,therefore,unlikelytomoveoutofpoverty.Toaddressthischallenge,thereisneedfortargeted
andinclusiveinterventionsgearedtowardsbuildingthecapacityofthepoorestinthecommunities
in order to improve their quality of life through collective action that secures equal access to
opportunity.

Farmerorganisationandcooperation
In order to build the capacity of farmers to increase productivity and move out of subsistence
farming and poverty, proper organisation and cooperation amongst farming communities is vital
becauseitwillstrengthentheirmarketpower.547Smallscalefarmerslacknegotiatingpowerinthe
market precisely because they are small, poor and unorganised.548Dr. Kasirye argues that the
currentsetupofSACCOsdoesnotenablefarmerstoorganiseaswasthecaseinthepast:

542MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2012,op.cit.,p.82.
543ibid.

544FHRIinterviewwithMs.GraceMukwayaLule,AssistantExecutiveDirector,PlatformforLabourAction,on

17thJuly2014.
545FHRIinterviewwithDr.RoseNakayi,Ag.Director,HumanRightsandPeaceCentre,SchoolofLaw,
MakerereUniversityon24thJune2014.
546FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmaleresidentsofNangondevillage,Namutumbadistrict,on6thAugust
2014.
547Green,op.cit.,p.121.
548ibid.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

The cooperatives that now exist are for just making profit. They do not go down the value
chainoftheproduceoftheirmembers.Thefarmersthathavemanagedtoorganisearethose
thatlivenearverylargeagriculturalestates,andprobablytheonesinnorthernandwestern
Ugandawhogrowtobacco.Buteventhenitisbecausethetobaccocompaniesdevelopedtheir
own extension systems. In the past, cooperative unions would guarantee inputs to their
membersandamemberwouldnothavetopayupfrontifheorshedidnothavethemoney.
Theinputswouldbeprovidedandatthetimeofsaleoftheproduce,themoneyisdeducted.
Memberswerealsoguaranteedextensionserviceswhichboostedtheiryields.549

Kitakuleattributesthisorganisationtothecommunitysetupatthetime,whichshunnedlaziness:

Weusedtohavecooperativeunions.Theseunionsusedtobringtogetherfarmersandwould
empower them in terms of modern agricultural technologies, provide them with seeds and
fertilisersandguaranteemarketfortheirproduce.Wealsohadtraditionalcashcropsgrown
purposelyforcommercialuse.Thechiefinthecommunitywouldmobilisepeopletogrowthese
crops failure of which one would be imprisoned. You had to have a garden and once your
produce was ready the cooperatives would guarantee market. With the collapse of these
unions, someone can have like a hundred sacks of coffee but does not know where to sell it.
Whenhefinallydoes,itisatalowprice.Solackofsuchasetupisdiscouragingmostpeopleto
engageinagriculture.550

The general consensus among the interviewees pointed to the need for the reestablishment of
cooperative unions as a mechanism for smallholder farmers to boost production, collectively
bargainforhigheroutputprices,achievehighermarginsthrougheconomiesofscaleandengagein
valueadded activities. Cooperative unions eliminate the middlemen who exploit farmers and
negotiatepricesonbehalfofthefarmers.Dr.Kabonesaresoundedthisneed:

A number of people we have talked to have actually called for the reestablishment of
cooperativeunions.WehavejustconcludedastudyinnorthernUgandaandanoverwhelming
majorityarecallingforreestablishmentofcooperativeunions.Thatitisonlythroughthese
cooperative unions that they can position themselves to benefit from the existing markets.
Marketingandprocessingareachallenge.Iftheyareabletoorganisethemselves,theycando
themarketingand processing.Youfindactuallypeoplelosingmoney,becauseifaprocessed
cropisgoingfor20,000UGX551perkilo,theunprocessedonecanbe5,000UGX552orevenless.
Sotheyarelosingalotofmoney.Cooperativeunionswouldsafeguardagainstsuchloss.553

The beneficial role of cooperative unions is, therefore, wellestablished; they strengthen the
position of smallscale farmers by providing them a platform to collectively deposit harvests,
increasing the bargaining power and allowing for higher returns. Nevertheless, the cooperative
unionsinUgandacollapsedandarepracticallynonexistenttoday.

549FHRIinterviewwithDr.IbrahimKasirye,PrincipalResearchFellow,EconomicPolicyResearchCentre,on

1stJuly2014.
550FHRIinterviewwithMr.JoshuaKitakule,SecretaryGeneral,InterReligiousCouncilUganda,on4thJuly
2014.
551Equivalentto6.30USDollars.
552Equivalentto1.57USDollars.
553FHRIinterviewwithDr.ConsolataKabonesa,DeanSchoolofWomenandGenderStudies,Makerere
University,on12thJune2014.

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CaseStudy7BenefitsofOrganisationandCooperation

In2002,inHoletainthecentralhighlandsofEthiopia,mostfamilieslivedonlessthan$1aday.
Local farmers were efficient producers of millet, but the price they commanded was barely
enough to cover their production costs. So the community established a cereal bank where
producersdeposittheirharvestanddrawcorrespondingpayments.Today,theyenjoyareliable
storeofgrainallyearround,sellintothemarketwhenthepriceishigh,andnolongerneedto
purchaseseed.1

InafocusgroupdiscussioninBudakadistrict,themenponderedonthereasonsforthecollapseof
cooperative unions. To them, cooperatives helped in organising farmers as well as guaranteeing
better commodity prices.554Mukwaya blames the collapse of the cooperative unions on the
perceivedthreatthatcooperativesposedtothegovernment:

The cooperatives were removed due to political reasons. There is only one which is still
functioning in Bugisu. According to scholars the removal of cooperatives was a deliberate
effort to make Ugandans impoverished. Cooperatives were very strong, almost as strong as
politicalpartiesandtheyhadmasssupport.Soremovingthemwasactuallyconsolidatingthe
NRM one party government with one voice and guaranteeing a poor populace that would
supportit.555

Prof. Khamalwa notes that the government was wrong to cripple cooperative unions because re
establishingthemnowisimpossibleduetotheattitudeofindividualismwithinsociety:

It was a mistake that this government, for political reasons, did away with cooperatives,
becausethecooperativeswerethegrassrootsempowermentmachines.Therewascompetition
between the different districts. There are those who were dealing in cotton, others in coffee
andotherthings.They aretryingtoreviveitbutitistoolate. Itiseasiertodestroythan to
build. These young people have been brought up to believe in individualism: they have no
appreciationforcooperation.Thosedaysifsomeonetookaloanfromthecooperativeunion,
his or her guarantors would make sure that it was utilised for the right reasons and that it
wouldbepaidbackontime.Thisisnotthecasetoday.Individualismandselfishnessarewhat
hasshapedtheseyoungpeople.556

Kiryaproposesthatforthegovernmenttoreestablishcooperativeunionstheyneedtotapinto
theexistingstructures:

Bringingbackcooperativeunionswouldbeagoodideaforsmallholderfarmers.However,for
themtoflourish,thishastobedonefromthebottomup.SACCOswereoneattempttodothis,
buttheideawashijackedthepoorwillformorganizations,butwithoutknowingwhythey
aredoingit,sothereisnoplanningandthemoneysavedandinvestedislost.Instead,there
needs to be a deliberate effort targeting the already existing structures or enterprises that
peopleareengagedin.557

554FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.

555FHRIinterviewwithMs.GraceMukwayaLule,AssistantExecutiveDirector,PlatformforLabourAction,on
17thJuly2014.
556FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.WotsunaKhamalwa,ProfessorofAnthropology,CollegeofHumanitiesand
SocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on14thJuly2014.
557FHRIinterviewwithMr.RichardKirya,ExecutiveDirector,SafeNeighbourhoodFoundation,Budaka
district,on8thAugust2014.

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PlanfortheModernisationofAgriculture
To address the challenges in the agricultural sector and boost agricultural production, the
Government of Uganda adopted the Plan for the Modernisation of Agriculture (PMA). One of the
pillars of the PMA, is the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), which replaced the
unifiedpublicextensionwithapublicprivatepartnershipextensionsystem.558

The NAADS programme was established in 2010 to contribute to the modernisation of the
agriculturalsectorinordertoincreasetotalproductivityofboththelandandlabourforthebenefit
ofthefarmers.559InitiallyNAADSwasdesignedtobuildthecapacityoffarmerstoformandoperate
farmer associations, demand advisory services and adopt improved agricultural technologies and
practices.560A key objective of the programme was to empower farmers to demand advisory
services in order to increase their productivity and income.561The emphasis on demanddriven
service provision and provision of support to people already engaged in farming implies that
NAADS was not designed to benefit the extreme poor engaged in smallholder subsistence
agriculture.562Theextremepoortypicallyhavetheleasteducationandlowestsocialstatusandas
suchareunlikelytoactivelyparticipateindecisionmaking,letalonebringtheiraspirationstothe
fore.Therefore,theabilityofNAADStoupliftpersonsfromextremepovertywaslimitedfromthe
onset. A major shortcoming of NAADS as also experienced in many other poverty alleviation
strategies,isthetreatmentofpovertyasasinglefacetedphenomenon,whichaffectsorimpactsall
peopleinthesamewayandtowhichblanketsolutionscanbeapplied.

Dr.Muvawalaconcurs:

Theproblemwithmostofthepolicieswehaveisthattheyareonesizefitsallwhichisnot
the case. If at the district level NAADS carries out its activities without targeting the core
groups,thenitsimpactislimited.Thereisneedtosystematicallytargetthewomenandyouth
sincetheyarethemajorityengaginginagriculture.563

Dr.Birungialsonotesthat:

NAADSwasconceivedontheassumptionthatfarmerswoulddemandforextensionservices.
However,consideringthecalibreoffarmers,whoaresmallscale,thisisnotpossible.564

Despitetheinitialprogrammeguidelines,theNAADStargetgroupbecametheeconomicallyactive
poorwhoareoftenconsideredrichamongpoorcommunities.Nabwireexpoundsonthis:

OfcourseNAADSisnottargetingtheverypoor.Ittargetsthosewhoalreadyhaveassetssuch
asland.Thiscategoryisidentifiedandtrained.Sotheygettobenefit.NAADSdoesnottarget
thosewhodonotownanything.565

558MoFPED,ProgrammeofActionfortheLeastDevelopedCountries,op.cit.,p.5.
559Retrievedon13thOctober2014fromwww.agriculture.go.ug/Agencies/41.

560TheImpactoftheNationalAgriculturalAdvisorySeriesProgramonHouseholdProductionandWelfarein

Uganda,GeofreyOkoboi,AnnetteKuteesaandMildredBarungi,WorkingPaper2013.
561DRT&CPRC,2ndChronicPovertyReport,op.cit.,p.30.
562ibid.
563FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th
December2014.
564FHRIinterviewwithDr.PatrickBirungi,Director,DevelopmentPlanning,NationalPlanningAuthority,on
8thDecember2014.

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127


InawomenfocusgroupdiscussioninBugiri,thewomensoutcryconfirmedthis.Theyhadheard
aboutNAADSbutwereunabletobenefitfromtheprogram.Thewomenexplainedthattobenefit
from NAADS it was necessary to become part of a farmers group and contribute money to this
group (2,000 UGX to receive a chicken).566They were unable to contribute this sum, and hence
unabletoparticipateinandbenefitfromNAADS.567

Yossa, however, notes that it was necessary for NAADS to target the active poor to ensure
ownershipoftheprogramme:

NAADS is targeting the active poor those who are willing to go that extra mile to put in
something little. They have been accessing government support through groups, but in that
group approachit is a requirement that people actually contribute some money. So you find
thatgroupsthatwereabletomobilisesomemoneywithinthosegroupsbenefitted.Thosethat
werenotableto[mobilisemoney]didnotbenefit.Peoplehavecriticisedthat,butyouwillfind
that at the end of the day groups that contributed, appreciated this whole concept, because
theyknewpartoftheirmoneyisinit,soiftheywouldmisuseitthentheirmoneywouldalsogo
towaste.568

It is, however, important for NAADS to include the extreme poor in order to boost demand for
services and address the situation of the most vulnerable persons among the rural poor. To
adequately include this group, it is necessary to deliberately target and sensitise persons in this
grouptoenablethemtoappreciatetheconceptofNAADS.

AnotheraspectofNAADSthathasreceivedcriticismisthefocusonprovidinginputswithlittleto
noattentiontotrainingoffarmers.Forinstance,Bwiitenotesthat:

A lot of money was invested in NAADS. However, the programme did not put emphasis on
training the beneficiaries. So you give a farmer in the village, who has never engaged in
poultryfarming,chickenwithouttraininghimhowtomanagethem.Definitelyhewillfail.569

Hon.BigombealsoblamesthefailureofNAADStoempowerfarmersonitsmethodology:

Inagriculture[inthepast]extensionworkerswouldgoandsuperviseinruralsettingssothat
a smallscale farmer can have the best yield. Today, everyone is invited to a seminar where
they[participants]donotunderstandathingandtheygobackwithouthavingattainedmuch.
Sinceagricultureisthebackboneofthiscountry,emphasisshouldbeputonagriculture,but
weneedextensionworkers.570

565FHRIinterviewwithMs.DorothyDaisyNabwire,DirectorofPrograms,TheHungerProjectUganda,on20th

May2014.
566Equivalentto0.63USDollars.
567FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithfemaleresidentsofBukatuvillage,Bugiridistrict,on5thAugust2014.
568FHRIinterviewwithMs.DaisyYossa,ProjectOfficer,ActionforDevelopment,on23rdMay2014.
569FHRIinterviewwithMs.LydiaBwiite,LegalAssistant,PlatformforLabourAction,on17thJuly2014.
570FHRIinterviewwithHon.BettyBigombe,MinisterofStateforWater,MinistryofWaterandEnvironment
(atthetime),on26thJune2014.

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Weyusyaagrees:

In the past we had agricultural extension staff. They were in the garden with the farmers
whensomebodyistillingthelandpracticallyshowing[thefarmers]howtodoit.Thecurrent
staffdonotgointhefieldandyetwehavethemineverysubcounty.571

ThisexplainstheexasperationbywomeninBudakadistrict.TheynotedthatNAADSofficialshad
cometotheircommunity,buttheyonlytoldthemwhattodo,gavetheminputsandexplainedhow
muchproducetheywouldget.TheyneverproducedasmuchaspromisedandtheNAADSofficers
nevercamebacktomonitorprogress.572Onewomanexplainedhowtheabsenceoftrainingresults
inineffectiveimplementation:

Theyadvisedustogrowmangoes,whichwedid.Whatwedidnotknowwasthatwehadto
buypesticides,andsincewecouldnotaffordtobuyit,theydied.573

The approach of distributing seeds freely has also been blamed for the low levels of success. The
DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficerinKaabongnotesthat:

Insomeareasit[NAADS]hasworked,butoverallthesuccessratesmaynotbehigherthan
50%.Thisismostlyduetothementalityofthepeople.Theyreceivedseedsnow,sotheyexpect
toreceivethesameseedsnextyear.Theydo not want tokeepsomeafterharvestingforthe
nextseason.Theyknowtheywillbegivenmoreseeds.574

Anotherproblemisthatfarmersareencouragedtouseimprovedseedsthatcannotbereplanted,
yettheycannotaffordtobuynewseedseveryseason.575

Anotherschoolofthought,however,attributesthefailureofNAADStocorruption.KidduGonzaga,
SeniorFieldOfficeratHungerFreeWorld,isoftheviewthatpoormonitoringofNAADS,coupled
withcorruption,crippleditscapacitytoachievethesetobjectives:

NAADS was not effectively monitored and most of the money ended up in the hands of the
implementersanditdoesnotreachthebeneficiaries.Thepeople[implementers]go,butthey
donotfollowuptoseewhatisgoingonorgivethem[farmers]technicaladvice.576

The Resident District Commissioner of Namutumba also noted that the greatest challenge with
NAADSwascorruption;thatNAADSofficialsdidnothandlethemoneywell.577

In summary, the emphasis on demanddriven service provision and the absence of practical
trainingoffarmersminimisedthebenefitsofNAADSfortheextremepoorengagedinsubsistence

571FHRIinterviewwithMr.JosephWeyusya,Director,AfricanRuralDevelopmentInitiative,Mbale,on22nd

June2014.
572FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithfemalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.
573ibid.
574FHRIinterviewwithMr.BaatomBen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Kaabongdistrict,on8th
July2014.
575FHRIinterviewwithMs.LydiaBwiite,LegalAssistant,PlatformforLabourAction,on17thJuly2014.
576FHRIinterviewwithMr.KidduGonzaga,SeniorFieldOfficer,HungerFreeWorldUganda,on19thMay
2014.
577FHRIinterviewwithMr.SempaDavid,ResidentDistrictCommissioner,Namutumbadistrict,on6thAugust
2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

129

farming. The high poverty levels faced by such farmers reduces their ability to form groups and
demand for advisory services. To maximise impact, focus should be redirected to extension
services,practicallydemonstratingfarmershowtoenhanceproductivity.

5.3.2 NonAgriculturalEmploymentOpportunities

The decline of the agricultural sector coupled with increasing pressure on and fragmentation of
land calls for the creation of alternative employment opportunities in the service and industry
sectors.However,inthemoreremotedistrictsnonagriculturalopportunitiesremainscarce,asthe
DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficerofBudakanotes:

There are [only] a few nonagricultural income generating activities in the district, such as
metalfabricationandbodabodadriving/repair.578

FHRI

SomewomeninKamionvillage,Kaabongdistrict,crackrocksandstonesforaliving.

InafocusgroupdiscussioninBudakadistrict,thewomenexplainedthatpartofthereasonwhyitis
difficulttofindnonagriculturalincomegeneratingactivitiesisbecauseofthelackofelectricity.If
they had access to electricity they could set up hair salons or sell passion juice that requires
refrigeration.579Other nonagricultural income generating activities the rural poor engage in are
usuallyformsofcasuallabour,andofteninvolvecleaning,sellingproductsorridingbodabodas.

Nonagriculturalemploymentopportunitiesarenotonlyscarceintheruralareas.Theurbanpoor
also face difficulty in finding wageemployment. This is exacerbated by the high rates of
urbanisation, which cause a growing demand for jobs from a limited number of potential
employers.Themajorityofthepeoplemigratingfromtheruralareastothecitiesresorttoinformal
employment,whichischaracterisedbylowproductivity,poorremuneration,occupationalhazards,
andlimitedsocialprotection.580Baziweconfirmsthatthisistherealityformosturbandwellers:

578FHRIinterviewwithMr.MpindiPheryster,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Budakadistrict,on
8thAugust2014.
579FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithfemalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.
580MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2014,op.cit.,p.95.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Mostofthepeopleinourinformalsettlementsarenotformallyemployed.Theinformalsector
consistsofcleaners,peoplewhoaredoingpettytrade,salonbusinessesorshopattendants,you
knowtheoneswhoarenotformallyemployed.Sotheycannotclaimbenefitsorclaimrights
buttheyarestillverynecessaryforthecity.Theyarestillverynecessaryforanyareatogrow.
Soyoufindthattheyliveinthoseinformalsettlementsandtrytomakealivingaroundwhere
theyhavesettled.581

Government should create an enabling environment for the private sector to expand in order to
generate more formal employment opportunities. Dr. Rwendeire argues that the introduction of
morevalueadditionprocessescouldaidthissituation:

If we could have these processing units, centered in urban areas, it would be creating
employmentforthepeople.ThatiswhyIwassayingthatweneedtomovetoindustry.Ifwe
can industrialise along the urban areas, but even those that are in rural areas, through the
programmeofruralelectrification,thenitbecomeseasiertoestablish,forinstance,acottage
industry.Thesedaysthereisalotofmillingmachines,millingthemaizeandmilletandsoon,
because they have got access to electricity. We think that if these were actually in trading
centres,thesecanbenuclearforattractingmorepeopletobethereandaddingvaluetoother
things.Thatisourstrategy.582

Dr.Kabonesaconcurs:

Wearenotdoingalotofprocessing.Thatwouldalsocreatemarket.Forexample,Northern
Ugandahasalotofmangos,butIdonotseealotofjuicefactoriesaround.Weneedtolookat
thosekindofthings.Ifyoulookatthefoodbeingproducedandhowwesellit,thefactoriesare
notthere.Soifwecanmanagetodothat,wecanprovidemorejobs.583

Thereisthusaclearneedtoexpandtheprivatesectorandcreateavenuesforvalueaddition.Inthe
2014 Poverty Status Report, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development,
proposed a subsidisation of wage payments, which would in turn reap large benefits in terms of
employment and incomes. The Ministry proposed that this could be made conditional, requiring
firms to expand their workforce by a given percentage over a certain period of time, thereby
creatingadditionalemployment.584

581FHRIinterviewwithMs.DorothyBaziwe,ExecutiveDirector,ShelterandSettlementsAlternatives:Uganda

HumanSettlementsNetwork,on5thJune2014.
582FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th
November2014.
583FHRIinterviewwithDr.ConsolataKabonesa,DeanSchoolofWomenandGenderStudies,Makerere
University,on12thJune2014.
584MoFPED,PovertyStatusReport2014,op.cit.,p.95.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

131

MonitorPublicationsLtd

Job seekers that turned up to check if they were shortlisted by Public Service at Kololo Airstrip on 11th
November 2010. Uganda produces about 30,000 graduatesannuallybut the biggest number end on the
streetswithoutjobs.

YouthLivelihoodProgramme
Unemployment for Ugandan youth stands at more than 65%.585To respond to the challenge of
unemployment and poverty among the youth, the government launched the Youth Livelihood
Programme(YLP)in2013.

KeyobjectivesoftheYLPincludeprovidingyouthwithmarketablevocationalskillsandtoolkitsfor
selfemployment and job creation, financial support to enable the youth to establish income
generatingactivities,entrepreneurshipandlifeskillsasanintegralpartoftheirlivelihoodsaswell
asrelevantknowledgeandinformationforattitudinalchange.586

AswithNAADS,theYLPwas,bydesign,unlikelytobenefittheextremepoor.AsBiitwenotes,the
requirementsweretoostringentandnottailoredtotheneedsoftheuneducatedyouth:

From the onset, this programme was not designed to benefit the poor youth. How can
governmentexpectanuneducated,unemployedyouthtoformulateaproposalaswellasjoin
youthinterestgroupsoflikemindedpeople?Aslongasgovernmentisnotmakingdeliberate
effortstofirstskilltheyouth,organisethem,andthengivethemfunds,suchinitiativeswillnot
yieldmuch.Itistheeducated/employedyouththatwillstandtobenefitthemost.587

585PopulationSecretariat,TheStateofUgandaPopulationReport2014,op.cit.,p.4.

586MinistryofGender,LabourandSocialDevelopment,YouthLivelihoodProgrammeProjectFundsAccess

Criteria,2014,p.7.

587FHRIinterviewwithMs.LydiaBwiite,LegalAssistant,PlatformforLabourAction,on17thJuly2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

FHRIfindingsattesttothis.InthreeKampaladivisions,Makindye,KawempeandRubaga,theyouth
were inadequately trained to manage the funds disbursed to them.588Seemingly, the selection,
training,anddisbursementoffundswerehurriedlydone.TheYouthCouncillorofRubagadivision
notesthat:

ThetrainingsinRubagadivisionwererushed.Theyouthweretrainedforonedayandlater
asked to form groups. Upon confirming the groups, they were given money. They were not
givenachancetounderstandthewholeprogramandthetechnicalitiesinvolved.Thatiswhy
someofthemthoughtitwasatokenfromthePresidentfortheirsupport.589

The Youth Chairperson of Kawempe division, proposes that for such initiatives to benefit the
intendedtargetgroup,emphasisshouldbeputonensuringthatthebeneficiariesareequippedwith
thenecessaryskills:

In my opinion, for government interventions to be sustainable, meaningful and target the


right persons, emphasis should be put on ensuring that the beneficiaries are equipped with
relevantskills.Inthiscase,theyouthshouldhavebeenequippedwiththerelevantskillssuch
astrainingtheminthefieldtheywouldhaveidentifiedtoenablethemhavetheknowledgeto
handle that particular venture. That way, by the time the funds are disbursed, these youth
wouldbeknowledgeableonwhattodo.However,inKawempewhathappenedwasthatthese
youthwerenotadequatelyprepared.Suchcategoriesofpersonsarefrustrated,joblessandin
debt.Soifmoneyisjustgiventothem,whatdoyouexpect?590

Jumbaalsonotesthatthetraininggiventotheyouthwasinadequate:

Thetrainingsconsideredsomeissueslikebookkeepingandrecordkeeping,butleftoutthe
core, which was training the youth in the ventures they had identified. For example, the
farmerswerenevertaughtaboutfarmingandduringourmonitoringandevaluationwefound
groups that had received 11 million UGX591but could not utilize the money well. In the four
monthssincetheyreceivedthemoney,theyhadrearedonly300broilers.Personally,Iblame
governmentfornottailoringthesetrainingstotheneedsoftheyouth.592

Notedcasesofmisappropriationofthefundscorroboratethepoorcoordinationoftheprogramme.
InMakindyedivision,over22groupsofthe27formedhaveallegedlymismanagedthefunds.Many
groupscouldnotaccountforanymoneygiventothem.Onegroup,onbeingaskedtoaccountfor
the money, claimed that the chicken they had bought had all died and instead showed the
inspectionteamwheretheyhadburiedthechicken.593

588FHRIinterviewswith:NasserJumba,SecretaryforLabourAffairs,NationalYouthCouncilon5thMarch

2015;JamilaKajumba,YouthChairperson,Kawempedivisionon26thFebruary2015;andKalungiMubara,
YouthCouncillor,Rubagadivisionon6thMarch2015.
589FHRIinterviewwithKalungiMubarak,YouthCouncillor,Rubagadivisionon6thMarch2015.
590FHRIinterviewwithMs.JamilaKajumba,YouthChairperson,Kawempedivisionon26thFebruary2015.
591Equivalentto3,335USDollars.
592FHRIinterviewwithNasserJumba,SecretaryforLabourAffairs,NationalYouthCouncilon5thMarch2015.
593ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

133

CaseStudy8MisappropriationYouthLivelihoodProgrammeFunds

KabaawoYouthProduceGroup:
ThegroupwasallegedlyformedbyoneoftheyouthleadersanditreceivedUGX11,460,000.594
Following the inspection, it was discovered that the business on ground was worth only about
UGX 1,000,000.595It was also discovered that UGX 3,000,000596was given to the youth leader
that mobilized them to form the group. Another UGX 4,000,000597was withdrawn by some
membersafterallegedlyforgingthesignatureoftheirchairperson.Thoughtheywerereportedto
police,noactionhasbeentaken.598

KabowaWankulukukuYouthHardware
The group received UGX 12,500,000.599The hardware exists but has stock worth about UGX
1,000,000.600Thebalancecannotbeaccountedfor.Theyallegedthatsomemoneywasgivento
someleaderswhohelpedthemgothroughtheselectionprocess.601

BukurugiGroup
The group received UGX 11,780,000.602They allege that they did not utilize any of the money
giventothembecausetheirchairmanusedthemoneytobuyacarandventureintootherprivate
businesses.603

In contrast, the YLP in Kamuli district seems to be on track. According to the district community
officer, the whole process was meticulously executed right from the selection process till the
disbursementoffunds:

In the selection process we had to carry out meetings in all the villages, and within these
meetings there was the LC1 Chairperson, Community Development Officer, LC3 Chairperson
andthesubcountychief.Soeachgroupmemberwouldbeparadedbeforethevillagemembers
to verify if he or she is a member of the community, is unemployed, and falls within the age
bracket. On fulfilling these requirements, the person would then be approved. We conducted
varioustrainings.Thefirstonewasfortwodaysanditwasdoneatthesubcountylevel.Inthis
training they were taught group dynamics, financial management and enterprise
management. The other training was very comprehensive. This was carried out in three
months. It included the technical personnel who were skilled in particular fields to go and
traintheseyouthsinthosefieldsatthecommunitylevel.Asaprerequisiteeachgrouphadto
paythetechnicalpersonnel500,000shillingsforthe3months.604

594Equivalentto3,475USDollars.
595Equivalentto303USDollars.
596Equivalentto310USDollars.

597Equivalentto1,213USDollars.

598FHRIinterviewwithKalungiMubarak,YouthCouncillor,Rubagadivisionon6thMarch2015.
599Equivalentto3,790USDollars.
600Equivalentto303USDollars.

601FHRIinterviewwithKalungiMubarak,YouthCouncillor,Rubagadivisionon6thMarch2015.
602Equivalentto3,572USDollars.

603FHRIinterviewwithKalungiMubarak,YouthCouncillor,Rubagadivisionon6thMarch2015.

604FHRIinterviewwithMr.LeewoMeereOwoma,DistrictCommunityOfficer,Kamulidistricton11thMarch

2015.

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ItisnotsurprisingthatKamulihasregisteredsuccessunlikeKampalawheretheprogrammewas
hurriedly rolled out. As a measure to ensure proper use of the money, accountability control
measuresweretightened.TheDistrictCommunityOfficerinKamuli,explains:

We changed the procedure for withdrawing money from the account. Rather than having
onlygroupmemberssigntoreceivethemoney,wediversifiedsignatoriestotheaccounts.One
had to be the chairman of the group and the other would either be the subcounty chief or
communitydevelopmentofficer.Therearealsomanyrequirementsthatagrouphastofulfil
beforeanyrequisitionisapproved.Thechairmanhastofirstproduceminutesofthemeeting
in which they agreed to withdraw the money, show clearly the reason for withdrawing the
money, and then tender in their requisition. They also have to present vouchers from three
different suppliers, and then give the reason why they have chosen a particular one. So it is
difficultforthemtomisusethefundswithsuchproceduresinplace.605

Seguyastestimonyatteststothis:

IamcalledSeguyaWilly,achairpersontothisgroup.WestartedthisprojectinJune2014.We
are 10 people and before this project, we were all unemployed. We were given UGX
5,300,000606ofwhichUGX500,000607wasusedtopaythetechnicalofficerthattrainedus.The
balancewasusedtobuysixpigs,constructapigstyandalsobuyfeeds.Wehaveabalanceof
UGX800,000.608Welearntvariousskillsduringthetraining.Forinstance,theytaughtushow
toconstructapigsty,howtolookafterthepigslikefeedingthem,andalsohowtoidentifythat
theyaresick.Wewerealsoshownvariousdrugswecanusewhentheyfallsick.Wehavenot
startedsellingbutallIcansayisthatwearegoingtomakemoney.Rightnowtwopigsare
pregnantandanotherisgivingbirthtonight.609

AshasbeenshowninKamulidistrict,thereisneedforcontrolmeasurestobeadoptedtosafeguard
funds from being misappropriated. In the next phase of this program, deliberate effort should be
tailoredtowardsequippingtheyouthwithskillsbeforedisbursingfunds.

5.3.3 Incomeinequality

An increase in extreme wealth and inequality are harmful to human development. It may distort
sustainableeconomicgrowth,amplifytheriskofaneconomiccrisisorpoliticalinstabilityandmake
it difficult for the poor to invest in education or entrepreneurial activities.610In 2013, the World
EconomicForumratedincomeinequalityasoneofthetopglobaleconomicrisks.611Consolidation
ofwealthandcapitalinthehandsofafewisharmfultotheeconomybecauseitdepressesdemand
inthe marketandleadstodistortedpowerrelationsinsocietywherepowerisconcentratedin a
smallelitegroupwhilethemajorityremainpowerless.Inthissituationeconomicgrowthoftenfails
to benefit the majority. If wealth and capital is more evenly spread across the population, power

605Ibid.

606Equivalentto1,607USDollars.
607Equivalentto152USDollars.
608Equivalentto243USDollars.

609FHRIinterviewwithSeguyaWilly,YouthLivelihoodProgrambeneficiary,Butansisubcounty,Kamuli

districton11thmarch2015.
610A.G.Berg&J.D.Ostry,InequalityandUnsustainableGrowth:TwoSidesoftheSameCoin?International
MonetaryFund,2011,pp.4,1315.
611WorldEconomicForum,GlobalRiskReport,2013,p.4.

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135

will be distributed more evenly across the population and more people will have more spending
powerwhichfuelsoverallgrowthanddrivesdowninequality.612

Distorted power relations often hamper the ability of the poor to negotiate opportunities for
incomegeneration.Bulubanotesthat:

Manyyouthwhohavetheskillscannotfindgainfulemployment.Thisisbecauseyouneedto
know someone to find a job, which makes the whole process difficult. As such, the poor get
poorerwhiletherichgetricherbecausetheyhaveconnectionsandareabletomanipulatethe
system.613

According to the World Bank Gini Index, income inequality in Uganda is relatively high and
fluctuatesbetween37and45(Figure16).614

Figure16:GiniIndexinUganda(19922012)

50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10

5
0

1992

1996

1999

2002

Source:WorldBank

2005

2009

2012

Baziwe attributes the high income inequality to the failure to enforce policies geared towards
povertyreduction:

The gap between the rich is widening due to poor enforcement of policies that would have
bridgedthisgap.Sosometimestherichgetawaywithanumberofthingsthataffectthepoor
therebypushingthemintoadeeperstateofpoverty.Lackofawarenessofpeoplesrights,their
entitlementsandtheirresponsibilitieshasfurtherwidenedthegap.615

612A.Lowrey,IncomeInequalityMayTakeTollonGrowth,TheNewYorkTimes,16thOctober2012,retrieved

from:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/17/business/economy/incomeinequalitymaytaketollon
growth.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&.
613FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceBuluba,ExecutiveDirector,NationalCommunityofWomenLivingwith
HIV/AIDS,on23rdJune2014.
614TheWorldBankGiniIndexmeasuresthedegreeofincomeinequalityinacountry.SeeWorldBank,GINI
Index:http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SI.POV.GINI
615FHRIinterviewwithMs.DorothyBaziwe,ExecutiveDirector,ShelterandSettlementsAlternatives:Uganda
HumanSettlementsNetwork,on5thJune2014.

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Dr.Kasiryeinsiststhatitistheroleofgovernmenttobridgethegapbetweentherichandthepoor:

Governmenthastoplaytheleadingrole.Themarketforceswillnotdothis.Governmenthas
already taken steps to ensure this. Programmes such as the Social Protection Programme
under the Ministry of Gender and the Youth Livelihood Programme are such examples.
Whethertheywillhaveimpactornotisanotherissue.Howevertheconceptiswellintended.If
you have a lot of people who cannot access capital, then you have to allocate some funds to
enablesuchaccess.616

Bagumaopinesthat:

Growth in relation to equitable access to quality education and health care, infrastructure
and organised human settlement would greatly reduce this gap between the rich and poor.
Thiscanonlyberealisedifroads,hospitals,schoolsareworkedonandprobablysomebitof
planningtoorganisehumansettlement.Thiswayevenchildrenfrompoorhouseholdswould
be guaranteed quality education and health care. In the alternative, poorer families will
continuouslybecondemnedtopoverty.617

While active citizenship has been known to yield pressure from below, the need for strategic
leadership is equally important to realise a reduction in income inequality. A combination of
pressure from below and enlightened leadership from above has produced some remarkable
exercisesinredistribution.618However,thereisneedforeffectivestatesthatcanguaranteesecurity
andruleoflaw,andcandesignandimplementaneffectivestrategytoensureinclusiveeconomic
growth.619

IthasfurtherbeenarguedthatinequalityisthemaincauseofviolenceinUganda.Thecountrystill
experiences inequality based on region, ethnicity, class, religion and gender, which were
entrenchedduringthecolonialandpostcolonialperiods.Alarminginequalitiesofincomebetween
ruralandurbandwellershavecreateddiscontentinthecountrysideandledtoaninfluxofpeople
tocities,exacerbatingurbanproblemsthatleadtoviolence.Regionalinequalitiesmeantthatpeople
intheSouth,wherecashcropswereproduced,receivedhigherincomesthanpeopleintheNorth
and in areas that became designated as nothing but sources of labour. In practical terms, and to
ordinary folk, this inequality, which ran along ethnic or tribal lines, was considered ethnic
favouritismorvictimization.620

Thedecreaseinpovertylevelsbetween2001and2009wasmainlydrivenbyincreasesinaverage
income,ratherthanredistributionofwealth.Thisisshownbygapsinpovertylevelsbetweenrural
(34%) and urban (14%) residents, and the regional disparities (Northern Uganda: 61%, Eastern
Uganda:36%,WesternUganda:20.5%andCentralUganda:16.4%).621

616FHRIinterviewwithDr.IbrahimKasirye,PrincipalResearchFellow,EconomicPolicyResearchCentre,on

1stJuly2014.

617FHRIinterviewwithMs.FredicaBaguma,ExecutiveDirector,RuralHealthPromotionandPoverty

AlleviationInitiative,on24thJune2014.
618Green,op.cit.,p.11.
619ibid.,p.12.
620Kasozi,op.cit.,p.30.
621MoFPED,ProgrammeofActionfortheLeastDevelopedCountries,op.cit.,p.13.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

137

Economic inequality harms even the wealthiest. Alumai, for instance, notes that concentration of
incomeinthehandsofafewindividualsresultsinthestretchoftheirincometoaccommodatethe
varyingneedsofthepoor.622Accordingtohimthereasonforthissituationistwofold.Ononehand
thewealthyaretaxedheavilyinordertoprovidesocialservicesfortheentirepopulation,andon
theotherhandthepoorexpectsupportfromwealthierfamilymembers.

Furtherstill,ifthepoorareleftbehindandexcludedfromopportunity,civilunrestislikelytoresult
aswitnessedintheArab spring.This leadsto aresurgenceofviolence andcivilstrife, whichwill
only further hamper the development of the country. The wealthy will not benefit from such
instabilityandviolenceeither.Itis,therefore,inthebestinterestofalltoprovideequalopportunity
andcaterforvulnerablegroupsinthedevelopmentplans.

5.4

POLITICALENVIRONMENT

The effectiveness of development strategies is greatly influenced by the capacity of state


institutionsandthequalityofpolicyformulationandimplementation.Toenhanceservicedelivery,
thegovernmentembarkedondecentralisingpower,resourcesandresponsibilitiesfromthecentre
tothelocallevelinordertobringservicesclosertothepeople.However,anumberofconstraints
stillexistthathampertheeffectivedeliveryofservicesatthecommunitylevel.

5.4.1 Decentralisation

In Uganda, service delivery has been largely decentralised through the system of local councils.
Decentralisation of governance was initiated by the introduction of the resistance councils,623and
later legalised by Chapter eleven of the Constitution and the LocalGovernmentAct,Cap.243 that
establishedlocalgovernmentcouncils.624Localgovernmentcouncilshavelegislativeandexecutive
powersandhavethemandate,amongothers,topreparedevelopmentplansforsubmissiontothe
National Planning Authority, 625 collect taxes, 626 and implement government policies and
programmes. 627 Local governments are responsible for approximately 70% of the service
delivery.628However, the capacity of the local government councils to effectively deliver these
servicesisinadequate,duetostaffingandfundingconstraints.

District Community Development Officers (DCDOs) play an important role in the development
strategyatthedistrictlevel.Oneoftheiractivitiesistosensitizethecommunitiesontheactivities
undernationaldevelopmentprogrammes,suchasNAADSandYLP.Theyalsocarryoutlivelihood
supportprogrammesandtargetedactionsforthemostvulnerablegroups,includingchildren,youth
andPWDs.Forinstance,theypromotegendermainstreamingandwomenempowerment.Thework

622FHRIinterviewwithMr.JeffAlumai,CountryDirector,InnovationsforPovertyAction,on20thJune2014.
623Foramoredetaileddiscussionontheresistancecouncilsseeparagraph2.4.4ofthisreport.

624Article180oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995;andSection3oftheLocalGovernmentAct,

Cap243.

625Article190oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.
626ibid.,Article191192.

627Section17oftheLocalGovernmentAct,Cap.243.

628AnalyticalStudyonDemocraticGovernanceinUgandatoSupporttheFormulationoftheNational
DevelopmentPlanII(2015/162018/19),p.69.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

oftheDCDOiscomplementedbytheCommunityDevelopmentOfficersandtheirassistantsatthe
subcountylevel.629

TheDCDOsinterviewedfortheFHRIstudystatedthattheyfaceseveralchallengeswhenexecuting
theiractivities.Theseinclude,understaffing,limitedbudgetsandotherrestrictionsimposedbythe
centralgovernment,amongothers.Forinstance,theDCDOinBugiri,explains:

In my department, I am like the minister of gender and social development. You talk of
vulnerablechildren,women,peoplewithdisabilities,theelderly,youth,almosteveryone,andI
amthere.ButifIshowedyouthebudgetlineforthedepartmentyouwouldwonderhowwe
work,yettheyexpectyou toreacheverypersoninthosecategories.Youdesignverygood
programmes, but you end up not implementing them because there is no money. Then the
otherissueisthatthey[government]putabanonrecruitment.Ineedtohaveofficersinevery
subcountybecauseIcannotbeeverywhere.

According to the Local Government Councils ScoreCard Assessment 2013/14, inadequate and
insufficient human resource is the number one challenge identified by local governments.630This
assessment found that staffing problems were highlighted by all districts, without exception.
Human resource challenges were related to both understaffing, lack of skills and academic
qualifications. Findings from the FHRI study support these outcomes. In all districts visited, local
government officials highlighted staffing problems as one of the major hindrances to effective
servicedelivery.Forinstance,theDCDOofKaabongidentifiesthehumanresourcegapasoneofthe
majorchallengesfacedbythedistrict:

At the department here we are supposed to be with five people, but currently we are with
three,andwecannotfilltheothertwo.Thenatthesubcountieswearesupposedtohavetwo
community development workers: one CDO [community development officer] and one
assistant.Currently,therearesubcountriesthatdonotevenhaveaCDO.Before2008,wehad
the money, but we could not attract people to those positions. Then until about 2012, when
manypeopleweregraduatingfromschoolwithinthedistrictandoutside,wewereaskednot
torecruitbythegovernmentbecausetheyweresayingthewagebillhadexploded.Thestaff
ceiling at the district stands at 65%. Critical positions are still not filled. We only have 4
substantiveheadsofdepartmentsoutof11.Theninthesubcountiesitisworse.Theonlything
weareallowedtodoistorecruitourownreplacement.Ifsomeoneleavesordiesthatisthe
onlypositionyoucanfill.631

Wasswaconfirmsthehumanresourcechallengesidentifiedbylocalgovernmentofficials:

Someofthelocalgovernmentsaredefinitelyunderstaffed.Theydonothavetherequiredstaff
and if they do, they are probably not welltrained. They do not have the necessary skills to
executetheirduties.632

629FHRIinterviewwithMr.MageroStephen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4th

August2014;andFHRIinterviewwithMr.BaatomBen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Kaabong
district,on8thJuly2014.
630ACODE,LocalGovernmentCouncilsScoreCardAssessment,2013/14,p.74.
631FHRIinterviewwithMr.BaatomBen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Kaabongdistrict,on8th
July2014.
632FHRIinterviewwithDr.FrancisWasswa,PolicyResearchSpecialist,EconomicDevelopment,Policyand
ResearchDepartment,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.

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139


Notwithstanding that 70% of services are devolved to local governments, only 15% 18% of the
nationalbudgetisallocatedforlocalgovernmentsexpendituretocaterforwagesandprogramme
implementation.633Atthesametime,manylocalgovernmentsdonothavetheinstitutionalcapacity
to generate sufficient local revenue to operate autonomously. As a result, financing of local
governments continues to be dominated by central government funding, which accounts on
average for 90% of the local government budget, while local revenues only account for a dismal
3%.634Thishamperstheirabilitytoensureeffectivedeliveryofservices.

Failuretomatchthebulkofservicesbeingdevolvedtolocalgovernmentswithanadequateshare
ofthenationalbudgethasnegativelyimpactedtheabilityofthelocalgovernmentcouncilstomake
localgovernancemoreparticipatory,efficientanddevelopmentoriented.Districtshavedecriedthe
revenuesourceallocationsysteminwhichfewandhardtoadministertaxeshavebeenassignedto
themwhiletheUgandaRevenueAuthoritytakeschargeofthemoreviabletaxrevenuesourcesin
thecountry.635ThisisconfirmedbyDr.Muvawala:

Centralgovernmenthastakentheeasiesttaxes,andleftthemostdifficulttothedistricts.The
mostdifficultarethosewhereyouarechasingapersonorshop.Payrolltaxesareallwiththe
centralgovernment,whichisveryeasy.Isubmitapercentageofmypayroll,justlikethat.So
oneofthethingsiseithertodevelopadistributionformula,wherecentralgovernmentcollects
but distributes. Or introduce taxes that could be dealt with at the local government level.
Property tax should be done by local government, but the problem is valuation. Most of our
propertiesarenotvalued,andgovernmentdoesnothavethecapacitytodoso.636

Thelimitedtaxbasehasinadvertentlycrippledtheoperationsoflocalgovernmentcouncilsandas
a result, delivery of effective povertyreduction public services has not been achieved. This is
confirmedbytheDCDOinBugiri:

Therearethoseprogrammeswhicharemadebyusasthelocalgovernment.Wetakecharge
of them. We are the ones who have developed them, the community participates, we draft a
budget, and we implement them. But still, our budget is funded 90% by the central
government. So still the central government has a say in even the programmes we have
developed,becausewhatwecallourlocalrevenuecollectionisataminimum.Peoplearenot
payingtaxesasrequired.Sowedonotcollectenoughrevenueasalocalgovernmentandwe
entirelydependonconditionalandunconditionalgrantsanddonorfunds.Theseconstituteup
to90%ofthetotalbudgetofthedistrict.Soyourelyonthem,ontheperiodicreleaseofthe
funds.637

There have been several proposals to increase the percentage of the national budget allocated to
local governments to 35% in the next 5 years. This could improve the effectiveness of service
deliveryatthelocallevel.However,somecriticsoftheproposalarguethatthelevelsofcorruption

633AnalyticalStudyonDemocraticGovernanceinUgandatoSupporttheFormulationoftheNational

DevelopmentPlanII(2015/162018/19),p.69.
634ACODE,LocalGovernmentCouncilsScoreCardAssessment,2013/14,p.61.
635ibid.,p.63.
636FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th
December2014.
637FHRIinterviewwithMr.MageroStephen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4th
August2014.

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atthelocalgovernmentlevelwillinsteadreduceefficientspendingandservicedelivery.Mbabaziis
of the opinion that local governments should only receive more money after demonstrating
efficientspending:

I have heard especially the Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA) demand from
government that they need more resources. After all they are the people that are doing the
implementationand allthat.ButI thinkfromthe centralgovernmentpointofview,thereis
stillalotofconfidencebuildingthathastohappen.Thelocalgovernmentsmustdemonstrate
thevalueformoneyfortheresourcestheyhavebeengiven.Mostofthebottleneckswegot
forourresourcesarenottricklingdowntothecommunityhasbeenthebureaucracyaround
localgovernmentwork;thepaperworktheygetdodgedinto;thepoorcontractingprocesses.
Thelocalgovernmentshavenotdemonstratedefficiencyfromthegovernmentperspectiveto
demandthatrespectordemandformoreresources.Thereare results,but wehavenot seen
enoughresultstojustifyanincrement.638

Dr.Wasswaagreesthatthepercentageofbudgetallocationsto localgovernmentshouldincrease
onlyafterdemonstrationofeffectiveservicedelivery:

Whenyoulookatthe absorptive capacityoftheselocalgovernments, manyarenotableto


absorbthefundsthatareallocatedtothem,becausetheydonothavewelldesignedprojects
orprogramstheyaregoingtoexecute.Thereiscorruptionandallthat.Soyoucannotstart
demanding for more money when you cannot even spend the one that you are given. But I
think with these reforms now in place, like removing ghost workers and all that, and also
ensuring that you will not be allocated funds unless you have demonstrated that indeed you
have delivered a service, I think government would not have any problem with increase,
becauseitisthelocalgovernmentswhodelivertheservices.Iftheyhaveaclearprogramme
andtheyhavedeliveredthatserviceIdonotseewhytherewouldbeanyprobleminincreasing
theamountofmoneytheyaregiven.639

Inadditiontothedebatearoundthebudgetallocationstolocalgovernments,therehavealsobeen
discussions around allowing local governments more flexibility so that resources can be spent
accordingtopeculiardistrictneeds.Forinstance,theDCDOofBugiridistrictnotesthatcurrently
the only opportunity to address peculiar district needs is through affirmative action
programmes.640Districts that do not benefit from such programmes are restricted to implement
programmesaccordingtoconditionalgrantsfromthecentralgovernmentfornationaldevelopment
purposes such as infrastructure, health care and education, but it does not allow for targeted
interventions.641

638FHRIinterviewwithMs.MarionMbabazi,TechnicalOfficer,EconomicDevelopment,PolicyandResearch

Department,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.

639FHRIinterviewwithDr.FrancisWasswa,PolicyResearchSpecialist,EconomicDevelopment,Policyand

ResearchDepartment,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.
640FHRIinterviewwithMr.MageroStephen,DistrictCommunityDevelopmentOfficer,Bugiridistrict,on4th
August2014.
641ibid.

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141

Dr. Birungi notes that local governments would benefit from more flexibility, but emphasises the
importanceofacertainlevelofguidancebythecentralgovernment:

Iagreethatlocalgovernmentsneedalittlemoreflexibility,especiallywithalotoffundssent
tothelocalgovernments.However,Istillthinkatthenationallevelwehavenationalstrategic
objectivetoachieve,andwecanonlyachievethemthroughawellorganizedsystem.Soifwe
agree to too much flexibility I am not sure whether we will be able to achieve that. Because
even at the local government level there is a lot of push and pull by the political leadership.
Thatpushandpullcouldendupdistortingthenationalpicture,becauseonecouncillorwants
thingsdonehere,theotheronethere,andifthatwastobeallowed,thewholecountrycould
easilygetadisasteroutcome.Sotheremustbealevelofguidancefromthecentre.642
Dr.Muvawala,however,isoftheopinionthatthereisnoreasonnottogivelocalgovernmentsmore
flexibility:

We have too many conditional grants. The flexibility should be improved. Fiscal
decentralisation at the highest level would help, of course with controls. If we have good
audits,goodinspections,Idonotseewhyweshouldcontroltheseguys.Whydowenottryit?
Whotellsthemthatthemoneydoesnotdisappearatthecentre?Actuallyitdisappearsmore
whenyougivethemguidelines.Weshouldchangebudgets.Goforoutcomes,results.643

Anincreaseinflexibilityforlocalgovernmentswillallowthemtotailordevelopmentprogrammes
topeculiardistrictneeds,whichwillmakeservicedeliverymoredemanddrivenandhencemore
likely to address the needs of the people and achieve the intended outcome. To ensure effective
utilisationofsuchenhancedflexibility,itisimportanttobuildcapacityatthelocalgovernmentlevel
tospendtheresourcesallocatedefficientlyandeffectively.

5.4.2 Publicparticipation

Public participation refers to the involvement of citizens in policymaking activities. According to


the International Association of Public Participation, public participation promotes sustainable
decisionsbyprovidingparticipantswiththeinformationtheyneedtobeinvolvedinameaningful
way,anditcommunicatestoparticipantshowtheirinputaffectsthedecision.644IntheDeclaration
on the Right to Development, the UN General Assembly proclaimed that states have a duty to
formulate development policies on the basis of active, free and meaningful participation of all
individuals.645The Human Rights Working Group of the UN Development Group (UNDGHRWG)
elaborated on this provision and stated that participation should be viewed as fostering critical
consciousnessanddecisionmakingasthebasisforactivecitizenshipandthatitshouldempower
citizens, especially the most marginalized, to articulate their expectations towards the State and
other dutybearers, and take charge of their own development.646As such, public participation
promotes active and representative participation towards enabling all community members to
meaningfullyinfluencedecisionsthataffecttheirlivesandcommunities.

642FHRIinterviewwithDr.PatrickBirungi,Director,DevelopmentPlanning,NationalPlanningAuthority,on

8thDecember2014.

643FHRIinterviewwithDr.JosephMuvawala,ExecutiveDirector,NationalPlanningAuthority,on8th

December2014.
644Retrievedon22ndJune2015from:www.iap2.org.
645Article2(3)oftheDeclarationontheRighttoDevelopment,1986.
646UNDevelopmentGroupHumanRightsWorkingGroup,retrievedon22ndJune2015from:
http://hrbaportal.org/archives/faq/whatdoestheprincipleofparticipationmeanforprogramming.

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To achieve active, free and meaningful participation, it is important that the government budgets
forparticipation,buildsthecapacityofsocietytoeffectivelyparticipateandarticulateexpectations
to the state and other dutybearers, enhances transparency and access to information, creates
specific channels for participation by the poorest and most marginalised, incorporates civic
education and human rights sensitisation as a crosscutting component of development, and
broadensallianceswithCSOs,amongothers.647

The DCDOs play an instrumental role in facilitating communities to participate in the design of
development plans to ensure that their needs are included. DCDOs, for instance, carry out social
mapping.648Findingsfromthissocialmappingexerciseinformtheplanningandlobbyingactivities
for future development programmes. DCDOs also gather information through local council
structures at the village, parish and subcounty levels to further inform their development and
lobbyingagenda.TheDCDOs,therefore,playanimportantroleofincludingtheneedsofthepeople,
especially the most vulnerable, in districtspecific development programmes and national level
developmentstrategies.

FindingsfromtheFHRIstudy,however,pointtoaweakanduncoordinatedparticipatoryprocess.
Forinstance,Mbabazinotesthat:

Itisalsoveryimportantthatweseecommunitiesparticipateintheprogrammedesignand
implementationoftheseprogrammesthataresentfromthecentre.Thatisprobablycatered
forunderthedecentralizationformat,butthathasnotbeenveryeffective,especiallygetting
thelocalgovernmentofficialstositwiththecommunitiesanddecideonthepriorityareas.649

InafocusgroupdiscussioninBugiridistrict,thewomennotedthattheydonothavemeetingswith
community leaders. So there is no way of informing the leaders about their needs. They further
noted that the leaders meet among themselves and do not invite the people.650The men raised
similar concerns. They noted that there is no mechanism for them to channel their needs to
community leaders since they do not meet. They felt that the leadership is not concerned about
theirneedsandonlyshowsinterestduringtheelectionperiod.Theparticipantsstatedthatmanyof
thepromisesmadeduringthecampaignsareneverfulfilled.651

Thissituationindicatesthatpeopleareunawareofavenuestoparticipateinpublicdecisionmaking
and calls for the need to incorporate civic education and human rights sensitisation as a cross
cuttingcomponentofdevelopment.Dr.Kabonesaconfirmsthelackofawareness:

We just completed a research looking at gender budgeting and accountability in three


districts.Wefoundthatsomepeopledonotknowwhattheirbudgetis.Deepintheruralareas
peoplearenotaware.WhattheysaidwasthattheChairmanrepresentsthem.Whenthereisa
meetingforgenderbudgeting,theyhearthatthereisabudget,buttheydonotknowwhatitis

647UNDevelopmentGroupHumanRightsWorkingGroup,retrievedon22ndJune2015from:

http://hrbaportal.org/archives/faq/whatdoestheprincipleofparticipationmeanforprogramming.

648Socialmappingisamechanismtoidentifyhouseholdsbasedonpredefinedindicatorsrelatingtosocio

economicconditions.
649FHRIinterviewwithMs.MarionMbabazi,TechnicalOfficer,EconomicDevelopment,PolicyandResearch
Department,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.
650FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithfemalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.
651FHRIfocusgroupdiscussionwithmalevillagersofBudakadistrict,on8thAugust2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

143

all about. They do not know how much money comes in. However, in communities where
people have been empowered, the situation is different. This is because they have the
knowledgeandareabletodemandforaccountabilityfromaninformedpointofview.652

Oyellaagreesontheimportanceofsensitisationandciviceducation:

There is a lack of knowledge. Because for you to participate effectively you need to have
information. You must have the knowledge to be able to engage meaningfully. Lack of
informationandawarenessarethemaindetrimentstoeffectiveparticipation.Peoplearestill
stuckintothinkingthatgovernmentshoulddothemafavourandconstructroadsandthelike.
Theydonotknowthatitisactuallyalegalentitlement.Sobecauseofthatlackofawareness
theycannotdemand.Soitreallyaffectsparticipation,especiallybythemostvulnerable.653

Nabwirealsoconcursthatwithoutknowledge,onecannotholdhisleadersaccountable:

You can only participate from an informed point of view. Only then you can know that the
communitywasactuallysupposedtogetaboreholebutitisnotthere.Thatiswhenyoucan
talk to a local leader in your community and ask them about that water source that was
supposedtobethere.Maybethenyoucangetfeedback,andifyoudonotgetthatfeedbackyou
cantalktooneortwopeoplefromyourcommunityandtellthemweneedtocometogether
andpushforthisasacommunity.Thatwaytheycanholdtheirleadersaccountable.654

Inadditiontotheneedforsensitisationandciviceducation,manyparticipantsnotedtheneedfor
capacitybuildingofboththelocalgovernmentsandthepublic torealiseeffectiveandmeaningful
participation.TheAssistantChiefAdministrativeOfficerofBudaka,forinstance,notes:

Thereisneedtoensureabottomupmodeofplanning.Thiswaycommunitymemberswould
beabletoidentifytheirneeds.However,weneedtoencouragesubcountyleaderstomeetthe
people to enable identification of the most pressing issues for consideration. The challenge,
however, remains with the level of awareness among the poor people. Many are more
concernedaboutwhatgovernmenthastoofferintermsofprogramsorinitiativesratherthan
attend meetings. I do not know whether this is due to their low level of education or
knowledge. The district officials meet with the residents once every year around the time of
districtbudgetplanningatthesubcountylevel.Thesemeetingsarealsosupposedtohappen
onceayearonasimilarscheduleatthevillageandparishlevel.655

Kirya experiences a similar situation and notes that as a result, participation of the people at the
communitylevelispracticallynonexistent:

There is no communication between the government and the poor. District planning is not
simplethegovernmentcannotconsultwithpeopleinanhoursmeeting.Thepurposeofthe

652FHRIinterviewwithDr.ConsolataKabonesa,DeanSchoolofWomenandGenderStudies,Makerere

University,on12thJune2014.
653FHRIinterviewwithMs.HildaOyella,NationalHumanRightsProgrammeOfficer,OfficeoftheHigh
CommissionerforHumanRights,on4thDecember2014.
654FHRIinterviewwithMs.DinahNabwire,Coordinator,AgencyforCooperationandResearchin
Development(ACORD),on16thJune2014.
655FHRIinterviewwithMr.YusufMugombe,AssistantChiefAdministrativeOfficer,Budakadistrict,on8th
August2014.

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meetings is to get an attendance list with signatures. Poor people are still backward and
illiterate.Toensureparticipation,thereisneedforrepresentativesatacommunitylevelsuch
as churches to consult with government officials. How does the district actually make an
assessment of needs without consultation and how can these needs be consistent with the
needsofotherdistricts?Thatiswhygovernmentpolicyassumestheseneedsarethesame,yet
differentdistrictsmayhaveuniquefactorscontributingtopoverty.656

Nimunguproposesmechanismsforintensifiedcapacitybuildingwithinthecommunities:

Civilsocietyorganisations(CSO)shouldensureamoreparticipatoryapproachasameansof
empoweringthecommunitiestoappreciatetheirroleindevelopment.CSOs shouldalsoshift
fromtheconventionalmodeofworkshopsandtrainingsandventureintoamoreinteractive
andparticipatoryapproach.Increasinglythisapproachisgainingmoreprominence.However,
atthemoment,theyoungpeopledonotactivelyparticipateinthegovernanceprocessessuch
as planning, decisionmaking and resource allocation. All these processes take place at the
differentadministrativeunitsrightfromthevillagetotheparishlevel,tothesubcounty,and
finallytothedistrictcouncil.Intheprocesstheseyoungpeopletendtomissoutwhenitcomes
toresourceallocationandprioritysetting.Thisiswhywehavesetouttoadvocateforthem.
Weempowerthemtoparticipateandbeabletoclaimtheirrights.657

GimbonotesachangeinattitudeduetothecapacitybuildingbyNGOs:

We have been able to empower communities to demand for their rights. We have noted an
improvement among the people, as increasingly many are beginning to participate in
governanceissuesatthecommunitylevel.Inthe36districtswhereActionAidhaspresence,we
havenotedcaseswherethepeoplehaveontheirowndemandedforaccountabilityfromtheir
leaders.658

The irregular meetings between the communities and local government officials and the limited
level of awareness within communities on the avenues and relevance of engagement with local
officialshindereffectiveparticipationofthepeople.Assuch,thereisaneedformoresensitisation
inordertofosteradeeperandmoremeaningfuldevelopmentorientedformofengagement.

It is particularly important to ensure participation of the most vulnerable groups in society to


ensurethattheirpeculiarneedsareaddressedinthepolicymakingprocess.Thisrequirestargeted
interventions, since, for instance, the deaf will be unable to listen to radio announcements; the
visually impaired unable to read any printed materials; and those with motor impairments may
find it difficult to attend meetings. Walugembe explains why he believes the views of PWDs are
oftennotincludedinpolicymakingprocesses:

Ithinkthegovernmentbynaturetendsnottobeabletocarryoutasextensiveconsultations
asitshouldinthedesignofitsprogramsforavarietyofreasons.Iwouldthink,ifitistocarry
out any consultations, chances are that they [those consulted] will be easy to reach. And

656FHRIinterviewwithMr.RichardKirya,ExecutiveDirector,SafeNeighbourhoodFoundation,Budaka

district,on8thAugust2014.

657FHRIinterviewwithMr.AlfredDukuNimungu,AdvisorLivelihood&EducationforYouthEmpowerment,

SavetheChildren,on19thJune2014.

658FHRIinterviewwithMs.HarrietGimbo,ProgrammeDevelopmentManager,ActionAid,30thMarch2015.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

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disabled people will be among the hard to reach. So you will probably find that views of
disabledpeopleandindeedmanyothermarginalizedgroupsarenotincluded.659

Toensuremoredevelopmentorientedparticipation,thereisaneedforregularandmoreinclusive
meetingsbetweenlocalleadersandcommunities.TheroleofNGOsshouldalsobestrengthenedto
complementdevelopmenteffortsofthegovernmentmoreeffectively.

5.4.3 AccountabilityandTransparency

To demonstrate commitment in the fight against corruption, the government established a


Directorate forEthicsandIntegrityin1998tocoordinatetheanticorruptioncrusade.660In2009,
the government adopted the zero tolerance to corruption policy. This anticorruption strategy
correctly recognises that the fight against corruption requires measures beyond sanctions and
extendstotherestorationofpublicsectorethics,behaviouralchangeandaccountability.661

Transparencyisakeycomponentofaccountability.Accountabilitymeansthatofficialsinthepublic,
private and voluntary sectors are answerable for their actions. Accountability goes beyond
institutional mechanisms to address problems and includes opportunities for ordinary people to
engagewithleadersand,wherenecessary,holdthemaccountable.

Corruption is still a major challenge for the Government of Uganda. It manifests in several ways,
includingdirectembezzlementofpublicfunds,nepotism,influencepeddling,briberyforessential
services, diversion of funds and substandard work. According to the Transparency International
Corruption Perceptions Index, 2014, Uganda was ranked as the 32nd most corrupt country in the
worldwithascoreof26.662

Recentexamplesofcasesofgrandcorruptionwherebygovernmentleadersbenefitattheexpense
of the public good include the misappropriation of UGX 205 billion663through the National
IdentityCardprojectin2011;theembezzlementofUGX58billion664fromtheOfficeofthePrime
Minister (OPM) that was allocated to the Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) for
NorthernUganda;thelossoffundstoavalueofUGX165billion665intheMinistryofPublicService
asaresultofcorruptactionsbyasyndicateofofficialsfromtheMinistryofFinance,Planningand
Economic Development and the Ministry of Public Service; and the fraudulent procurement of a
contractorfortheMukonoKatosiroadandsubsequentadvancementofUGX24billion666toanon
existentcontractortostarttheroadconstructionin2014.667

659FHRIinterviewwithMr.JosephWalugembe,ProgrammeDirector,ActiononDisability&Development

International,on8thJuly2014.
660In1996PresidentMuseveniassignedtheVicePresidenttheresponsibilityofoverseeingthefightagainst
corruptionthatledtotheestablishmentofanAntiCorruptionCoordinationUnit.In1998thisUnitwaslater
redesignatedtheDirectorateforEthics&Integrity(DEI)asthepolicyarminthefightagainstcorruption
withadditionalmandateofrebuildingethicsandintegrityinthesociety.See:www.dei.go.ug.
661AnalyticalStudyonDemocraticGovernanceinUgandatoSupporttheFormulationoftheNational
DevelopmentPlanII(2015/162018/19),p.59.
662Onascaleof0(highlycorrupt)to100(veryclean).SeeTransparencyInternational,Corruption
PerceptionsIndex2014,p.5.
663Equivalentto62.2millionUSDollars.
664Equivalentto17.6millionUSDollars.
665Equivalentto50millionUSDollars.
666Equivalentto7.3millionUSDollars.
667InspectorateofGovernment,TrackingCorruptionTrendsinUganda:UsingtheDataTrackingMechanism,
4thAnnualReport,2014,p.17.

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Prof.Rwabukwaliblamescorruptiononmoraldegenerationwithinsociety:

Asasociety,werevelinthebigmanmentality.If,forinstance,yougotocampaignandsay
your opponent embezzled money that the people should not vote for him, you will lose.
Peoples interpretation is why would you go into power if you cannot use the money? They
believetheseleadersshouldstealthemoneyandbringsometotheminthecommunity.This
waytheyalsokeepcorruptionthriving.668

Prof.Khamalwaattributestheincreasinglevelsofcorruptiontopoverty:

Somepeoplegrewuppoor.Soyoufindthatsuchpeoplearewillingtodoanythingtoavoid
being caught up in that [poverty] trap. They know that the time is now to embezzle money.
Theydonot feartobecaughtandimprisonedbecausebythat timetheywillhavegiventhe
moneytotheirrelativessoafterlike5yearsinprison,theywillbereleased.Sohecomesback
and continues to enjoy the money. You look at the former Managing Director of NSSF, the
former Principal Accountant in the Office of the Prime Minster, or those implicated in the
Public Service scam. Even on camera they looked very confident and happy. They had no
shame.Thisispartlybecausepeoplehererevelincorruption.InAmericaandEurope,people
frownuponcorruption.InUganda,ifyouhavemoneyyouareconsideredaboss.Noonecares
how you got it. In fact if you do not embezzle you are considered a fool, because tomorrow
whenyouretireyouwillhavenothing.669

Thisindicatesthatcorruptionisperceivedasameansofsecuringthefuture.Becauseofthelimited
socialsecuritysystemsinthecountry,peoplelookforalternativeavenuestoattainsecurityinold
age.However,corruptionalsorisksfurtherentrenchingpovertyinsociety.Zaweddenotesthatdue
topersistentcorruption,manygovernmentinitiativestoeradicatepovertyhavefailed:

The government has come up with a number of programs like NAADS, Youth Livelihood
Programme,BonaBagagawalemeaningleteveryonegetrichamongothers.Theproblem
with these programmes is the way they are being implemented. Due to corruption, money
whichismeanttobenefitpeopleatthegrassrootlevelisswindledrightfromthetop.Soyou
find that there are very good programs but the challenge is with the implementation. The
personwhoissupposedtobenefitfromthatmoneydoesnotgetit.Thepersonwhoissupposed
toutilizethatmoneydoesnotgettoutilizeit.670

Prof.Khamalwanotedthatcorruptionindevelopmentinitiativesalsomanifestsintheformofsub
standardwork:

Therearecasesofheadmastersbeinggivenmoneytobuildschoolbuildings,butthemoneyis
giventoarelativewhoisnotabuilder.Sohealsotenderssomeoneelsetodothejob.Inthe
endyouhaveschoolsthataresubstandard.Therewasacaseofaschoolthathadbeenblown
awaybywind.WhentheMinisterwentthere,theyfoundthattheschoolwallshadbeenbuilt

668FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.CharlesRwabukwali,ProfessorofSociology,DepartmentofSociology,School

ofSocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on19thMay2014.
669FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.WotsunaKhamalwa,ProfessorofAnthropology,CollegeofHumanitiesand
SocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on14thJuly2014.
670FHRIinterviewwithMs.ZaweddeRoseMary,Monitoring&EvaluationManager,NationalCommunityof
WomenLivingwithHIV/AIDS,on23rdJune2014.

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147

withnocementbutonlysand.Nowhereisaheadmasterwhoisappealingtogovernmentto
helpwhenhewasinchargeoftheconstruction.Astheheadmasterhewastheonesupervising,
butyouaresupervisingabuildingwheretheyareusingnocement,becauseyouhaveputthe
cementinyourpocket.Soitgoesbothways.671

Asaresult,resourcesareinefficientlyspent,reducingtheeffectivenessofdevelopmentinitiatives.

Corruptionhasnotonlyimpededtheeffectiveimplementationofgovernmentinitiatives,ithasalso
hampered the impact of donor aid. Following the unearthing scandal in the Office of the Prime
Minister where over 50 billion UGX672had been misused, and in order to put pressure on the
Government of Uganda to address corruption, donors and multilateral aid institutions, including
the United Kingdom, Austria, European Union and World Bank, suspended up to 300 million US
Dollarspromisedinbudgetsupportfor2013.673

CaseStudy9Embezzlement

In 1996, a study was undertaken in Uganda to investigate how much of the funds allocated to
schoolstomaintainbuildings,buytextbooksandfundanyotherprogrammes,actuallyarrivedat
the schools.674The study found that only 13% of the funds reached the schools and more than
halfoftheschoolsdidnotreceiveanymoneyatall.Inquiriesonwherethemoneywentinstead
suggestedthatalotofthemoneymostlikelyfilledthepocketsofdistrictofficials.675

Thefindingsofthestudycausedanuproar,andasaresult,theMinistryofFinance,Planningand
EconomicDevelopmentstartedsendingmonthlyinformationtothenationalnewspapersabout
theamountsofmoneysenttothedistrictsfortheschools.Whenthestudywasrepeatedin2001,
findingsshowedthatthepercentageofmoneythatwasreceivedbytheschoolshadincreasedto
80%.676Abouthalfoftheheadmastersofschoolsthathadreceivedlessthantheywereentitled
to, initiated a formal complaint, and most of them eventually received the full amount. There
were no reports of reprisals against the headmasters who complained or newspapers that
published the information. This suggests that the district officials were happy to embezzle the
moneywhennoonewaswatchingbutstoppedassoonasquestionswerebeingasked.677

Theresultsofthe1996studysuggestanexcitingpossibility:thefightagainstcorruptiondoesnot
necessitateachangeofgovernmentortheprofoundtransformationofsociety,butrathercareful
thinkingandrigorousevaluationstokeepcorruptionandinefficiencyincheck.

Inordertoreducecorruptionandensurethatresourcestrickledowntothecommunities,people
needtobeabletoholdthegovernmentaccountable.Omaraalludestowhyaccountabilitysystems
inUgandaareweak:

671ibid.

672Equivalentto15.7millionUSDollars.

673DailyMonitor,Donorscutalldirectaidtogovernmentuntil2013,byDearJeanne&JohnNjoroge,4th

December2014.

674RitvaReinikkaandJakobSvensson,ThePowerofInformation:EvidenceformaNewspaperCampaignto

ReduceCapture,workingpaper,IIES,StockholmUniversity,2004.
675Banerjee&Duflo,op.cit.,pp.235236.
676ibid.,p.237.
677ibid.

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Bythenatureofourculturalsystems,youtendtorespectthepersonaboveratherthanhold
thatpersonaccountable.678

FindingsfromtheFHRIstudyshowthatthegeneralopinionisthatpeoplearestilllargelyunaware
of their rights. They believe that public services are a favour, and therefore, do not demand for
accountabilityfromthegovernment.Alumaiexplainsthatevenpeoplewhoareawareofrightsare
stillunabletoholdgovernmentaccountablebecausetheydonotknowwhomtoaddress:

In terms of whether I should get drugs and my children should be in school, I think most
parents in this country know that. The thing is whom do you ask for that? Is it the LC 1
ChairmanorwillyougototheLC5?Decentralisationissupposedtotakeservicesclosertothe
people, but it also means that the central government becomes less accountable to its
population.Theywillsayyouhavetosendthingstothedistrict,nottous.Sothatseparationof
powerfromthecentral tothedistrictlevelmakes anordinary Ugandaconfusedofwhomto
ask.679

Walugembeconcurs:

If,forexample,thesubcountychiefinmyvillagedidnotdotherightjob,wheredoIreport?
Do I report to the Chairman of the LC 5? Do I report to the RDC [Resident District
Commissioner]? Do I report to the Chief Administrative Officer? And in between those, there
are a lot of layers. So the complexity of the governance system in this country complicates
accountability.680

The government has tried to address this problem by introducing the Baraza programme in
2009.681Thisprogramme wasintroducedasa meansofensuringthatthereisadequatespace for
theordinarycitizenstoparticipateinplanningandmonitoringofgovernmentservicesintheirlocal
communities.682When the Baraza programme was adopted it was piloted in 4 districts: Masaka,
Kumi,NebbiandBushenyi.AsofMarch2014,theprogrammehadbeenimplementedin423lower
localgovernments(subcounties,towncouncilsandmunicipaldivisions)andduring FY 2013/14,
Barazaswereheldin50districts.683Mbabaziexplainshowthisinitiativecanaidtheanticorruption
crusade:

The government has been open to initiativeslike the Barazas under the Office of the Prime
Minister, where the local government officials have had interface meetings with the
communities,andthecommunitiesaredemanding:Youaregiventhisbulkofmoney,whereis
the road? Where are the seed inputs that you are supposed to deliver? I think, increasingly,

678FHRIinterviewwithMr.AliroOmara,GovernanceConsultantNDPIIandChairpersonBoardofDirectors,

HumanRightsCentreUganda,on21stNovember2014.
679FHRIinterviewwithMr.JeffAlumai,CountryDirector,InnovationsforPovertyAction,on20thJune2014.
680FHRIinterviewwithMr.JosephWalugembe,ProgrammeDirector,ActiononDisability&Development
International,on8thJuly2014.
681Barazasarelargeopenaircommunitymeetings
682OfficeofthePrimeminister,informationretrievedon22ndJune2015from:
www.opm.go.ug/projects/Baraza_Programme.html.
683Rukungiri,Kalangala,Sironko,Moroto,Napak,Nakapiripirit,Amudat,Abim,Kotido,Kaabong,Adjumani,
Ntungamo,Mayuge,Kaliro,Kyankwanzi,Kamuli,Buyende,Namutumba,Kasese,Rubirizi,Butambala,Mityana,
Nakaseke,Lyantonde,Palisa,Mbale,Tororo,Busia,Kiruhura,Ibanda,Kamwenge,Buikwe,Nakasongola,
Buvuma,Sembabule,Koboko,Nebbi,Nwoya,Agago,Oyam,Otuke,Dokolo,Kole,Amuria,Soroto,Serere,
Bukedea,Kaberamaido,KatakwiandNgora.Seewww.opm.go.ug/projects/Baraza_Programme.html.

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149

when you have an open government able to sit down with the communities whom they are
serving,thatwillbringaboutafightinthisviceofcorruption.684

Access to information, however, is crucial if the population is to utilise avenues as the Baraza
programme effectively and hold the government accountable. The government will only be held
accountable when the population becomes aware of the services and goods to which they are
entitled.Nabwireelaboratesonthis:

Ifyouhaveinformationyouwillbeabletoparticipatefromaninformedpointofview.Thatis
whenyoucanknowthatIwasactuallysupposedtogetaboreholehereandwedonothaveit.
That is when you can talk to any local leader in your community and ask them about that
watersourcethatwassupposedtobesomewhere.Thenyoucangetfeedback.Ifyoudonotget
thatfeedback,thatiswhenyoucantalktooneortwopeoplefromyourcommunityandcome
togethertopushforthisasacommunity.685

In2014,thegovernmentlaunchedtheBudgetTransparencyInitiative,whichgivespeopleaccessto
allinformationpertainingtothebudget.Underthisinitiative,awebsitecontaininginformationon
theallocationofresourcestothedifferentsectors,includingthesubcountylevelswascreated.686
Inadditiontothewebsite,thegovernmentalsocreatedatollfreehotlinethatpeoplecancalltoask
questionsaboutbudgetallocationsandexpenditures.687Theinitiativeisacommendablestepwhich
will likely increase transparency in budgeting and expenditures. If well utilised, people will be
empoweredwiththeinformationnecessarytoholdgovernmentaccountable.Thenextstepshould
besensitisationofthepubliconhowtoeffectivelyutilisebothtools.

To strengthen the efforts by the government to increase accountability and address corruption,
Mbabaziproposesasystemofsanctionsandincentivesatthelocalgovernmentlevel:

Itwouldbenicetohavetherewardsandsanctionstypeofreform,orprogramsthatreward
thoselocalgovernmentsthatperformwell,andtheyaregivenmoreresourcesasanincentive.
Those that do not actually measure up are given some sanctions or interventions that help
them.Soitwouldbenicetohaveperformancebasedcontractsfortheselocalgovernmentsto
ensurethattheyuptheirgame.688

Contributions from civil society organisations and other stakeholders would complement
government efforts to improve accountability. Prof. Rwabukwali, however, explains that these
organisationsoftenfaceresistancefromthegovernment:

They [NGOs] should go to the population and show them a scorecard how to judge your
government. This is what should happen, but as you can see, the government will not be

684FHRIinterviewwithMs.MarionMbabazi,TechnicalOfficer,EconomicDevelopment,PolicyandResearch

Department,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.

685FHRIinterviewwithMs.DinahNabwire,Coordinator,AgencyforCooperationandResearchin

Development(ACORD),on16thJune2014.
686www.budget.go.ug
687Freehotline:0800229229.
688FHRIinterviewwithMs.MarionMbabazi,TechnicalOfficer,EconomicDevelopment,PolicyandResearch
Department,MinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment,on15thDecember2014.

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amused.Youcanseeitisatoughcall.Ifyouaredoingthat,youaresettingyourselfupforan
attack.Thegovernmentisnotgoingtoacceptyoueasily.689

ThesolutionsuggestedbyDr.RwendeireisforNGOsandotheractorstocriticisethegovernment
constructivelyandtoofferalternativesolutionstoproblems:

When you are in government it becomes very difficult to have selfcriticism. So you need
anotherparty,thatistheresponsibilityofcivilsocietyorganizations.Theyneedtotakethat
very seriously; not be aggressively critical, but constructively critical, offering some
alternatives.Theother[political]parties,whicharenotingovernment,shouldalsobeserving
to check on the excesses of government. But what happens is that they also tend to be too
critical and then elicit a defensive response from government, rather than constructive
engagement.Sowethinkthatthedemocraticprocessweareinofmultipartypoliticsshould
encouragetheoppositiontoofferalternatives,notsimplybeingcritical.690

In order to strengthen the demand side and improve accountability, effective participation of the
population is critical. Active citizenship requires people working together to fight for rights and
justiceintheirownsocietiesandtoholdstates,privatecompanies,andotheractorsaccountable.
Theconceptofactivecitizenshiphasaninherentmerit:thepoorhaveavoiceindeterminingtheir
destiny, rather than being passive recipients of welfare or government action.691For this to be
realised,itisimportanttoemphasiseeffectiveandrepresentativegovernanceatthenationaland
locallevels.

5.5

CONCLUSION

Poverty in Uganda is multifaceted. The success of any poverty reduction intervention largely
dependsonitsabilitytoaddresshistorical,economicandsocioculturalforces.Currentgovernment
developmentpolicies,however,oftentreatpovertyasasinglefacetedphenomenonthataffectsor
impacts all people in the same way and to which blanket solutions can be applied. However,
vulnerablegroupsinsociety,suchasPWDs,womenandtheelderly,amongothers,requirespecial
attention because they are less likely to benefit from mainstream development programmes. It is
imperativetosetupsocialsecuritysystemstoensurethatthesecategoriesarenotexcluded.

Whilesocialserviceprogrammes,suchasUPEandHSSIPhaveimprovedaccesstoeducationand
healthcareforthepoor,qualityofeducationandhealthcareislaggingbehind.Despitetheincrease
in enrolment since the introduction of UPE, the school dropout rate at the primary level remains
veryhigh,and,therefore,illiteracyandinnumeracyremainrife.Effortsshouldbetargetedtowards
retrainingandimprovingthewelfareofteachersandreducingthepupilteacherratioinorderto
improvethequalityofeducation.

For the health care system, the biggest bottlenecks, especially in remote areas, include lack of
accommodation for staff, delayed payment of salaries and inadequate drug supplies. The
inadequate drug supplies cause problems in remote areas, as people often have to travel long
distancestoreachahealthcentreandthenfailtogettreatment.Asaresult,poorpersonsinthese

689FHRIinterviewwithProf.Dr.CharlesRwabukwali,ProfessorofSociology,DepartmentofSociology,School

ofSocialSciences,MakerereUniversity,on19thMay2014.
690FHRIinterviewwithDr.AbelRwendeire,DeputyChairperson,NationalPlanningAuthority,on12 th
November2014.
691Green,op.cit.,pp.1213.

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areas delay seeking health care or resort to using traditional healers and birth attendants.
Ultimately,thelowqualityofeducationandhealthcareculminatesintoalargeuneducatedsegment
ofsocietywithahighdiseaseburdenandlimitedabilitytocontributetotheeconomy.

Livelihood programmes, such as NAADS and YLP for instance, have failed to adequately train the
beneficiariesonhowto effectively usethefarminputs andfundsprovided,therefore resultingin
wastageofresourcesthatcouldhavebeenmoreefficientlyusedtoreducepoverty.

Thegovernmentalsoneedstodomoreinthefightagainstcorruptionbecauseitremainsrampant,
and prevents the poor from benefiting from development programmes and initiatives. Anti
corruption initiatives are mostly hindered by the lack of accountability. The population is largely
unabletoholdgovernmentofficialsaccountableduetothelackofinformationandunequalpower
relations, among others. Laudable initiatives introduced by the government such as the budget
transparencyinitiativeandtheorganizationofcommunityBarazas,willnotyieldmuchunlessthe
capacityofthepopulationtoengagewiththesemechanismsisbuilt.

Itisvitaltobuildthecapacityoflocalgovernmentstoensureeffectiveandefficientuseofresources
allocatedtopovertyreductionprogrammes.Thechronicunderstaffingandlackofnecessaryskills
andqualificationsatthislevelunderminestheprogrammes.Theinabilityoflocalgovernmentsto
collect local revenue remains another major bottleneck. Local governments cannot operate
autonomouslybecausethecentralgovernmentfunds90%ofthelocalgovernmentbudgets,which
inturn,affectsservicedelivery.Limitedpublicparticipationalsopreventseffectiveservicedelivery.
The poor are not provided with sufficient opportunities to effectively engage with government
officials,andwhentheydo,theyoftendonotseeresultsfromit.

In conclusion, good governance is crucial for poverty alleviation. In the alternative, resources get
wastedandservicesgoundelivered,therebyentrenchingtheextremepoorfurtherintopoverty.As
such, a combination of pressure from below and an enlightened leadership are key to effective
empowerment of people to escape poverty. However, good development practices must build on
the skills, strengths, and ideas of the people living in poverty, rather than treating them as mere
receptaclesofcharity.

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CHAPTERSIX:
THEWAYFORWARD

Povertyeradicationnecessitateseconomicgrowthandtheguaranteethatthiseconomicgrowthis
translated into services and increased opportunities for those living in poverty, such as quality
health care and education, employment opportunities, social security systems, et cetera. The
economicgrowththusneedstobeinclusiveandpropoor.

As this report has shown, a number of steps have been undertaken by government and other
stakeholders to allocate resources towards poverty reduction in the country. However, one
overarchingfactorthathasimpededtheimpactoftheseinitiativesisthelackoffocusonthemost
vulnerable groups in society and their empowerment. Even those initiatives that do address the
poorest of the poor, inadequately provide the beneficiaries with skills to translate the allocated
resourcesintosustainableimprovementoftheirlives.

As such, the human rightsbased approach can provide a crucial valueaddition to the existing
developmentinitiatives.Theprioritisationofthemostvulnerableinsocietywillreduceinequalities
andsafeguardthosemostinneedofsocialprotection.Thefocusoncapacitybuildingofbothrights
holders and dutybearers will reduce wastage of resources because money will actually trickle
downtothebeneficiaries.

6.1

ACTION1:PRIORITISETHEMOSTVULNERABLEGROUPS

The countrys turbulent history has created an environment of highly unequal power relations,
leavingthepoorvulnerabletoexploitation.Thelackofaccountabilityofstateinstitutions,asseen
throughout history, and which is still prevalent in Uganda today, has only reinforced these
inequalities and vulnerabilities. It is, therefore, paramount that the most vulnerable groups in
societyareprioritisedandgivenspecialattention.

Mainstream development programmes and policies seldom benefit the extreme poor as these
initiativesoftendonotaddressthespecificneedsofthevulnerable.Livelihoodprogrammes,such
as NAADS and YLP, require collective action in order to participate, among other requirements,
whichmakeitdifficultfortheextremepoortoparticipateinandbenefitfromtheseprogrammes.

Development plans such as the NDP and the longterm Vision 2040, address the overall
development challenges of the country, but lack provisions to safeguard the inclusion of the
extremepoor.Thisisparticularlyproblematicwithregardtolandrightsandproposedinitiativeto
title all land to increase agricultural productivity. Secure land tenure and titling of land is indeed
important, however as the vast majority of the rural poor depend on access to land for their
survival,theirlandrightsneedtobesafeguarded.Themajorityoftheruralpoorliveonancestral
land that they own customarily, and lack the funds to survey their land in order to obtain a land
title. Therefore, before this initiative is rolled out nationwide, a policy document that stipulates
guidelines and strategies on how the extreme poor can obtain title to customarily owned land
shouldbedeveloped.Itiscrucialforthisdocumenttobewidelydisseminatedinacomprehensive
manner that the illiterate, blind and deaf can understand. Information is power: Only when the
ruralpopulationisfullyawareoftheirrightsandaffordablemethodsofobtainingalandtitle,can
exploitationbeprevented.

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153

To avoid further exploitation and ensure that the resources allocated to poverty eradication
initiatives reach the most vulnerable, corruption and impunity need to be addressed. Initiatives
such as the budget transparency initiative and the community Barazas are a good start. It is
important to ensure that the most vulnerable can effectively engage with government on these
platformsandavenues.Inadditiontoprovidingthepoorwithavenuestoengagewithgovernment,
perpetratorsofcorruptionshouldbeprosecutedandfundsdivertedseized.

6.2

ACTION2:BUILDCAPACITYOFBOTHRIGHTSHOLDERSANDDUTY

BEARERS
Even when the specific needs of the most vulnerable are addressed and the money reaches the
intendedbeneficiaries,initiativesattimesstillfailbecauseofthelackofcapacitytotranslatethese
resourcesintoactualsustainableimpactonthelivesofthepoor.Capacitybuildingisthereforekey
atalllevels.

The high level of dependency among the population as a result of dependence on handouts has
greatly reduced productivity. Therefore, more recently, government, development partners and
civil society organisations have shifted towards an empowerment approach that imparts
knowledge and skills and rewards people for positive behaviour. This will build the capacity
necessarytoimprovelivesinasustainablematter.

Effective knowledge and skills transfer is crucial for the realisation of poverty eradication
initiatives. Currently, many recipients of livelihood strengthening programmes are unable to
generate additional income in a sustainable matter because they do not have the knowledge or
skills to utilise the resources efficiently. This calls for the strengthening of extension services,
practicaltrainingsanddemonstrations.UsingtheexampleofNAADS,seedsdistributedtofarmers
often go to waste because there is a lack of sufficient training and continuity. When people learn
how to properly use these and other inputs to increase their yields, and see with their own eyes
howitcanbenefitthem,theywillbemoreinclinedtostartadoptingthesemethods.

The establishment of cooperatives has proven useful in the past, and has recently gained
momentum. Cooperative unions allow smallholder farmers to boost their production, collectively
bargainforhigheroutputprices,achievehighermarginsthrougheconomicsofscaleandengagein
valueaddedactivities,amongothers.Asthemajorityofthepopulation,andparticularlythepoor,
continuetobeengagedinsubsistencefarming,therevivalofthesecooperativeswillgoalongway
inenhancingtheirlivelihoodopportunitiesanderadicatingruralpoverty.

Toensuresustainabledevelopmentandenhancetheabilityofthepoortotapintonewandexisting
opportunities for income generation, the educational system needs to be strengthened. Access to
educationisnearuniversal,howeverqualityislaggingfarbehindanddropoutratesarealarmingly
high. As a result, illiteracy and innumeracy remain rife and greatly limit access to opportunity. A
solid educational foundation does not only secure access to opportunity but allows for effective
participation in the development of the country. Therefore, efforts in the educational department
shouldbetargetedtowardsimprovingthequalityofeducationandretentionofpupils,forinstance
through retraining of teachers and improving their welfare, reducing the pupilteacher ratio,
sensitisingthecommunitiesontheirroletoensureeffectiveimplementationofUPE.

A final and crucial area of attention for capacity building is the local governments. Local
government councils are responsible for 70% of service delivery throughout the country. These

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councils, however, face severe human resource capacity gaps, both in terms of understaffing and
lack of the necessary skills and qualifications. Local government officials should, therefore, be
encouraged to access skills training courses, and additional staff should be recruited. One of the
mostglaringcapacitygapsoflocalgovernmentofficialsliesinlocalrevenuecollection.Onaverage,
only 3% of the local government budgets are collected from local revenues, the remainder of the
funds is received from central government and donors. This hampers their ability to operate
autonomously and deliver services effectively. Local government officials should, therefore, be
trainedinmethodstoenhancelocalrevenuecollection.

6.3

RECOMMENDATIONS

Toallstakeholders:
3.1. Ensure that all poverty reduction initiatives are geared towards longterm empowerment
andcapacitybuildingthroughatransferofknowledge,skillsandbestpractices.
4.2. Devisestrategiestoaddressdetrimentalandunsafebehaviourpatterns,suchashighlevels
ofalcoholism,idlenessandpersistenthighfertilityrates,takingintoaccountbestpractices
ofothercountries.

Tothegovernment:
6.1. Prosecuteallformsofcorruption,clientelismandnepotismtoprovidethepopulationwith
rolemodelsofhighmoralcharacterinordertoremovetheseillsfromalllayersofsociety.
7.2. Integratethehumanrightsbasedapproachinallgovernmentpoliciesandprogrammes.
8.3. Train all implementing government ministries, departments and agencies on the human
rightsbasedapproach.
9.4. Establish a local government training institute to strengthen the capacity of local
governmentstodeliverserviceseffectively.
5. Create an enabling environment that will expand the private sector and valueaddition
10.
processestocreatemoreformalemployment.

TotheMinistryofFinance,PlanningandEconomicDevelopment:
3.1. Increase allocations to local government in the national budget to 35% to allow for more
autonomyandeffectiveservicedelivery.
4.2. Increaseallocationstothehealthsectorinthenationalbudgetto15%,inaccordancewith
governmentscommitmentundertheAbujaDeclaration.

TotheMinistryofEducationandSports:
4.1. Devise and implement strategies to reduce dropout rates in order to raise the average
yearsspentinschool,withspecialemphasisonthegirlchild.
5.2. Strengthen the Early Grade Training initiative in order to increase literacy and numeracy
levels.
6.3. Amend the curriculum at all levels of education to promote entrepreneurship in order to
developstudentsintojobcreatorsratherthanjobseekers.

TotheMinistryofHealth:
2.1. Facilitate health centres to enlist village health teams to conduct regular health education
outreachesinordertostrengthenpreventivehealthcare.

TotheMinistryofLands,HousingandUrbanDevelopment:
2.1. DevelopaguidelineinrespectofthelandtitlingexercisestipulatinghowtheMinistrywill
ensureaccesstolandfortheextremepoorwhoownlandcustomarily.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

155


TotheMinistryofAgriculture,AnimalIndustryandFisheries:
1. Revivecooperativesasameasuretoboostagriculturalproductivityandguaranteefarmers
higheroutputprices.
2. Strengthenextensionservicestoequipfarmerswithpracticalknowledgeandskillsinorder
toenhanceagriculturalproductivity.

TotheJustice,LawandOrderSector:
1. StrictlyimplementtheAntiMoneyLaunderingAct,2013andtheAntiCorruptionAct,2009
asameasuretocombatcorruption.

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SECTIONTWO

OVERVIEWOFTHEHUMANRIGHTSSITUATIONINUGANDA

20142015

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157

POLITICALSPACERIGHTS

7.1

INTRODUCTION

Politicalspacerightsarevitalforademocraticsocietytoexist,mostnotablytherightstofreedom
of expression, association and assembly. These rights are universally considered not only as
fundamental human rights but also as essential to the attainment of sustainable economic and
socialprogress.Theserightsformthecornerstoneofdemocracyandthebasisforaccountabilityby
leaders.Withoutthesefreedoms,citizenscannotexercisetheirconstitutionalrighttoparticipatein
theaffairsofgovernmentandpeacefulactivitiestoinfluencethepoliciesofgovernmentorcompete
forpoliticalpoweronanequalfootingwiththerulingparty.Insuchasituation,democracyandfree
andfairelectionscannotexist.

InUganda,politicalspacehasbeenshrinking. Thespace availableforthe opposition,civilsociety


and the media to operate effectively has been adversely affected by a restrictive regulatory
framework, intimidation and harassment. Legislation such as the Public Order Management Act,
2013, AntiPornography Act, 2014, AntiHomosexuality Act, 2014 (repealed), AntiTerrorism
(Amendment) Act, 2015 and the proposed NonGovernmental Organisations Bill, 2015 have been
introducedforthepurposeofpenalisingandcurtailingtheexpressionofdemocraticoppositionand
civic activism. As a result, fundamental freedoms such as freedom of expression, association and
assemblyareincreasinglyrestricted.

7.2

FREEDOMOFEXPRESSION

Freedomofexpressionincludesthefreedomtoseek,receiveandimpartinformationandideasof
allkinds,regardlessoffrontiers,eitherorally,inwritingorinprint,intheformofart,orthrough
any other media of his choice.692The Constitution also provides for the freedom of speech and
expression,includingthefreedomofthepressandothermedia.693

7.2.1 MediaFreedom

The freedom to form opinions and express them without fear of suppression is key to the
developmentofapluralistic,tolerantanddemocraticsociety.Mediafreedomconnotesnotonlyan
individualsrighttoprivatelyholdopinionsandformulatethoughts,butalsotoexpressthemina
public forum. Dr. Mwesige of the Africa Centre for Media Excellence had this to say on media
freedominUganda:

Given where we are coming from and where we are today, one would say that we have
freedomofexpression.ThesituationinUgandaiswhatIcancallamixedbag.Ononehand,
you have what seemingly I would call a vibrant media, driven mainly by hundreds of FM
[radio] stations, whose main stay, in terms of news and public affairs, is talk shows. On the
otherhand,theydoalotofmusicandentertainmentbasedprogramming,whichismuchsafer
thantalkshowsthatdiscusspoliticalaffairs.Therefore,youhaveononehandwhatappearsto
be a vibrant industry: radio, TV and newspapers that very often come up with shrill and
sensationalheadlines.Butbehindthatvibrancyliefundamentalchallengesthatthemediain

692Article19(2)oftheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights,1966.
693Article29(1)(a)oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.

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Ugandaoperateunder,andoneofthemiscontinuingselfcensorshipbecauseofthreatsfrom
thestateandotheractors,includingbusinessadvertisers.694

Robert Ssempala, National Coordinator of the Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda,
furthernotesthat:

Themediaiscaged.Thatmeansthatyoucanseeitmovingaround,butitcannotgoalong
way in fulfilling its overall mandate of playing a watchdog role over society, crusading for
goodgovernance,andengagingleaderstoaccount.695

AccordingtoGeoffreySsebagalaofUnwantedWitnesses,thegreatestchallengetomediafreedom
inUgandaisthemediaregulation:

It [media regulation] takes away everything from the citizens back into the hands of the
politicianstodeterminethecontent.Theycanevensummonyouordenyyoualicense.The
licensingsystemhowtheyawardlicensesisnottransparent.Itisheadedbysomeonewho
is appointed by the President. If the President appoints you, this means that you have to
promote the interest of the President; you will never be allowed to criticise the government.
The regulatory framework is a big challenge in Uganda. The UCC sometimes acts on
directives from the government. Otherwise, we have argued that we need an independent
commissionwhichawardslicenses,andreviewstheworkofmediahousesintermsofwhether
they are complying with the license conditions. If they [the regulatory institutions] were
active and independent, maybe they would be looking at things from a different angle.
Unfortunately,theyareallservingtheregime.696

Ssempala, on the other hand, argues that the greatest challenge hampering media freedom in
Ugandaistheimpunityofpoliceofficerswhoassaultmediapractitioners:

Since 2009, we have documented over 400 cases and reported to police, but they are never
investigated,complainantsneverinterviewedand witnessesarenevercontactedin any way.
Sothereisahighlevelofimpunitywhichisthreateningthemedia.Ithassuchabigeffectthat
once journalists fail to get justice in their pursuit, they opt out of the industry for safer
avenues.697

To counter the impunity of police officers who assault media practitioners and strengthen
mechanismsforaccountability,heproposesthattheProfessionalStandardsUnit(PSU)shouldbea
semiautonomous entity to strengthen their ability to hold police officers accountable. He further
notesthat:

Itisalsoapracticebythepolicethattheyopenupsomanycasesagainstyouandonceyou
misbehaveorwritesomethingcritical,theyjustdustoffoneofthefilesandsummonyouthe

694FHRIinterviewwithDr.PeterMwesige,ExecutiveDirectoroftheAfricaCentreforMediaExcellence,on2th

January2015.
695FHRIinterviewwithMr.RobertSsempala,NationalCoordinatoroftheHumanRightsNetworkfor
JournalistsUganda,on28thOctober2014.
696FHRIinterviewwithMr.GeoffreyWokuliraSsebagala,ChiefExecutiveOfficerofUnwantedWitnesses,on
29thOctober2014.
697FHRIinterviewwithMr.RobertSsempala,NationalCoordinatoroftheHumanRightsNetworkfor
JournalistsUganda,on28thOctober2014.

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159

nextday.Iftheycannotsuccessfullyprosecuteyouunderthatfile,theylookforanothercase
fromtheirfiles.Thefilesareusedasscarecrowstoscarethejournalistsnottomisbehave.698

Similar to 2013, HRNJU recorded 124 cases of violations against journalists in 2014, including
arbitraryarrests,intimidationandharassment,physicalassault,anddestructionofapparatusand
footage(Figure17).699

Figure17:Violationsofmediapractitioners'rightsdocumentedbyHRNJU(20092014)

140
120

107

100

124

85

80
60

58

40

38

20
0

124

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

(Source:HRNJUPressFreedomIndexReports20112014)

2014

TheperpetratorsincludedtheUPF,judiciary,privateindividuals,ResidentDistrictCommissioners
(RDCs)andUPDF(Figure18).Likepreviousyears,thepolicewasthemainperpetrator,although
therewasadrasticreductioninthenumberofattacksbythepoliceagainstjournalistsfrom2013.
In2013,HRNJUrecorded85casesofattacksbythepolice,whichreducedto40casesin2014.700
This may be an indication that the police are starting to understand the importance of media
freedom.

A more alarming trend in 2014 was interference by the judiciary. A number of judicial officers
blockedjournalistsfromcoveringpublichearingswithsomeorderingsecurityofficerstoconfiscate
equipmentanddestroymaterials.701Inanumberofextremecases,journalistswereevendetained
for covering public court proceedings. Fortunately, higher courts restored media freedom by
overturningsomeofthedecisionsthatbarredjournalistsfromcoveringpubliccourtsessions.702

Ssempalanarrateshisexperienceoftheseevents:

We have a famous case of journalists who were stopped from covering the Kayihura leaks.
Thetrialmagistrateunfairlylockedoutthepublicandthemedia,yetthemediawereaparty

698ibid.

699HumanRightsNetworkforJournalistsUganda,PressFreedomIndexReport2014:TheRiseof

TribulationsofFrontlineJournalismWhowillprotectthemedia?,2015,p.2325.

700ibid.,p.11.
701ibid.
702ibid.

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tothisparticularcase,becauseitisthemwhoareaccusedofleakingit.WewenttotheHigh
Courttochallengethedecisionandwewon.JusticeLydiaMugambeoverturnedtherulingof
thetrialmagistrate.Sheorderedfortheretrialofthoseproceedingsthatwereheldwithout
journalistsandnowtheyhavetobemadepublic,unlesssomeoneappeals.703

Figure18:Mainperpetratorsofviolationsofmediapractitioners'rights(20122014)
85

90
80

UPF

70
60
50
40

42

10
0

Private
Individuals
RDCs

40 39

30
20

Judiciary

8
2012

14 14

21
2

2013

10

UPDF

2014

(Source:HRNJUPressFreedomIndexReports20132014)

Contrary to the emerging trend of reduced police violence against journalists in 2014, on 12th
January2015,DivisionPoliceCommander(DPC)forOldKampalaPoliceStation,JoramMwesigye,
assaulted journalists covering a demonstration held by unemployed youth. Joram Mwesigye was
recordedhittingWBSTelevisioncameraman,AndrewLwanga,ontheheadtwiceanddestroyinghis
camera. Mwesigye also assaulted Joseph Ssettimba, a journalist for Vision Groups Bukedde
Television,anddestroyedhiscameratoo.Insteadofprovidingtheinjuredjournalistwithmedical
care, Lwanga was put in a police car and driven to Old Kampala Police Station. Regional Police
CommanderJamesRuhwezalaterdrovethevictimtoMulagoNationalReferralHospitalwherehe
wasadmittedinacriticalcondition.704JoramMwesigyeiscurrentlyontrialforchargesofassault,
causingbodilyharmtoalocaljournalistandtwocountsofdamagingproperty.705

703FHRIinterviewwithMr.RobertSsempala,NationalCoordinatoroftheHumanRightsNetworkfor

JournalistsUganda,on28thOctober2014.
704HumanRightsNetworkforJournalistsUganda,AmediablackoutslappedontheUgandaPolicedueto
worseningbrutalityagainstjournalistsinthecountry.Mediabodyannounces,PressStatementon13th
January2015,retrievedon18thAugust2015from:http://hrnjuganda.blogspot.com/2015/01/press
statementforimmediaterelease.html.
705NewVision,Journalistpinsformerpolicebossoverassault,byBettyAmamukiroriandFarooqKasule,15th
May2015,retrievedon18thAugust2015from:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/668398journalistpins
formerpolicebossoverassault.html.

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161

MonitorPublicationsLtd

WBSTVcameramanAndrewLwanga(inthecentre)beingsupportedbyfellowjournalistsyesterdayon
arrivalatMulagohospitalafterbeinghitwithastickontheheadbyOldKampalaDPC,JoramMwesigye,
whilecoveringademonstrationbyunemployedyouthon12thJanuary2015.

In the run up to the general elections in 2016, the protection of media freedom becomes
particularly important. Past experience has shown that media houses owned by politicians of the
rulingpartytendtobecomebiasedastowhatnewsiscoveredandwhoisallowedonair.706Onthe
otherhand,journalistscoveringcampaigns and eventsofoppositionpoliticianshaveexperienced
increasedrestrictionsintheiroperations.Dr.Mwesigealsoexpectsviolenceagainstjournaliststo
takeplaceintherunuptoandduringthe2016elections:

The intolerance against journalists remains. The police leadership makes many promises
abouttheirobservanceofhumanrightsandmediafreedom.Theysaythatjournalistsarekey
playersinthecountryspoliticaldevelopment,butsomeofthesethingssoundhollowwhenyou
see what actually happens in reality. So violence is likely to happen again during the 2016
elections.707

Ssempalaconcurs:

Weexpectthistobethebeginningofaworseningsituationbecauseweareheadingtowards
asensitiveperiodofelections.Weareexpectingalotofmanipulationorarmtwistingtothe
criticalandfreeindependentmedia.708

706HRNJU,PressFreedomIndexReport2014,op.cit.,p.12.

707FHRIinterviewwithDr.PeterMwesige,ExecutiveDirectoroftheAfricaCentreforMediaExcellence,on2th

January2015.
708FHRIinterviewwithMr.SsempalaRobert,NationalCoordinatoroftheHumanRightsNetworkfor
JournalistsUganda,on28thOctober2014.

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Indeed as we head into a potentially charged electoral period, intolerance against journalists has
already manifested itself. Recent utterances by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Gen. Kale
Kayihura,attesttothis:

I want to warn you journalists, especially NTV and NBS TV who are normally embedded in
theseconvoys,IdontknowforwhatreasonIdontknowwhetheryouarebeingjournalists
in the ethical sense or you are being inducted in these parties; we are going to go against
you.709

Asiftoimplementthisthreat,thepolice,on15thOctober2015,adayaftertheIGPsthreat,attacked
journalists who were covering the arrest of Ssemujju Nganda, Kyadondo East Member of
Parliament. HRNJU reports that there were various arrests and incidences of violence against
journalists;forinstance,theshootingandinjuringofIvanVincentMukisa,ajournalistwithRadio
OnewhowasreportingascufflebetweenthepoliceandsupportersofDr.KizzaBesigyeinJinja.710

AlfredOchwo,ajournalistwiththeObserverNewspaper,wasarrestedon15thOctober2015while
takingphotographsofthearrestofSsemujjuathisresidentialhomeinBusiika,KiraTownCouncil.
Alfrednarratedthatwhilehewascoveringtheincident,policeofficersorderedforhisarresttoo:

Theyorderedmetohandovermycamera,whichIdidnot.Thisenragedthem.Twograbbed
meandbundledmeontothebackofthepolicepatroltruckanddroveofftoNaggalamaPolice
Stationataterrificspeed.They[Naggalamapoliceofficers]orderedmetoremovemyshoes,
butbeforeIcouldaskwhatmycrimewas,theofficerinchargeofthecellskickedmeinthe
legsandforcefullyremovedmyshoes,shouting:Youwanttodisobeyushere?711

Although Alfred was detained at Naggalama police station following the arrest, he was never
requestedtomakeastatementnorcharged.Instead,hewaslaterdrivenbacktoKampala.712

PolicealsoassaultedjournalistswhowerestreaminglivetelecastsofthedetentionofSsemujjuat
KiraRoadPoliceStation,Kampala.Oneofthejournalists,JosephSabiitinarratedhisordeal:

The police did not want us to cover the events. They confronted us and pushed us from the
policepremisesallthroughacrosstheroad.Theyusedforceandbodyarmorstopushus.They
wantedtodestroyourgadgetsandinterferewithourlivecoverage.713

Ssempalarespondedtotheviolenceasfollows:

Theuncalledforandunsubstantiatedaccusationsareintendedtoblackmail,criminaliseand
intimidate the media. The allegations are further aimed at instilling selfcensorship among

709TheObserver,PoliceholdsBeisyge,Ssemujju,scribes,byEdrisKiggunduandJustusLyatuu,16thOctober

2015,p.3.

710HumanRightsNetworkforJournalists,Policeshoots,detainsjournalistandassaultsotherscovering

oppositionpoliticians,accessedon28thOctober2015,availableat
https://hrnjuganda.org/2015/10/15/policeshootsdetainsjournalistandassaultsotherscovering
oppositionpoliticians/.
711TheObserver,ObserverjournalistarrestedforcoveringSsemujusarrest,byAlfredOchwo,16thOctober
2015,p.3.
712Ibid.
713Ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

163

independent media houses and, above all, to silence, stifle and suffocate freedom of
expression.714

Inadditiontointerferencebypolice,journalistshavealsobeenstifledbymediahouseowners.For
instance,on21stJuly2015,BabaFMradioinJinjawasswitchedoff15minutesintoaonehourtalk
show in which Dr Kizza Besigye was to discuss his political campaign in Busoga, reportedly on
orders of the station management.715Following the incident, three journalists employed by Baba
FMweresuspended,allegedlyonaccusationsofbeingproopposition.Ssempalanotesthat:

This is a sad moment for the media in Uganda. The media is obligated to remain fair and
objective,asawayofpromotingfreedebateonnationalmattersofpublicinterest.Webelieve
thatthejournalistsneededtobeheardinthismatterpriortotheirsuspension.Weappealto
thestationtoreinstatethemwithoutanystringentconditions.716

According to Mwesige, there is a need for citizens to take an active role if we are to create an
effective,freeandresponsiblemediaratherthanleavingthisrolesolelytothegovernment:

For as long as the media is still operating in an environment where the public is simply a
recipient of information and they are not active participants in shaping the environment
which they operate from, then there is going to be a problem. The public needs to be at the
forefront, not only in protecting freedom of expression, but also holding the media
accountable.Foraslongasweleaveittothegovernmentandmediaownerstoholdthemedia
accountable,theyaregoingtocontrolratherthanregulate.717

Strengthening the freedom and effectiveness of the media, therefore, necessitates enhancing the
independence and accountability of the media fraternity. While the media has responsibilities to
uphold objectivity, there is a need to ensure more accountability of actors that infringe on their
rightstoguaranteeamoreenablingenvironment.

7.2.2 AccesstoInformation

The right to freedom of expression includes the right of access to information. The Constitution
providesunderArticle41that:Everycitizenhasarightofaccesstoinformationinthepossessionof
theStateoranyotherorganoragencyoftheStateexceptwherethereleaseoftheinformationislikely
to prejudice thesecurity orsovereigntyof theStateorinterferewiththerighttothe privacyof any
otherperson.

To enforce this provision, the Access to Information Act, 2005 was passed. This Act is a
commendable accomplishment,asUgandaisamongonly ahandfulof Africancountriesthat have
put in place a law on access to information.718Notwithstanding this praiseworthy effort, the

714TheObserver,PoliceholdsBeisyge,Ssemujju,scribes,op.cit.,p.3.

715HRNJU,HRNJUgandaalert,Rulingpartybossfiresjournalistsoverhostingoppositionpresidential

hopeful,23rdJune2015,retrievedon8thNovember2015from:https://hrnjuganda.wordpress.com.

716QuotebyRobertSsempalaNationalCoordinatorHRNJU,inHRNJUgandaalert,Rulingpartybossfires

journalistsoverhostingoppositionpresidentialhopeful,23rdJune2015,retrievedon8thNovember2015
from:https://hrnjuganda.wordpress.com.
717FHRIinterviewwithDr.PeterMwesige,ExecutiveDirectoroftheAfricaCentreforMediaExcellence,on2th
January2015.
718FreedomHouse,FreedomofthePress,Uganda,2012,retrievedfrom:
http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedompress/2012/uganda.

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regulations implementing this Act, the Access to Information Act Regulations, 2011, contain
provisions that make accessing information in possession of the state unnecessarily costly and
cumbersome.719The practical significance of Article 41 of the Constitution and the Access to
InformationAct,2005aretherewithlargelyundermined.

OnthevalueoftheAccesstoInformationAct,2005,Ssebagalanotesthattherestrictiveprocessing
fee prevents many journalists from accessing information through formal channels. As a result,
journalistseitherseekinformationthroughthebackdoororpublishentertainmentrelatedarticles
that do not require any monetary investment.720This suggests that the restrictive requirement of
processingfeesforaccesstoinformationcompromisesthequalityoftheinformationpublishedby
themedia.

AccordingtoSsempala,thereislittlepoliticalwilltooperationalisetheAccesstoInformationAct:

Twojournalistswenttocourtbecausetheyfailedtoaccessinformationontheoilexploration
agreementsusingthatverylaw,andthecourtdismissedtheircase.Thatisanindicationthat
thelawitselfisnotputinplacetofacilitateeasyaccesstoinformation.Sincethelawcamein
asaprivatemembersbill,thegovernmentjustjumpedonit.Therewerenopreparationsor
deliberateintentionsbythegovernmenttoreleaseinformation.Insteaditdrafteditinaway
thatitcontrolsflowofinformationgivenitstechnicalities,thetimeforappeal,thedurationto
receiveinformation,andthefeetoprocess.Soyourealisethatthelawinitselfwasenacted
out of pressure on the part of government and without good will. Journalists have not been
able to access information using this law. All that the government releases is simple
information and not the sensitive information, which is mainly in the custody of the
government under the guise of security, because that law is vague on the definition of
security.721

Alongsidethetraditionalmediaoutlets,theInternetisbecomingincreasinglyimportanttoaccess
anddisseminateinformation.AccordingtoSsebagala,theUgandanpopulationisincreasinglyusing
theInternetasaplatformtoseekandimpartinformation.However,healsoexpressedhisconcern
thatthefreedomtoaccessinformationfromtheInternetandotherdigitalcommunicationisbeing
controlledandrestrictedinUganda:

They[thegovernment]havebroughtexpertsfromChinaandIsraeltotrainthemonhowto
controlwebsitesandfollowpeoplesconversations,bothonlineandonthephone.Thereis
thatfearofthecitizensbythegovernmentthat theyaregoingtomobilizethemselvesusing
the Internet. The laws regulating Internet usage were introduced in the years after the
uprisingsinNorthAfrica.Thecitizens,theInternetusers,werenotevenconsulted.Sothelaws

719TheRegulationsrequireapplicantstopayanumberoffeesthatgobeyondthespecificchargeforcopying

andpreparinginformation.Mostnotably,applicantsmustpayanonrefundableaccessfeeofUGX20,000.
Thisisasubstantialinvestmentformostcitizens,particularlysincetheapplicantriskslosingtheentiresumif
therequestisnotgranted.Furthermore,Schedule2oftheRegulationsprovides15differentformstobeused
intheprocessofrequestinginformation.Thisthreatenstomakerequestinginformationunnecessarily
cumbersome.Also,theformsrequireapplicantstofillintheirnamesandaddress,eliminatingtheoptionof
submittinganonymousrequests.
720FHRIinterviewwithMr.GeoffreyWokuliraSsebagala,ChiefExecutiveOfficerofUnwantedWitnesses,on
29thOctober2014.
721FHRIinterviewwithMr.SsempalaRobert,NationalCoordinatoroftheHumanRightsNetworkfor
JournalistsUganda,on28thOctober2014.

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165

werepassedwithouttheviewsfromcitizens.Whenyoulookatthelanguage[oftheselaws],
theyaremoredesignedtocontroltheInternetthantopromoteit.722

Thegovernment,however,hasintroducedanumberofinitiativestoeaseaccesstoinformation.For
instance, in August 2014, the government launched Ask Your Government Uganda an online
websitedesignedtohelpmembersofthepublicobtaininformationfrompublicauthorities.723The
websiteallowsthepublictosubmitrequeststoavarietyofgovernmentinstitutionsandagencies.
The website also allows one to view requests and answers previously provided to make
informationreadilyavailable.Itisdoubtfulthatsensitiveinformationwillbedisseminatedthrough
thischannel,butitisahighlycommendableinitiativetoimproveaccesstoinformation.

In December 2014, the government also launched the budget transparency initiative that gives
peopleaccesstobudgetinformation.Underthisinitiative,awebsitehasbeencreatedthatcontains
informationonallocationofresourcestothedifferentsectors,allthewaydowntothesubcounty
level.724Inadditiontothewebsiteatollfreehotlinewassetupforpeopletoaskquestionsabout
budgetallocationandexpenditures.725Thisisacommendablesteptowardsincreasedtransparency
on government budgets and expenditures, and will empower people with the information
necessarytoholdthegovernmentaccountable.

7.3

FREEDOMOFASSOCIATION

The right to freedom of association is a recognised human right in the Constitution and
international and regional human rights instruments that Uganda has ratified. For instance, the
ICCPRprovidesthat:Everyoneshallhavetherighttofreedomofassociationwithothers.726At
theregionallevel,theACHPRstatesthat:Everyindividualshallhavetherighttofreeassociation
provided that he abides by the law.727The Constitution recognises the right of every person to
freedom of association which shall include the freedom to form and join associations or union,
including trade unions and political and other civic organisations.728It further provides that:
EveryUgandanhasarighttoparticipateinpeacefulactivitiestoinfluencepoliciesofgovernment
throughcivicorganisations.729

The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders also recognises the rights, individually and in
associationwith others, to promote and strive for the protection and realisation of human rights
and fundamental freedoms;730form, join and participate in nongovernmental organisations;731
participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms;732

722FHRIinterviewwithMr.GeoffreyWokuliraSsebagala,ChiefExecutiveOfficerofUnwantedWitnesses,on

29thOctober2014.
723Askyourgov.ug
724www.budget.go.ug
725Freehotline:0800229229.
726Article22(1)oftheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights,1966.
727Article10(1)oftheAfricanCharteronHumanandPeoplesRights,1986.
728Article29(1)(e)oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.
729ibid.,Article38(2).
730Article1oftheDeclarationontheRightandResponsibilityofIndividuals,GroupsandOrgansofSocietyto
PromoteandProtectUniversallyRecognizedHumanRightsandFundamentalFreedoms,1999.
731ibid.,Article5.
732ibid.,Article12.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

and solicit, receive and utilise resources for the express purpose of promoting and protecting
humanrightsandfundamentalfreedomsthroughpeacefulmeans.733

Animportantavenuethroughwhichcitizenscanassociatewitheachotherforsocial,economicand
politicalchangeisNGOs.TheNGOsectorcontributes greatly tothe economyanddevelopment of
thecountry.TheNGOsector,forinstance,mobilisesadditionalfinancialandtechnicalresourcesfor
development, is able to reach remote areas that are not being reached effectively by the state or
market,andmakesdevelopmentmoreparticipatoryandinclusive,and,assuch,moreresponsiveto
theneedsofthepopulation.734

In2014,theMinistryofInternalAffairsexpressedintenttoamendtheNGOregulatoryframework,
andasaresult,theNonGovernmentalOrganisationsBill,2015wasgazettedon10thApril2015.735
The NGO Bill is intended to repeal the NonGovernmentalOrganisationsRegistrationAct,Cap.113
(as amended in 2006). Notwithstanding the need to harmonise NGO regulation and strengthen
accountabilityoftheNGOsectorinUganda,theproposedBilldoesnotservethispurposeandaims
torestrictratherthanenableNGOsinUganda.TheBill,forinstance,providesforwidediscretionary
powers to reject registration, impose hefty criminal sanctions and dissolve registered
organisations,allwithoutjudicialoversight.

TheNGOBillinitscurrentformis,therefore,likelytoleadtoincreasedselfcensorshipandreduced
effectiveness of service delivery. Both consequences that are neither in the public interest nor in
linewithgovernmentshumanrightscommitments.

It is imperative to note that a group of NGOs petitioned the Constitutional Court in 2009 on the
constitutionalityofseveralprovisionsinthecurrentNGOAct,736includingmandatoryregistration,
widediscretionoftheNGOBoardandregularrenewalofoperatingpermits.TheNGOBillequally
provides for mandatory registration, regular renewal of operating permits and even wider
discretion of the NGO Board. This development raises a legal question regarding the rule of sub
judice. Rules 64(1) and (2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Uganda, 2012 prohibit
anyMPfromreferringtoamatterthatissubjudice.Inlightoftherules,amatterisconsideredsub
judice if it refers to active criminal or civil proceedings and in the opinion of the Speaker, the
discussion of such a matter is likely to prejudice its fair determination. Also, if the NGO Bill is
enacted with these provisions and the Constitutional Court rules that these provisions are
unconstitutional,itwouldrequireyetanotheramendmentoftheNGOlegislation.

733ibid.,Article13.

734UgandaNationalNGOForum,APositionPaperandClausebyClauseAnalysisoftheNGOBill,2015,a

consolidatedpositionontheNGOBill,2015byseveralparticipatingNGOscoordinatedundertheauspicesof
theUgandaNationalNGOForum,May2015,p.3.
735TheBillwastabledinParliamenton13thMay2015,andthereafterreferredtotheparliamentary
CommitteeonDefenceandInternalAffairstaskedwithscrutinisingtheBill.TheCommitteereceived
submissionsfromthepublicon25thJune2015,andwasatthetimeofwritingofthisreportintheprocessof
conductingaclausebyclauseanalysisoftheBill.
736HumanRightsNetworkandothersv.AttorneyGeneral,ConstitutionalCourtofUganda(Constitutional
PetitionNo.05of2009).

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

167

7.4

FREEDOMOFASSEMBLY

Therighttofreedomofassembly,includingtherighttodemonstrate,isstipulatedinArticle29of
theConstitution.Itisagenerallyacceptedprinciplethatfreedomofassemblyshallbeexercisedto
theextentthatitispracticedinapeacefulandnonviolentmanner.737

Inpractice,therighttofreedomofassemblyhasbeenasubjectofstrongcontestationandabusein
Uganda. In an attempt to provide clarity and regulate public gatherings, Parliament passed the
Public Order Management Act, 2013 (POMA) in October 2013. The Act is intended to regulate
public meetings; provide for the duties and responsibilities of the police, organisers and
participantsinrelationtopublicmeetings;prescribemeasuresforsafeguardingpublicorder;and
for related matters.738Despite the fact that the POMAdoes not explicitly give the UPF powers to
prohibit assemblies, it is often misused by police officers to prevent or disperse rallies and
demonstrations.

For instance, on 17th March 2014, opposition politicians led by former FDC president, Dr Kizza
Besigye,announcedthattheywouldholdarallyon19thMarchcallingonsupporterstoboycottthe
upcomingmayoralelections.Threedayslater,policevowedtoblockthesaidrallyongroundsthat
the opposition politicians had not followed the procedures set down in the POMA. The Kampala
MetropolitanSpokespersonthen,IbinSsenkumbi,wasquotedassaying:

This rally is not allowed because it is illegal. We received the letter on Monday evening
contrarytothelaw.Theyneitherattachedaconsentletterfromtheownerofthegroundsfor
therallynortheestimatednumberofattendees.739

On 23rd March 2014, police blocked FDC President, Mugisha Muntu, UPC president, Olara Otunu,
andretiredBishop,ZacNiringiye,fromaccessingvariousvenueswheretheyhadorganisedrallies
inSorotidistrict.Theralliesweremeanttodrumupsupportforkeyelectoralreforms.Thepolice
evenblockedthemfromhavinglunchatahotelownedbyanoppositionpolitician,AngellineOsege.
TheSorotiDistrictPoliceCommander,JoabWabwire,saidhewouldnotallowthemaccesstothe
venuesbecausetheyweregoingtoholdameetingthathadnotbeenvettedbypolice.740

On 14th May 2015, the police, commanded by Kampala South Regional Police Commander, Siraje
Bakaleke,arrestedDrBesigye,andKampalaLordMayor,EriasLukwago,atsharingHallNsambya.
Theyhadorganisedapoliticalrallytodiscusstheelectoralreformswithotheroppositionleaders.
Thepoliceallegedthattheconvenersofthemeetingdidnothavealetterofauthorisationfromthe
police.741

On 4th August 2014, police arrested Lubaga South Member of Parliament, Ken Lukyamuzi for
assembling an illegalrallyand incitingviolence.Hewas arrestedshortlyafterhearrivedatthe
venueofarallyhehadcalledtoaddresspeopleevictedfromtherailwaycorridorsinNdeeba.The
Officer in Charge of Ndeeba Police Post noted that aspolicewecouldnotallowagatheringwhich

737Article29(1)(d)oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.
738PreambleofthePublicOrderManagementAct,2013.

739DailyMonitor,Oppositionrallyillegal,saypolice,DearJeanne,19thMarch2014.

740DailyMonitor,Policeblockrallyonelectoralreforms,SimonPeterEmwamu,24thMarch2014.

741TheObserver,Besigye,LukwagoArrested,ObserverMediaLtd,14thMay2015,retrievedon18thAugust

2015from:http://observer.ug/newsheadlines/37820besigyelukwagoarrested.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

doesnothavesufficientsecurity.Weaskedhimforapoliceletterallowinghimtoholdthegathering
andhehadnone.742

On9thJuly2015,DrKizzaBesigyewasarrestedanddetainedatNaggalamaPoliceStationashewas
leavinghishousetoattendthelaunchofhisofficialnominationrallyatKasangati.DrBesigyewas
arresteddespitehavingnotifiedpoliceandpolicehavingacknowledgedreceiptofthenotice.Police
didnotcommentonthearrest.743

AsHon.MuwangaKivumbi,MPforButambalaCounty,notes,thePOMAwasintendedtocurtailthe
rightofpeopleto assembleratherthanregulate assembliesbyreintroducingSection 32(2)(e) of
thePoliceActthatwasnullified:

Policehasstoppedanddispersedassembliesanditallhappenedthisyear[2014].Policegives
veryflimsyreasonsforthedispersalquotingthePublicOrderManagementActandrequesting
forthenotificationletter.Theysaythattheyhavepowerstostopyouordisperseyouunder
thePublicOrderManagementAct.Theproblemisthattheyhavethepowertodenypermission
under this Act. If I have to notify you of my intention to leave the room, but you have the
powerstotellmethatIcannot,amInotifyingorseekingpermission?Formethatiscommon
sense.WhenS.32(2)(e)ofthePoliceActwasnullified,Governmentneverappealed.Instead,
theycameupwiththisbill.Thebillwasinacleverwayintendedtorestorethesamepowers.
Theactualreadingofthebilltellsyouthatyouhavetoapplytopolicebeforegathering.744

ThisshowsaneedforsensitisationofpoliceofficersontheirroleunderthePOMAtofacilitateand
nottocontrolorgrantpermissiontocitizenswishingtoexercisetheirrighttofreedomofassembly.

With the preelection activities intensifying, freedom of assembly in particular for opposition
politiciansisincreasinglycurtailed.On10thOctober2015,aconvoyofFDCpartyofficialsheading
toRukungiritoopenofficesandmobilisepartyrallieswasstoppedalongtheMasakaMbarararoad.
According to IGP Gen. Kayihura, the FDC did not notify the police on time. He explained that the
police did not have any problems with the FDC opening party offices, however the exercise also
entailedmobilisationofrallies,andthereforeitcouldnotbeallowed.745

Duringthearrest,FDCwomanactivistFatumaNaigagawasreportedlypubliclystripped.However,
Gen. Kayihura argued that Naigaga stripped naked to blackmail the Police, and that the footage
airedontelevisionwaseditedinsuchawaytoconcealthis.Nonetheless,healsonotedthatifpolice
officers are found culpable in relation to this incident, they will be held accountable. Four police
officersarecurrentlyunderinvestigationoverthearrestofNaigaga,includingFelixKulayige,Rwizi
RegionalPoliceCommander.746

Only days later, on October 15th, the police again arrested key FDC officials who had planned a
mobilisationtourinKireka,Mukono,JinjaandIganga.Around4am,policedeployeditspersonnel

742DailyMonitor,Policefoilevicteesrally,arrestLukyamuzi,FarahaniMukisa,5thAugust2014.

743NewVision,OppositionLeaderKizzaBesigyeArrested,byCharlesEtukuti,9thJuly2015,retrievedon18th

August2015from:http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/670762oppositionleaderkizzabesigye
arrested.html.
744FHRIinterviewwithHon.MuwangaKivumbi,MemberofParliamentforButambalaCounty,on22ndMay
2014.
745NewVision,Kayihurafaultsofficersoveractivitstsarrest,bySimonMasaba,16thOctober2015,p.4.
746ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

169

near Dr Besigyes home in Kasangati, effectively putting him under preventive arrest. Around
10.30am,DrBesigyedroveoutofhishomeandwasblockedafter200metresbypoliceofficers.Dr
Besigye was told by the commanding officer to return to his house or face arrest. He, however,
refused to be imprisoned in his home. Consequently, Dr Besigye was apprehended by police and
detained at Naggalama Police Station.747Three people who had come to visit him in the morning
werealsoarrestedandtakentoanundisclosedlocationbypolice.748

MonitorPublicationsLtd

FDC Presidential flag bearer Dr Kizza Besigye being dragged by police officers to a police vehicle at his

homeinKasangation15thOctober2015.

Onthesamemorning,policesurroundedthehouseofKyadondoEastMPSsemujuNganda.When
Ssemujuleftthehousetotakehischildrentoschool,hewasblockedbypoliceandorderedoutof
thecar.Aftertheyfailedtoagreeonawayforward,policeofficialsallegedlybeathimanddragged
himforcefullytothepolicetruck,drovehimtoNaggalama,andlatertransferredhimtoKiraRoad
PoliceStation.Gen.KayihuraexplainedthatDr.Besigyeand Hon.Ssemujuwerearrestedbecause
they were disobeying the guidelines recently issued by the Electoral Commission, which bar
campaignsbeforenominations.749

Itis,however,unclearwhetherthesearrestsinOctober2015wereeffectedunderelectorallawsor
the POMA. Gen. Kayihura argued that communications did not amount to notice within the
meaning of Section 5 of the Public Order Management Act (POMA) since it does not fulfil the
requirementsdemandedbythelaw,butheaddedthattheactivitiesriskviolatingotherlaws,as

747TheObserver,PoliceholdsBesigye,Ssemuju,scribes,op.cit.,p.3.

748DailyMonitor,Besigyedetained,FDCrallyblocked,byStephenKafeero,16thOctober2015,p.4.
749TheObserver,PoliceholdsBesigye,Ssemuju,scribes,op.cit.,p.3.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

well as guidelines of the Electoral Commission. 750 According to the Electoral Commission
Spokesperson, Mr. Jotham Taremwa, it is not yet time for campaigns, hence the arrests.751The
FDChasarguedthattheactivitiesarenotsubjecttothePOMAbecausemeetingsconvenedandheld
exclusivelyforalawfulpurposeofapublicbody,includingpoliticalparties,areexcludedfromthe
prohibitedpublicmeetingsasperthePOMA.

7.5

CONCLUSION

Overall, it can be seen that civic space is under threat. Despite noted developments in respect of
accesstoinformation,mediapractitionerscontinuetofaceintimidationandharassment.TheNon
Governmental Organisations Bill, 2015 also threatens to further constrict the space for advocacy
organisations. The right to assemble especially in relation to opposition activists remains an
illusion.

In light of the upcoming general elections in 2016, it will be crucial to protect and promote the
rightstofreedomofexpression,associationandassemblytofacilitateallcandidatestoeffectively
campaignandthepublictodevelopaninformedopiniontoelecttheleaderoftheirchoice.

7.6

RECOMMENDATIONS

ToParliament:
5.
1. AmendtherestrictiveprovisionsoftheNonGovernmentalOrganisationsBill,2015to
ensurethattheBilldoesnotillegitimatelylimittherighttofreedomofassociation.
6.
2. RefrainfrompassingbillsthatviolatehumanrightsasenshrinedintheConstitutionofthe
Republic,1995andinternationalandregionalhumanrightsinstruments.

TotheUgandaPoliceForce:
4.
1. RefrainfromusingthePublicOrderManagementAct,2013toprohibitpublicgatherings,
andinsteadregulateandfacilitatetheenjoymentoftherighttofreedomofassembly.

TotheDirectorateofPublicProsecutions:
1. Prosecutepoliceofficersandotherpublicofficialswhoharass,intimidateandassault
journalistsinordertoaddresstheproblemofimpunity.

750DailyMonitor,Police,Besigyestandoff:Whatdoesthelawsay?,byEriasaMukiibiSserunjogi,16thOctober

2015,p.4.

751ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

171

RIGHTTOAFAIRTRIAL

8.1

INTRODUCTION

The ICCPR provides that all persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals and that
everyoneshallbeentitledtoafairandpublichearingbyacompetent,independentandimpartial
tribunal established by law.752Similarly, Article 28 of the Constitution, stipulates that a person
shallbeentitledtoafair,speedyandpublichearingbeforeanindependentandimpartialcourtor
tribunalestablishedbylaw.TherighttoafairhearingisanonderogablerightaccordingtoArticle
44oftheConstitution.

8.2

INDEPENDENCEANDEFFECTIVENESSOFTHEJUDICIARY

Oneofthebiggestchallengesthejudiciarycontinuestofaceinrespectofeffectiveservicedelivery
is the immense and growing case backlog (Figure 19). The judiciary has insufficient capacity to
disposecasesinatimelymanner,whichdirectlyimpedesUgandansrighttoafairtrial.Therightto
afairtrialincludestherighttobetriedwithoutunduedelayasstipulatedinArticle14(3)(c)ofthe
ICCPR.TheConstitutionreiteratesthisbyprovidingthateverypersonisentitledtoafair,speedy
andpublichearing(emphasisadded).753

Figure19:Casebacklog(20092015)

200000
180000
160000
140000
120000
100000

157693

128057

176780

177876

151666

127094

80000
60000
40000
20000
0

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

(Source:JLOSAnnualPerformanceReports2009/102014/15)

752Article14oftheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights,1966.
753Article28(1)oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.

172

2013/14

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

2014/15

Figure20:Courtcaseperformance(20092015)

180000
160000
140000
120000
100000

Cases
Registered

80000
60000

Cases
Disposed

40000
20000
0

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

(Source:JLOSAnnualPerformanceReports2013/14and2014/15)

In 2014/15 the case backlog brought forward from 2013/14 was 171,198 cases. In 2014/15,
156,963 new cases were registered. 45.80% of the total cases were disposed off, leaving the
judiciarywithapendingcasebacklogof177,876cases(Table7).754

Table7:Courtcaseperformancebylevelofcourtin2014/15
Disposalrateas TotalDisposal
Brought
Courtlevel forward
Filed
Disposed Pending %offiledcases
Rate
SupremeCourt
57
106
79
84
74.5%
48.5%
CourtofAppeal
4,143
1,466
400
5,209
27.3%
7.1%
HighCourt 47,851
25,301
20,721
52,431
81.9%
28.3%
ChiefMagistratesCourt 85,547
66,686
69,060
83,173
103.6%
45.4%
MagistrateGradeI 27,899
51,276
48,742
30,433
95.1%
61.6%
MagistrateGradeII
5,701
12,128
11,283
6,546
93.0%
63.3%
GrandTotal 171,198 156,963 150,285 177,876
95.8%
45.8%

(Source:JLOSAnnualPerformanceReport2014/15)

The continued high case backlog is largely attributed to limited funding for court sessions and a
shortage of judicial officers. For instance, the High Court performed below expectation (Table 7)
partlybecauseoflimitedfundingtoholdsessions.Only50%ofsessionsthatJudgeswerereadyto
holdcouldbefinanced.755Limitedfundingalsocontributedtothelowdisposalrateofcasesinthe
CourtofAppeal(Table7).756FortheSupremeCourt,however,themainchallengeistheshortageof
staffwithonly8ofthe12positionsfilled(Table8).757

754JLOSAnnualPerformanceReport2014/15,AProPeopleJusticeSystem:ProfilingVulnerability,

September2015,p.31.

755ibid.
756ibid.
757ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

173

Table8:JudicialofficersbyrankandgenderasatOctober2015
Positions
Category
Total
Male
Female
Target
vacant
%Vacant
JusticesoftheSupremeCourt
8
5
3
12
4
33.3%
JusticesoftheCourtofAppeal
12
9
3
15
3
20%
JudgesoftheHighCourt
51
31
20
80
29
36.3%
Registrarsincludingdeputy
22
15
7
25
3
12%
andassistantregistrars
ChiefMagistrates
46
24
22
59
13
22%
MagistrateGradeI
146
74
72
250
104
41.6%
MagistrateGradeII
60
52
8

345
210
135

GrandTotal
(Sources:numberofjudicialofficersretrievedfromwww.judicature.co.ug;andtargetsretrievedfromJLOS
AnnualPerformanceReport2014/15)

Recruitingjudicialofficersforthevacantpositionscouldhelpaddressthechallengeofcasebacklog
andlengthytrialprocedures.ThehandsoftheJudicialServiceCommissiontoappointnewjudicial
officers are, however, tied, and can only be untied by Parliament passing a resolution to increase
thenumberofjudicialofficers.758Forthispurpose,theMinistryofJusticeandConstitutionalAffairs
(MoCJA)securedacertificateoffinancialimplicationstoincreasethenumberofJusticesoftheHigh
Courtto82.759Thesameisbeingconsideredincabinetandshallresultinamotionforaresolution
ofParliamenttoincreasethenumberofJusticesoftheHighCourt.760

To strengthen the administrative powers of the Judicial Service Commission and the overall
independence and effectiveness of the judiciary, the Administration of Justice Bill, 2009 was
drafted. The Bill provides for efficient and effective administration of the judiciary, to establish
structureofadministration,provideforemploymentanddisciplinarycontroloftheemployees,the
funds for the courts, training and inspection, rationalisation of judicial independence and other
related matters.761While leave was granted to Hon. Felix Okot Ogong, Member of Parliament for
DokoloCounty,tointroducethisbillasaprivatemembersbill,thesameisyettobeintroducedin
Parliament.762

8.2.1 Corruptioninthejudiciary

Corruptionalsoremainsachallengetotheindependenceandeffectivenessofthejudiciary.While
theHighCourthastypicallydemonstratedafairdegreeofjudicialindependence,lowercourtsmore
often succumb to political and economic pressures by accepting bribes.763For instance, in June
2015, the AntiCorruption Court in Kampala sentenced Sam Osongol, a court clerk and office
supervisor at the LDC Magistrates Court in Kampala, to a fine of UGX 1 million764for soliciting

758Sections3,9and13oftheJudicatureAct,Cap.13.

759S.Kirunda,PerformanceAuditAnassessmentonthelevelofimplementationofrecommendationsmade

byFHRI(20072015),FoundationforHumanRightsInitiative,August2015,p.15.
760ibid.
761ibid.,p.45.
762ibid.
763FreedomHouse.CountriesattheCrossroads2012:Uganda.Retrievedon22July2015from
https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/Uganda%20%20FINAL.pdf.
764Equivalentto290USDollars.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

bribes.765ThecourtobservedthatinSeptember2014,OsongolaskedforabribeofUGX500,000766
to process a production warrant for a bail application.767Similarly, in June 2015, Stella Babirye, a
clerk at Nabweru Magistrates Court in Wakiso district, was arrested for taking a bribe of UGX
500,000768toprocessabailapplication.769

As a result of the continued occurrence of corruption in the judiciary and an increased public
confidencetoreportandhavecorruptioncasesprosecuted,theAntiCorruptionCourthasstepped
upitseffortsinhandlingcorruptioncases.In2014/15,346caseswerebroughtforwardfromthe
previousyear,and249newcaseswerefiled.TheAntiCorruptionCourtdisposedof309casesin
2014/15,leaving 286casespending with28casesagainstJLOSofficers.770Thereductionofthe
casebacklogintheAntiCorruptionCourtdemonstratestheresolvetofightcorruption.

Another measure taken in 2015 to curb corruption was the passing of the AntiCorruption
(Amendment) Bill, 2013 by Parliament. This law provides, among others, for mandatory
confiscation of fraudulently acquired property by a public trustee. Under the current Anti
CorruptionAct,2009 sanctioning of confiscation of property is left to the discretion of the courts.
TheAntiCorruption(Amendment)BillawaitsPresidentialassentbeforeittakeseffect.

8.3

RIGHTTOLEGALREPRESENTATION

One of the principles of the right to a fair hearing is the right to legal representation. Article
28(3)(e)oftheConstitutionprovidesthateverypersonchargedwithacriminaloffenceshallinthe
caseofanyoffencewhichcarriesasentenceofdeathorimprisonmentforlife,beentitledtolegal
representation at the expense of the state. The Constitution recognises the severity of the
punishment for capital offences and the need for such persons to have access to legal
representation in the interest of justice. This notwithstanding, the quality of legal representation
under the governmentfunded pro bono State Brief System is questionable. This has mainly been
attributed to the meagre pay given to the lawyers on state brief. Rwakafuzi, a renowned human
rightslawyer,notedthatthemoneypaidtotheselawyersistoolittletofacilitateadequateprior
interactionbetweenthelawyerandsuspectbeforeappearinginCourt.771Mutabingwa,Partnerat
Mutabingwa & Co. Advocates, further notes that as a result of the poor remuneration, defence
lawyersareconstrainedincallingwitnessestotestifyontheirclientsbehalf:

SometimesalawyeronstatebriefispaidbetweenUGX100,000or200,000.772Thisdoesnot
includethetransportationcostsfortheclientswitnesses.Sothelawyershavetodevisewaysof
ensuring their presence in court. To compound matters even further, some of these inmates
haveoverstayedonremandsotheylosetouchwithsomeofthewitnesses.773

765DailyMonitor,Courtclerkfinedoverbribe,byBettyNdagire,5thJune2015,retrievedon3rdNovember

2015from:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Courtclerkfinedoverbribe//688334/2740328/
/o72471//index.html.
766Equivalentto145USDollars.
767DailyMonitor,Courtclerkfinedoverbribe,op.cit.
768Equivalentto145USDollars.
769NTV,Nabwerucourtclerkcaughttakingabribe,retrievedon3thNovember2015from:
http://www.ntv.co.ug.
770JLOSAnnualPerformanceReport2014/15,op.cit.,p.101.
771FHRIinterviewwithMr.L.Rwakafuzi,Partner,Rwakafuzi&Co.Advocateson9thJanuary2015.
772Equivalentto30or60USDollarsrespectively.
773FHRIinterviewwithMr.MaximMutabingwa,Partner,Mutabingwa&Co.Advocateson20thJanuary2015.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

175

Lack of clear criteria when allocating the case files further compromises the quality of
representation. Rwakafuzi argues that: the registrar does not take into account the lawyers
competence.ThereisnopriorinterviewtoensureapersondefendedbyalawyerundertheState
BriefSystemisaccordedadequaterepresentation.774Mutabingwaholdsasimilarview:

The problem with the state brief system is that the inmates do not have a say in who
represents them on state brief since court dictates the lawyer to handle their cases. Most of
these State Brief lawyers are not good lawyers. Some take on these cases because they are
interestedinearningsomemoney.775

Sincethestatebriefsystemonlycatersforcapitaloffenders,noncapitaloffendersareleftwithno
otheroptionthantohireaprivatelawyer,whichisverycostly.However,inabidtoensureaccess
to affordable legal aid for all, the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) is working to ensure that
thereisafunctionallegalaidsystemthatintegratesthestatebriefs,standardiseslegalaidprovision
and complements the probono scheme.776The draft National Legal Aid Policy is intended to
addressthisproblem.Thepolicyalsorecognisestheneedtoguaranteelegaladviceandassistance
to all persons from the time of arrest, since it is at the first stage of the criminal process where
personsaremostatriskofhavingtheirrightsviolated.777Rwakafuziconcursandnotesthatfailure
toprovidealawyerfromthetimeofarresthasoftencompromisedtheirchancesofaccessingafair
trial:

Legalaidshouldstartfromtimeofarrestsincethiswouldenablethelawyergatherrelevant
evidencetoensurethatthewholechainofevidenceisnottamperedwith.Currently,whenyou
perusefilesofsuspects,youfindunnecessaryinformationinthefilewhiletherelevantevidence
ismissing.Soitisabigproblem.778

The importance of legal representation from the time of arrest is reaffirmed by the UN Human
Rights Committee who held in Chikunoya v Uzbekistan that it is axiomatic that the accused is
effectivelyassistedbyalawyeratallstagesoftheproceedings.779

Inconclusion,thecurrentlegalaidsystemisofsubstandardqualityanddoesnotprovideadequate
legal representation for accused persons. Government needs to expeditiously pass the National
LegalAidPolicytoextendlegalrepresentationtononcapitaloffendersandensurerepresentation
startsfromtimeofarrestuptothefinaldisposalofthecase.Thiswillgoalongwayinguaranteeing
therighttoafairtrialforallasprovidedforintheConstitution.

8.4

TRIALOFCIVILIANSBEFOREMILITARYCOURTS

At the international level, the UN Human Rights Committee noted in General Comment 32 on the
righttoafairhearingthattheICCPRdoesnotexpresslyprohibitthetrialofciviliansbeforemilitary
courts, but that such trials must be in full conformity with the principles under Article 14 of the

774FHRIinterviewwithMr.L.Rwakafuzi,Partner,Rwakafuzi&Co.Advocateson9thJanuary2015.

775FHRIinterviewwithMr.MaximMutabingwa,Partner,Mutabingwa&Co.Advocateson20thJanuary2015.
776TheJusticeLawandOrderSectorAnnualPerformanceReport,2013/2014p.92.
777NationalLegalAidPolicyDraft6(Final)June2012p.28.

778FHRIinterviewwithMr.L.Rwakafuzi,Partner,Rwakafuzi&Co.Advocateson9thJanuary2015.

779UNHumanRightsCommittee,ChikunovavUzbekistan,CommunicationNo.1043/2002,decisionadopted

duringthe89thOrdinarysession,1230March2007,par.7.4.

176

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

ICCPR on the right to a fair hearing.780The Committee concluded that the trial of civilians in
military or special courts may raise serious problems in as far as the equitable, impartial and
independentadministrationofjusticeisconcerned.781Attheregionallevel,theDakarDeclaration
andRecommendations ontheRighttoaFair TrialinAfrica providesthatthepurposeof military
courtsistodetermineoffencesofapurelymilitaristicnaturecommittedbymilitarypersonnel,and
thatmilitarycourtsshouldnotinanycircumstancewhatsoeverhavejurisdictionovercivilians.782

In contravention of the Dakar Declaration, S. 119 of the UPDFActspecifies circumstances under


whichciviliansmaybesubjecttomilitarylawandconfersjurisdictiontotheGeneralCourtMartial
(GCM) to try civilians. For instance, where a civilian has aided and abetted persons subject to
military law in committing a crime, anyone who voluntarily accompanies a Defence Force on
service in any place, or any person found to be in unlawful possession of arms, ammunition or
equipment ordinarily being the monopoly of the Defence Forces. As a result, the GCM has tried
civilians for offences under a number of acts, including the AntiTerrorism Act, 2002 and the
FirearmsAct,Cap.297.However,in2009,theSupremeCourtheldthatmilitarycourtsdonothave
jurisdictionoverciviliansforoffencesoutsidetheUPDFActandthatassuchthepracticeoftrying
civiliansforoffencesoutsidetheUPDFActinmilitarycourtsisunconstitutional.783JusticeOkelloin
UgandaLawSocietyv.AttorneyGeneralruedthatarighttoafairhearingembodiestherighttobe
triedbyacompetentcourt.Acourtthathasnojurisdictiontotryacasewithwhichapersonhas
beenchargedisnotacompetentcourtforthepurposesofthatcase.784Tryingciviliansbeforethe
GCMforactsoutsidetheUPDFActisthereforeaviolationoftherighttoafairtrial.Themilitaryand
police,nevertheless,continuetoarrestandtryciviliansinmilitarycourtsforoffencesoutsidethe
UPDFAct.

Forinstance,followingthetribalclashesintheRwenzorisubregioninJuly2014,over182civilians
were arrested and charged before military courts in Bundibugyo and Kasese for assault, murder,
attempted murder, arson, aggravated robbery, and unlawful possession and acquisition of
firearms/ammunitionunderSections119(f),(g)&(h)oftheUPDFAct,theFirearmsAct,Cap.297
and the PenalCodeAct,Cap.120.785As of July 2015, 23 civilians out of the 182 civilians initially
chargedinmilitarycourtsstillhavecasestoanswer.

780UNHumanRightsCommittee,GeneralComment32onArticle14:Righttoequalitybeforecourtsand

tribunalsandtoafairtrial(CCPR/C/GC/32),23rdAugust2007,par.22.

781ibid.

782Article3oftheDakarDeclarationandRecommendationsontherighttoafairtrialinAfrica,adoptedby

ACHPRResolutionontheRighttoFairTrialandLegalAssistanceinAfrica,1999.
783AttorneyGeneralvUgandaLawSociety,SupremeCourt,2009(ConstitutionalAppealNo.1of2006).
784JudgementofG.M.Okello,JAinUgandaLawSocietyv.AttorneyGeneral,ConstitutionalCourt,2006
(ConstitutionalPetitionNo.18of2005).
785WaIrumba,Dr.KatebalirweAmooti,StatementonHumanRightsConcernsArisingfromtheRecent
ClashesinBundibugyo,NtorokoandKaseseDistricts,UgandaHumanRightsCommission,24July2014,
Retrieved12July2015fromhttp://www.uhrc.ug/statementhumanrightsconcernsarisingrecentclashes
bundibugyontorokoandkasesedistricts.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

177

NTVUganda

RwenzoriviolencesuspectsawaitingtrialatBundibugyoCourtMartialasChairmanoftheCourtMartial
arrives.

AsatNovember2015,111civiliansarestillawaitingtrialattheGCMcourts,withtheoldestcases
originatingfrom2006.786Themostcommonoffencesforwhichciviliansaretriedinmilitarycourts
are aggravated robbery and unlawful possession of firearms. Despite commendable efforts to
reduce the number of civilians awaiting trial before military courts, the number of civilians on
remandatGCMcourtsremainsofgraveconcern.

8.5

CONCLUSION

Inconclusion,therighttoafairhearingcontinuestobeviolatedduetolengthytrialproceedings,
corruptioninthejudiciary,inadequatelegalrepresentationandtrialofciviliansinmilitarycourts,
among others. However, positive steps have been taken to curb these vices. For instance, a
certificateoffinancialimplicationshasbeenissuedbytheMoJCAtoincreasethenumberofjudges
oftheHighCourtto82.TheAntiCorruption(Amendment)Bill,2013waspassedandisawaiting
Presidentialassent.Furthermore,theproposedlegalaidpolicywillextendlegalrepresentationto
noncapitaloffendersandensurerepresentationstartsfromtimeofarrestuptothedisposalofthe
case.Finally,areductionincivilianstriedbeforemilitarycourtscanbenoted,althoughtheneedto
prohibitthispracticealtogetherremains.

786StatisticsprovidedbyMajorJohnBizimaana,registrarGeneralCourtMartial,on9thNovember2015.

178

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

8.6

RECOMMENDATIONS

Tothegovernment:
8. ExpeditetheadoptionoftheNationalLegalAidPolicytoextendlegalrepresentationtonon
1.
capitaloffendersandensurerepresentationstartsfromtimeofarrestuptothedisposalof
thecase.

ToParliament:
1. ExpeditedebateandenactmentoftheAdministrationofJusticeBill,2009toguarantee
independenceofthejudiciary.

TotheUgandaLawReformCommission:
6. ReviewS.119(1)(g)(h)oftheUPDFAct,2005thatsubjectscivilianstotrialbeforemilitary
1.
courts.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

179

RIGHTTOLIBERTYANDSECURITYOFPERSON

9.1

INTRODUCTION

Article 9 of the ICCPRguarantees the right to liberty and security of person. The article prohibits
arbitrary arrest or detention and stipulates that arrests are to be made in accordance with the
proceduresestablishedbylaw.Theseprovisionsarerestatedinarticle23oftheConstitution.The
Constitution further provides that a person arrested, restricted or detained shall be informed
immediately,inalanguagethatthepersonunderstands,ofthereasonsforthearrest,restrictionor
detentionandofhisorherrighttoalawyerofhisorherchoice.787Themajorchallengesregarding
the right to liberty and security of persons in detention are compliance with the 48 hour rule at
policestationsandtheperiodofpretrialdetentioninprisons.

9.2

48HOURRULE

The Constitution provides that a person arrested or detained should, if not released earlier, be
brought to court as soon as possible and not later than 48 hours from the time of his or her
arrest.788TheConstitutionalCourthasheldthatS.25(2)ofthePoliceAct,Cap.303,whichextended
thelengthoftimebeforewhichanaccusedmustbeproducedincourt,contravenesArticle23(4)of
theConstitution,anddeclareditnullandvoid.789However,thepoliceandothersecurityagentshave
held,andcontinuetohold,suspectsformorethan48hours.

AccordingtoUHRCs17thannualreport,thehighestnumberofcomplaintsregisteredin2014relate
to detention beyond 48 hours, which constituted 381 complaints (34.69% of the total number of
complaints). This is a slight increase from 2013 when there was a total of 295 complaints in
relation to detention beyond 48 hours.790In 2014, similar to 2013,791most complaints ( 91%)
registeredinrelationtodetentionbeyond48hourswereagainsttheUPF,constitutingatotalof348
complaints.

Table9:Registeredcomplaintsondetentionbeyond48hoursin2014
No
Region
Numberofcomplaints
1
Arua
102
2
Central
12
3
Fortportal
13
4
Gulu
77
5
Hoima
56
6
Jinja
13
7
Masaka
24
8
Mbarara
22
9
Moroto
08
10
Soroti
54
Total
Uganda
381
(Source:UHRC17thAnnualReport)

787Article23(3)oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.
788ibid.,Article23(4)(b).

789FoundationforHumanRightsInitiativev.AttorneyGeneral,ConstitutionalCourt(ConstitutionalPetition

No.20of2006),2008.

790UgandaHumanRightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,p.19.

791In2013,90%ofcomplaintsinrelationtodetentionbeyond48hourswereagainsttheUPF(265outof

295).

180

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Figure21:Registeredcomplaintsondetentionbeyond48hours(20092014)
450
400

381

350
300
250
200
150

295

264

196

233

181

100
50
0

2009

2010

2011

2012

(Source:UHRC15thand17thAnnualReports)

2013

2014

Detention beyond 48 hours has mainly been attributed to the inability of the Police to conduct
timely investigations, especially in capital cases.792Delay by state attorneys to sanction files has
beencitedasanothercontributingfactor.793However,FredEnanga,PublicRelationsOfficerforthe
UPF,notesthatinordertoensurecompliancewiththe48hourrule,theUPFhasinstructedpolice
investigatorstoseekcourtsindulgencebyhavingsuspectsremandedbackintopolicecustodyafter
arraignment, rather than to prison, to enable conclusion of investigations. 794 Owomugisha,
CommandantoftheUPFflyingsquadunit,furthernotesthat:

Due to lack of national identification cards, it is not easy to trace suspects once they are
released on police bond. So in some cases we are forced to detain suspects for a longer
period.795

Thehighprevalenceofmobjusticealsocontributestothechallengeofreleasingsuspectsonpolice
bond.796

AccordingtoAssistantIGPandActingDirectoroftheUPFDirectorateofHumanRightsandLegal
Services, Erasmus Twaruhukwa, the UPF has deployed regional human rights officers across the
countrytocountertheincreasingcasesofhumanrightsviolationswithintheUPF:

792FHRIinterviewwithMr.HermanOwomugisha,CommandantPoliceFlyingSquadon10thNovember2014.
793FHRIinterviewwithMr.FredEnanga,PublicRelationsOfficer,UgandaPoliceForceon23rdOctober2014.
794Ibid.

795FHRIinterviewwithMr.HermanOwomugisha,CommandantPoliceFlyingSquadon10thNovember2014.
796Seeparagraph11.3foramoredetaileddiscussiononthistopic.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

181

Ofthe26regionsacrossthecountry,wehavepilotedthisin9regions.797Thiswasbasedon
the regions with the highest crime rate. More officers have since been deployed in 7 other
regions.798

Facilitation of these human rights officers remains an issue of concern. According to Dinah
Kyasimire,CommissionerofPolice,only5ofthe9officershavemotorcycles.Othershavetorelyon
the Regional Police Commander for assistance.799Considering the limited fuel allocations, this is
boundtocurtailtheirabilitytoeffectivelyexecutetheirmandate.

Despitethedeploymentofregionalhumanrightsofficers,casesofsuspectsdetainedforlongerthan
thestipulatedperiodwerenotedbyFHRI.Forinstance,asuspectatCentralPoliceStationalleged
thathewastransferredfromonepolicestationtoanotherforoveramonthwithoutbeingtakento
court:

I was arrested from a car bond in Nakasero by police flying squad on 12th May 2014 on
allegations of aggravated robbery and illegal possession of firearms. On the day of arrest, I
wastakentoKisuguPoliceStationforoneweekandon19thMay2014,Iwastransferredto
KitebiPoliceStationanddetainedforanotherweek.Iwas,thereafter,takentoCentralPolice
Station(CPS)foranotherweekandon2ndJuneIwastransferredbacktoKitebiPolicestation
for a week. I was later transferred to Nalufenya on 9th June for one day after which I was
broughtbacktoCPSon16thJune.SincethenIhavebeenkeptherewithoutevenrecordinga
statement.800

AnothersuspectatCentralPoliceStationnarrateshowhehasbeeninpolicedetentionfor12days
sincehisarrest:

Iwasarrestedon20thJune2014fromUnitedBankofAfricaonKampalaRoadbypoliceflying
squad.IwasinitiallytakentoanunfamiliarplacewhereIwastortured.OnthesamedayIwas
broughttoCentralPoliceStation.Sincemydetention,Ihavenotrecordedastatementorbeen
takentocourt.801

A suspect at Luweero Police Station explained that he has been detained for one week since his
arrestandhasnotbeentakentocourtyet:

I was arrested from my house in Kikyusa on 30th September 2014 at around 3 am on


allegationsofstealingMatooke.IwasbroughttoKikyusaPolicePostandinthemorningIwas
told to sign a paper, which I later learned was my statement. I was later taken to Luweero
PoliceStation,whereIhavebeenindetentionforoneweek.802

797Thesewere:KampalaMetropolitan,GreaterMasaka,KiirainJinja,Rwenzori,Rwizi,Katonga,Elgonin

Mbale,EastKyogaaswellasAswainGulu.
798Henotedthatthenewregionsinclude:Bukedea,SipiinKapchorwa,Arua,Lira,AlbertineinHoima,Greater
BushenyiandKigezi.FHRIinterviewwithMr.ErasmusTwaruhukwa,AssistantInspectorGeneralofPolice
andAg.Director,DirectorateofHumanRightsandLegalServiceson19thMarch2015.
799FHRIinterviewwithMs.DinahKyasiimire,CommissionerofPoliceon19thMarch2015.
800FHRIInterviewwithasuspectatCentralPoliceStationon1stJuly2014.
801Ibid.
802FHRIinterviewatLuweeroPoliceStationon7thOctober2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

AnothersuspectatLuweeroPoliceStationnarratedasimilarordeal:

I was arrested from Kyampisi by the local defence on 29th September 2014 for allegedly
obtainingmoneybyfalsepretence.IwasdeniedpolicebondbecauseIdidnothavesureties.I
havesofarspent8daysinpolicecustody.803

At Entebbe Police Station, FHRI talked to a suspect who has been in police custody for one week
sincehisarrestandisunawareofthestatusofhisfile:

IwasarrestedfromKinyarwandaonEntebbeRoadandtakentoKitooroPoliceStation.Iwas
latertransferredtoEntebbePoliceStation.EachtimeIinquireaboutthestatusofmyfilethey
tellmetheyarestillinvestigating.Ihavenowspentoneweekinpolicecustody.804

On 9th April 2015, FHRI identified a suspect who had been detained at Gulu Police Station for 8
days:

Thelocaldefenceofficerarrestedmeon2ndApril2015fromLaibiforallegedlyassaultingmy
brother. I had gotten involved in a fight with my brother and he reported me to the local
defenceofficerwhoarrestedme.Ihavespent1weekand1dayinthecellsofar.Duringthe
parade the OC told the investigating officer to release me but the investigating officer
refused.805

AtKalunguPoliceStation,FHRIfoundtwosuspectswhohadbeeninpolicecustodyforoveraweek.
Oneofthesuspectsnarratedthathehadspent9daysatKalunguPoliceStation:

I was arrested on 3rd August 2015 from Kalungu town on charges of loss of a motorcycle. I
wasbroughttoKalunguPoliceStationwhereIhavespentoneweekandtwodaysnow.806

Theothersuspecthadalsospent9daysinpolicecustody:

I was arrested from Nonda village in Rwabenge subcounty, Kalungu district on 3rd August
2015onchargesofdefilement.IwastakentoLwabogoPolicePostanddetainedforfourdays.
ThenIwastransferredtoKalunguPoliceStationwhereIhavespentfivedaysnow.807

AsuspectatHoimaPoliceStationnarratedhowhehasspentoneweekinpolicedetention:

I was arrested on 19th June 2015 from Hoima Town by the village defence for
allegeddefilement of a 15 year old girl. The girl had requested my boss for accommodation
sincehergrandmotherhadlockedherout.TheyfoundheratourplaceandIwasarrested.The
girlkepttellingthepolicethatweneverhadsexbuttheyinsisted.Shewaslaterreleasedbut
the police are still holding me to help them arrest my boss. I have so far spent 7 days in
custody.Iaskedforbondbuttheyrequestedmetogetsuretiesandpay[UGX]50,000808which

803Ibid.

804FHRIinterviewatEntebbePoliceStationon19thNovember2014.
805FHRIinterviewatGuluPoliceStationon9thApril2015.

806FHRIinterviewatKalunguPoliceStationon13thAugust2015.
807ibid.

808Equivalentto15USDollars.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

183

Idonthave.MyparentsareinRwandaandthereisnooneelsetostandsuretyforme.Myboss
whowouldhavestoodsuretyformeisinhidingforthesamecase.809

Due to the high number of complaints registered from the general public concerning police
misconduct,theUPFestablishedaProfessionalStandardsUnit(PSU)in2007.ThePSUisprimarily
mandated to improve police accountability and compliance with human rights standards such as
the 48 hour rule. Since its establishment, the PSU has handled various cases that include torture
and harassment, unlawful arrest and detention, and abuse of office. The PSU, however, does not
havethecapacitytohandlecasesexpeditiously.Thegeographicaldistributionoftheunitislimited.
In 2014, the unit received 2639 cases, of which 1443 were completed and 1196 are pending
investigations. The five most reported cases were misconduct of police officers (867 cases),
mismanagement of case files (772 cases), unlawful arrest/unlawful detention or prolonged
detention(233cases),torture/assault(86cases),andneglectofduty(74cases).810

9.3

PRETRIALDETENTIONINPRISON

Article23oftheConstitutionprovidesthatsuspectsofminoroffencesshallnotspendmorethan60
days(2months)andcapitaloffendersshallnotspendmorethan180days(6months)inpretrial
detention.Contrarytothis,theTrialonIndictmentsAct,Cap.23andtheMagistratesCourtAct,Cap.
16 provide for mandatory bail if an accused person has spent 240 days in the case of minor
offences,and480daysinthecaseofcapitaloffences.

Furthermore,thelawissilentonthedurationasuspectisallowedtospendonremandonceheor
sheiscommittedfortrial.Asuspectoncommittalhasnotbeenprovenguilty,andshouldtherefore
bepresumedinnocentinaccordancewithArticle28(3)(a)oftheConstitution.AccordingtoArticle
28(3)(a)oftheConstitution,everypersonwhoischargedwithacriminaloffenceshallbepresumed
innocentuntilprovedguiltyoruntilthatpersonhaspleadedguilty.

Article 23 of the Constitution prohibits imprisonment of innocent persons. Pretrial detention


violatesthisprovision.Theunderlyingprincipleoftherighttoafairhearingisthatnooneshallbe
punished without due process. Incarceration before trial directly goes against this principle.
Therefore, persons awaiting trial should not be imprisoned, unless there is compelling evidence
thatsuchoffenderislikelytointerferewiththejudicialprocess.

ThedisparitybetweentheConstitutionandtheTrialonIndictmentsActandtheMagistratesCourts
Act,aswellastheabsenceofatimelimitforcommittals,contributestolengthypretrialdetention.
In2014/15,theaveragetimespentonremandforcapitaloffenderswas10.5monthsandfornon
capital offenders 2 months.811Even though the average time spent on remand has reduced
significantlysince2009,recentyearsindicateastagnationofthistrend(Figure22).

809FHRIinterviewatHoimaPoliceStationon25thJune2015.

810StatusReportonProfessionalStandardsUnitPerformanceJanuarytoDecember2014,pp.7,9.
811JLOSAnnualPerformanceReport2014/15,op.cit.,p.23.

184

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Figure22:Averagelengthofstayonremandinmonths(20092015)

30

27

25
20

15.1

15
10
5
0

3
2009/10

4
2010/11

Capital
Offenders
11.8

3
2011/12

11.4

3
2012/13

10.5

10.5

2013/14

NonCapital
Offenders

2014/15

(Source:JLOSAnnualPerformanceReports2009/102014/15)

In Muinaina Prison alone, 28 inmates were reported to have been on remand for 3 years and
more.812Poorcoordinationamongthevariousjusticeagencies,suchastheDPPandthecourts,has
beencitedasoneofthekeycontributingfactorstooverstayonremand.Misalignmentofcourtshas
alsobeennotedasacontributingfactor,particularlywheresuspectsaretransferredtoprisonsfar
fromthecrimelocation.

As of July 2015, the prison population stood at 45,314; 19,978 of whom are convicts, 25,068
remands, and 268 civil debtors; 55% of inmates are therefore on remand. The high number of
personsonremandismainlyattributedtounderstaffingofthejudiciary.Forinstance,theMbarara
ResidentHighCourtJudge,DuncanGaswaga,andJinjaResidentJudge,GodfreyNamundi,reported
thattheircircuitshadbeenoverwhelmedbythelargenumbersofinmates.Over800suspectshave
beencommittedtotheircourtsandawaittrial.813

To enhance the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, the judiciary launched the Plea
BargainingInitiativein2014.Pleabargainingisanegotiated agreementbetweenthe prosecution
and an accused person who is represented by a lawyer. Once an accused person reaches an
understandingwiththe prosecution,heorsheisproducedincourttopleadguiltyto thecharges
againsthiminexchangeforalessersentencewithoutgoingthroughafulltrial.HisLordship,Justice
YorokamuBamwine,theHon.PrincipleJudgeoftheHighCourt,notedthatpleabargainsessions
areintendedtoenabletheaccusedandtheprosecution,inconsultationwiththevictim,toreachan
amicableagreementonanappropriatepunishmentastheyfacilitatethereductionincasebacklog
andprisoncongestion.814

812StatisticsprovidedbytheRegionalHumanRightsOfficerduringFHRIsvisittoMuinainaPrisonon16th

September2014.
813Ibid.
814TheNewVision,Judiciaryintroducespleabargainsessions,byHilaryNsambu,1stSeptember2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

185

Despite the pleabargain initiative, the period of pretrial detention, especially after committal,
remainsundulylong,rangingfrom8monthsto6years.Mutabingwaconcurs:

Therearemanysuspectswhooverstayonremandfor4to6years.Someofthemstayforthat
longonlytohavetheircasesdismissedforwantofevidence.Thismeansthathewouldhave
servedasentenceforsomethinghedidnotdo.Committalmeansthatthestateisreadytotry
you and that they have all the evidence. If our system was efficient then the state should be
abletocommencetrialimmediatelyuponcommittal.815

Yunus Kasirivu, Kasiriyu and Co. Advocates, attributes this anomaly to negligence on the part of
stateattorneys:

State attorneys have too much power. On many occasions they commit suspects without
enough evidence. This was not the case before the amendment of the Magistrate Courts Act
whichremovedpreliminaryinquiriesbeforecommittal.Withthatsystem,evidencewouldbe
presentedbeforethemagistratetodeterminewhethertherewasenoughevidencetocommita
suspect.816

CaseStudy10Inmateswhohavespent3yearsorlongerinpretrialdetention

FindingsfromFHRIsvisittoKitalyaPrisonon15thAugust2014

Godfrey,28years
Iwasarrestedon17thApril2008fromhomeinMubendedistrictallegedlyonachargeofmurder.Iwastaken
toMubendePoliceStationwhereIwasaccusedofkillingaperson.Iwasdetainedforoneandahalfmonths.
Thepoliceofficersusedbatons,kickingandboxingtotorturemebecausetheywantedmetotellthemwhere
my bother hadgoneandaskedmeto confess.The police officerstold methat when I produce my brother,
whouptonowisontherun,theywillfreeme.IwastakentothedistrictcourtinMubendeandremandedto
MuinainaPrisonfor2days.IwasthentransferredtoLuziraPrisonforfouryearsandlaterbroughttoKitalya
Prison.Ihaveneverbeentakenbacktocourtorprovidedwithanycommittalpapers.Ihavebeeninprison
innocentlysince2008.

Moses,42years
IwasarrestedinAugust2008fromKibogaanddetainedatKibogaPoliceStationforonemonth.Iwaslater
producedincourtandchargedwithmurder.IwasthenremandedtoLuziraUpperPrison.Iwastransferred
toKitalyaPrisoninJanuary2014untilnow.IlastappearedinCourtinOctober2008.IdonotknowwhenI
willgotocourtagain.

Robert,27years
Iwasarrestedon9thNovember2009fromWakisoandtakentoWakisoPoliceStation.Iwaslaterproducedin
court,chargedwithmurderandremandedtoLuziraUpperPrison.AmonthlaterIwascommittedtotheHigh
Court and remanded back to Luzira Prison. I was transferred to Kitalya Prison in January 2014. I last
appearedincourtin2009.IdonothavealawyersoIdonotknowwhenmycasewillbecauselisted.

Adam,32years
I was arrested on 5th May 2009 by police from Kalerwe. I was detained at Kalerwe Police Station for eight
days after which I was produced in court. I was later charged with murder and remanded to Luzira Upper
Prison.Iwascommittedamonthlater.SincethenIhavenotgonebacktocourt.

815FHRIinterviewwithMr.MaximMutabingwa,Partner,Mutabingwa&Co.Advocateson20thJanuary2015.
816FHRIinterviewwithMr.YunusKasirivu,Partner,Kasirivu&Co.Advocateson29thJanuary2015.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Ronald,25years
Iwasarrestedon30thDecember2009fromKayungadistrictandtakentoNtimbaPoliceStationwhereIwas
detainedfortwoweeks.On12thJanuary2010,IwastakentoKayungaChiefMagistratesCourtandcharged
withdefilement.IwasremandedtoNtenjeruPrisonwhereIstayedforsixmonths.Iwasthentransferredto
LuziraUpperPrisonforthreemonths.On28thJanuary2014,IwastransferredtoKitalyaPrison.Idonothave
alawyersoIdonotknowwhenIwillbegoingbacktocourt.

FindingsfromFHRIsvisittoAruaPrisonon1stMay2015

Rogers,28years
I was arrested on 19th February 2011 from Zombo district on allegations of rape. I was taken to Ankwayi
PoliceStationwhereIwasdetainedforoneday.IwasthentransferredtoPaidhaPoliceStationwhereIwas
detainedforsix days before being produced in court. I was remanded toPaidhaPrison for six months and
latertransferredtoAruaPrisonwhereIhavebeensince.IwastakentocourtayearaftermytransfertoArua
Prisonandcommittedonthatsameday.Ihavenotgonetocourtsince.

Odongo,65years
IwasarrestedfromPakwachdistricton8thNovember2011onchargesofmurder.IwastakentoPakwach
PoliceStationforoneweekandthentransferredtoNebbiPoliceStationfortwodays.Thereafter,NebbiCourt
remandedmetoPaidhaPrison.AtPaidhaPrisonIstayedforfourmonthsandlaterIwastransferredtoArua
Prison. I was taken to Arua Chief Magistrate once and committed on that same day. I do not know what is
goingon.Ihavespentthreeyearswithoutgoingtocourt.ThePrisonistoocongested.Therearemanyothers
likeme.

Patrick,22years
Iwasarrestedon10thDecember2011fromAlangiinZombodistrictonchargesofrape.IwastakentoAlangi
PolicePostwhereIwasdetainedforthreedaysbeforebeingtransferredtoPaidhaPoliceSationforoneweek
andtwodays.IwaslatertakentocourtandremandedtoPaidhaPrisonwhereIwasheldindetentionforone
week before being transferred to Arua Prison. I was taken to court in December 2014. However, I was
informedthatmyfilewasmissingandmycasecouldnotbehandledthatday.Idonotknowifmyfileisnow
incourtbecauseIhavenotgonetocourtsince.

Walter,24years
Iwasarrestedon22ndDecember2011fromNebbidistrictforaggravateddefilement.IwastakentoKalwang
PoliceStationforafewminutesbeforebeingtakentoNebbiPoliceStationforoneweek.Iwaslaterproduced
in Nebbi Court where I was remanded to Kotchi Prison for two months before being transferred to Paidha
Prison.Iwasdetainedthereforoneweek,afterwhichIwasbroughtheretoAruaPrison.Ihavebeentocourt
once,on18thMay2012,whenIwascommitted.AllIwantistohavemycasecauselisted.However,Iwastold
thatmyfileismissingsoIdonotknowwhatisgoingtohappentomycase.

Richard,26years
IwasarrestedfrommyhomeinPapogaparishinZombodistricton5thFebruary2012onchargesofmurder
of my uncle. At the time of the crime I was in Nebbi for a wedding. When I returned home the police had
arrestedmy brother andfather forthe murder of my uncle. I wasalsoarrestedandtakento Paidha Police
Station for two days and later remanded to Paidha Prison for three weeks and five days. We were then
transferred to Arua Prison. We were taken to Arua Chief Magistrates Court once on 14th June 2012 and
committedonthesameday.Wehavenotgonebacktocourtsince.Iamnotsureofthestatusofourcasefile.

FindingsfromFHRIsvisittoMuinainaPrisonon13thOctober2015

John,75years
Iwasarrestedin2000onallegationsofmurderandtakentoMubendePoliceStationwhereIstayedforsix
months.IwasthentakentocourtandremandedtoMuinainaPrison.LaterIwastransferredtoLuziraPrison

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

187

forAIDSmedication.IstayedatMurchisonBayforoneyearandlaterbroughtbacktoMuinainaPrison.Ilast
appearedincourtin2001whenIwascommittedtoMuinainaPrison.

Vienne,50years
Iwasarrestedin2009onallegationsofdefilement.IwastakentoMubendePoliceStationwhereIstayedfor
aweekbeforebeingtakentocourt.IwascommittedtoKawerePrisonwhereIstayedforsixdaysandthenI
wastransferredtoMuinainaPrison.Ilastwenttocourtin2013whereIwastoldtowaitforthenextsession
butthishasneverhappened.

Godwin,31years
Iwasarrestedon12thNovember2011onallegationsofrobberyandtakentoMubendePoliceStationwhereI
stayedforelevendays.IwasthentakentocourtandcommittedtoKawerePrisonwhereIstayedforfivedays
beforeIwasbroughttoMuinainaPrison.

Patrick,35years
Iwasarrestedon11thNovember2011onallegationsofrobberyandmurder.IwasthentakentoMubende
Police Station where I stayed for one week before being taken to court. I was then committed to Muinaina
PrisonandsincethenIhaveneverbeentakenbacktocourt.

9.4

CONCLUSION

Lengthy pretrial detention at police and prison remains an issue of concern. The Uganda Police
Forcehasinsufficientfinancialandhumanresourcestocompleteinvestigationsinatimelymanner,
oftenresultingindetentionofsuspectsbeyond48hours.Thiscallsononehandforanincreaseof
resourcesallocatedtotheUPF,andontheotherhandfortheUPFtoconductinvestigationspriorto
arrestorreleasethesuspectonbondwithin48hours.

Similarly,thehighcasebackloginthejudiciary,poorcoordinationinthejusticesystemandabsence
ofatimelimitforcommittalscontinuetoresultinlengthypretrialdetentionofsuspectsinprisons.
DespitethecommendableachievementsofthePleaBargainingInitiative,furtherstepsneedtobe
taken to reduce the time spent on pretrial detention in prisons, most notably a time limit for
committals.

9.5

RECOMMENDATIONS

TotheUgandaLawReformCommission:
1. ReviewS.25(2)ofthePoliceAct,Cap.303topromotestrictadherencetothe48hourruleas
providedforbytheConstitution.
2. Amend S. 16(c) of the TrialonIndictmentAct,Cap.23 and S.76(c)oftheMagistratesCourts
Act,Cap.16 that provide for remand periods beyond 180 days in capital offences and 60
days in petty crimes as stipulated in Article 23(5)(b) and (c) of the Constitution, and in
accordancewiththeConstitutionalCourtrulinginFoundationforHumanRightsInitiativev
AttorneyGeneral.
3. Review Article 23 of the Constitution to stipulate a definite period of detention after
committal.

TotheJudicialServiceCommission:
2.
1. Expeditethenominationandappointmentthereafterofmorejudicialofficersasameasure
toreducethecurrentcasebacklogandlengthyremandperiods.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA


TotheUgandaPoliceForce:
1. Expandthe outreach of regionalhumanrightsofficersacrossthecountryandimproveon
theirworkingconditions.
2. Where investigations cannot be conducted prior to arrest, make increased use of police
bondtosecuremoretimewhileobservingthe48hourrule.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

189

TREATMENTOFPERSONSINPLACESOFDETENTION

10.1 INTRODUCTION
Article10oftheICCPRprovidesforthehumanetreatmentofpersonsinplacesofdetention.TheUN
StandardMinimumRulesfortheTreatmentofPrisonersalsosetoutgenerallyacceptedprinciples
and practices regarding the treatment of prisoners.817Although not legally binding, these UN
standardsprovideguidelinesforinternationalanddomesticlawgoverningpersonsheldinprisons
andotherformsofcustodyatthenationallevel.

ThePrisonsAct,2006providesfortheprotectionofallmembersofsocietybyensuringreasonable,
safe, secure and humane custody and rehabilitation of offenders in accordance with universally
acceptedstandards.818

During the period under review, FHRI assessed conditions of detention in 36 prisons, 33 police
stationsand5policepostscountrywide(Tables10and11respectively).

No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26

Table10:PrisonsinspectedbyFHRIin2014and2015
Prison
Dateofvisit
KigoPrison
31st July2014 and30th September2015
KitalyaPrison
15th and21st August2014 and21stJuly2015
KasangatiPrison
26th August2014 and27th July2015
WakyatoPrison
28th August2014and2nd June2015
nd
BusaanaPrison
2 September2014 and31st July2015
NtenjeruPrison
2nd September2014 and31st July2015
SentemaPrison
10th September2014and19th May2015
KapeekaPrison
11th September2014
MuinainaPrison
16th September2014 and13th October2015
NakasongolaPrison
23rdSeptemberand7th October2014and14th
October2015
ButuntumulaPrison
1st October2014and18th May2015
KaugaPrison
2nd October2014
GuluPrison(Male)
8th April2015
GuluPrison(Female)
8th April2015
MasakaMainPrison
20th April2015
MasakaPrison(Female)
20th April2015
MasakaSaazaPrison
20th April2015
MpigiPrison
27th April2015
KabasandaPrison
27th April2015
ButooloPrison
7th May2015
NkoziPrison
7th May2015
KitalaPrison
12th May2015
LugaziPrison
13th May2015
KobokoPrison
21st May2015
AruaMainPrison
22nd May2015
GilgilPrison
22nd May2015

817UNStandardMinimumRulesfortheTreatmentofPrisoners,AdoptedbytheFirstUnitedNationsCongress
onthePreventionofCrimeandtheTreatmentofOffenders,heldatGenevain1955,andapprovedbythe
EconomicandSocialCouncilbyitsresolutions663C(XXIV)of31stJuly1957and2076(LXII)of13thMay
1977.
818S.5ofthePrisonsAct,2006.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36

MityanaPrison
NyimbwaPrison
HoimaPrison
BugambePrison
BuserukaPrison
KibogaPrison
MorotoPrison
JinjaMainPrison
JinjaRemandPrison
KirinyaPrison

26th May2015
2nd June2015
24th June2015
24th June2015
24th June2015
25th June2015
8th July2015
th
4 August2015
4th August2015
4th August2015

Table11:PolicestationsandpostsinspectedbyFHRIin2014and2015
No. PoliceStation
Dateofvisit
1 JinjaRoadPoliceStation
13th June2014
KabalagalaPoliceStation
13th Juneand31st October2014and23rd
2
June2015
3 KatwePoliceStation
13th June2014
4 WandegeyaPoliceStation
1st July2014
5 CentralPoliceStationKampala
1st July2014
6 KaabongPoliceStation
9th July2014
th
7 BugiriPoliceStation
4 August2014
8 KasangatiPoliceStation
26th August2014
9 KayungaPoliceStation
2nd September2014and22ndJune2015
10 KapeekaPoliceStation
11th September2014
11 LuweeroPoliceStation
7th October2014
12 NansanaPoliceStation
3rd November2014
13 KawempePoliceStation
5th November2014
5th November2014
14 OldKampalaPoliceStation
15 EntebbePoliceStation
19th November2014and15thJune2015
19th November2014
16 KajjansiPoliceStation
17 GuluPoliceStation
9th April2015
20th April2015
18 MasakaPoliceStation
19 NyendoPoliceStation
20th April2015
13th May2015
20 LugaziPoliceStation
21 KobokoPoliceStation
21st May2015
22nd May2015
22 AruaPoliceStation
23 MityanaPoliceStation
26th May2015
27th May2015
24 MpigiPoliceStation
25 NakiwogoPolicePost
15th June2015
22nd June2015
26 KabimbiliPolicePost
27 NaggalamaPoliceStation
22nd June2015
25th June2015
28 HoimaPoliceStation
29 KibogaPoliceStation
25th June2015
7th July2015
30 MorotoPoliceStation
31 BusunjuPoliceStation
10th August2015
13th August2015
32 KalunguPoliceStation
33 KaliloPolicePost
13th August2015
13th August2015
34 KitantePolicePost
35 KyamulibwaPolicePost
13th August2015
17th August2015
36 NsangiPoliceStation
37 GombololaPoliceStation
17th August2015
20th August2015
38 NateetePoliceStation

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

191

10.2 GENERALWELFAREANDSANITATION
TheUNStandardMinimumRulesfortheTreatmentofPrisonersprovidethatprisonersshouldbe
equipped with necessities adequate to ensure proper health and cleanliness, which shall include,
amongothers,adequatesanitationfacilities.819

TheStandardMinimumRulesprovidethatsanitaryinstallationsshallbeadequatetoenableevery
prisonertocomplywiththeneedsofnaturewhennecessaryandinacleananddecentmanner.820
InUganda,anumberofprisonsuseabucketsystemwhereinmatesdisposehumanwasteinopen
containersanunsanitaryandinhumanpractice.TheUPShasbeenundertaking effortstophase
outthebucketsystem.AsatJuly2015,only58of247prisons(23%)stillusethebucketsystem.821
TheUPSiscommittedtocompletelyeliminatethebucketsystemintheremaining58prisonsinFY
2015/2016.

DespitethesecommendableeffortsbytheUPStoimproveonthewelfareandsanitationconditions
in places of detention, substandard conditions in places of detention continue to be a matter of
concern.Forinstance,continueduseofthebucketsystemwasnotedinanumberofprisonsvisited
byFHRI.822InmatesatWakyatoPrisonnotedthatthecontinueduseofthebucketsystem,coupled
withtheovercongestioninthewards,hasexacerbatedthespreadofdiseasesinthewards.823

The UHRC noted that only 2.4% of the police stations inspected have phased out the bucket
system.824Even in police detention places where adequate sanitation facilities are put in place,
sanitarychallengesremainattimes.Forinstance,atEntebbePoliceStation,thesuspectsnotedthat
the toilets were blocked and there was no water to flush the toilets either.825At Kawempe Police
Station,thesuspectshaveaccesstoaflushtoilet.However,accordingtotheOfficerinChargeofthe
policestation,thecostofmaintainingthetoiletishighbecausewateristoocostly.826Asuspectat
GuluPoliceStationexplainedtheinadequacyofthesanitationsystempresent:

Weareusingthebucketsystem.Thebucketismainlymeantforurinationbutsometimeswe
areforcedtouseitfordefecation,mostlyatnight.Duringthedayweasktheofficerstoopen
forustousethetoiletsbuttheyrefuse.Sometimestheofficersslapusbeforeescortingustothe
toilet.Irequestedtogofordefecationsinceyesterday6pmbuttheofficershaverefusedtotake
me.Wearealsonotprovidedwithtoiletpaper.Thetoiletisalsotoodirtybutweareforcedto
stepinitwithoutsandals.827

819Rule9oftheStandardMinimumRulesfortheTreatmentofPrisoners,1977.
820ibid.,Rule12.

821AsperUgandaPrisonsServicestatistics.

822UseofthebucketsystemwasnotedinWakyato,Busaana,Ntenjeru,KapekaandHoimaprisons.
823FHRIinterviewswithinmatesatWakyatoPrisonon28thAugust2014.

824TheUHRCinspected180outofthe246(73%)prisonsinthecountry,232policestationsoutof299

(78%),681policepostsoutof1,811(38%)andallsixremandhomes.Source:UgandaHumanRights
Commission,17thAnnualReport,2014,pp.48,50.
825FHRIinterviewatEntebbePoliceStationon18thNovember2014.
826FHRIinterviewwithMr.PahaniDenison6thNovember2014.
827FHRIinterviewatGuluPoliceStationon9thApril2015.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

FHRI

ThetoiletinsidethecellsofKawempePoliceStation

At Kasangati Police Station, there was no natural light in the cells; there was no window and the
only ventilation appeared to come from the cell door.828Such conditions have precipitated the
spreadofdiseaseswithinthecells.

To improve the conditions in prisons and the general welfare of inmates, UPS undertook a
nationwiderenovationexercise.Improvementsasaresultofthisrenovationexercisewerenotedin
anumberofprisonsvisitedbyFHRIin2014and2015.Forinstance,atKitalyaPrison,thewallsand
floors of the wards were renovated and a security fence erected to improve the security. Wall
fencesinButuntumula,SentemaandMpigiprisonswereerected,ensuringinmatesfreemovement
during the day. In Butuntumula, Sentema, Mpigi, Lugazi and Butoolo prisons waterborne toilets
were installed. In Kasangati and Ntenjeru prisons, the water system was upgraded. Both prisons
now have flush toilets, and water tanks have been set up to ensure constant water supply. In
NakasongolaPrisonavalleydamwasconstructedandanundergroundtankinstalledtosolvethe
problemofinsufficientaccesstowaterfortheinmates.

10.3 OVERCROWDING

Overcrowding remains a problem in most prisons throughout the country. As per the prison
statistics,thetotalapprovedprisoncapacityasatJuly2015was16,517,againstaprisonpopulation
of45,314inmates;anovercapacityof274%.829

In most prisons visited, inmates in custody exceeded the available capacity. For instance, at
Muinaina Prison, the official prison capacity was 240 inmates although the number of inmates at

828FHRIassessmentofKasangatiPoliceStationon26thAugust2014.
829AsperUgandaPrisonsServicestatistics.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

193

thetimeoftheFHRIvisitstoodat400.830Similarly,atAruaPrisontheofficialcapacitywas250,yet
there were 843 inmates when FHRI visited the prison on 1st May 2015. At Arua Prison, many
inmatescomplainedthatthewardsaretoocongested,sleepingwith140inmatesperward.831

DuetotheovercongestioninmostprisonsinspectedbyFHRI,convictsandthoseonremandare
notseparateddespitetherequirementnecessitatingtheirseparation.832

FHRInotedthattheprolongedstayonremandwasamajorcontributingfactortotheovercrowding
inprisons.AccordingtotheDeputyOfficerinChargeofKitalyaPrison,thelargeremandpopulation
at Kitalya prison constrains their ability to adequately provide for the inmates.833Of the 946
inmatesatKitalyaprison,263wereonremand.Overcrowdinginprisonsoftenculminatesintothe
spreadofdiseasesandstrainstheavailableresourcesforfood,healthcareservicesandbeddings.

Figure23:Prisonpopulationvisvisofficialcapacityofprisons(20112015)

50000
45000
40000
35000
30000
25000
20000
15000
10000
5000
0

35726

34768

31959

14683

14493

2011

2012

45314

42330

16057

14898

2013

2014

(Source:UgandaPrisonsService)834

16517

Prison
Population
Prison
Capacity

2015

Inordertoreduceovercrowdinginprisons,theUPShasembarkedonconstructionofnewprisons
and expansion of existing prisons across the country. Since the start of FY 2014/15, UPS has
completed the construction of Oyam Prison, reception centres at Pader and Paidha prisons,
renovationandexpansionofMbararaPrison,andnewprisonerswardsatKitalya,Amita,Ndorwa,
Ruimi, Kaabong, Amuru, Isingora and Tororo prisons. Reconstruction of the sanitation system at
Tororo Prison, and renovation of prisoners wards and construction of an educational
infrastructure in Gulu Prison were also completed. UPS further fixed 80 emergency uniports for
Sanga,Kihihi,Buhweju,Nyarushanje,Ntungamo,Mitooma,Nakapiripirit,Kaabong,Lamwo,Bukwo,

830FHRIassessmentofMuinainaPrisonon16thSeptember2014.
831FHRIvisittoAruaPrisonon1stMay2015.

832Section64(1)ofthePrisonsAct,2006providesthat:Prisonerswhoarenotconvictedarepresumedtobe

innocentandshallbetreatedassuchandtheyshallbekeptseparatefromconvictedprisoners.

833FHRIinterviewwithMs.BarbaraBusingye,DeputyOfficerinCharge,Kitalyaprisonon15thAugust2014.
834StatisticsasatNovember2011,October2012,March2013,December2014andJuly2015.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

SentemaandButuntumulaprisons.Inaddition,UPSconstructed98staffaccommodationfacilities
at Mbarara, Nakasongola, Kiyunga, Muinaina, Ruimi and Kapchorwa prisons. Renovation of
Kampala Remand and Murchison Bay hospital theatre are ongoing. UPS is further working on
engineering designs, studies and plans for capital works and feasibility studies for various
constructionworks,aswellasremodificationofNdorwaPrison,andfencingofNamaluPrison.835

10.4 FOOD

Section 69 of the PrisonsAct,2006 entitles a prisoner to food of nutritional value adequate for
health and strength by the prison administration, at the usual hours and the food shall be of
wholesomequality,wellpreparedandserved.836

FHRIobservedthattherewerecontinuedeffortswithinseveralUgandanprisonstoprovidethree
mealsperday.837Insomeprisons,effortswereundertakentomeetthedietaryneedsofvulnerable
persons.Forinstance,atKaugaPrison,inmatesareprovidedwithrice,andbeansorsweetpotatoes
onsomeweekends;inmateslivingwithHIVhavespecialmealsthatalsoincludevegetables;nursing
inmatesareprovidedwithspecialmeals;andchildrenareprovidedwithmilk.838Notwithstanding
thesecreditworthyefforts,prisonsinUgandafaceachallengeinmeetingthedietaryneedsofthe
vulnerableinmates,asthereisnobudgetaryprovisiontomeetsuchneeds.839Forinstance,oneHIV
positiveinmateatGuluWomenPrisonnotedthatthedietprovidedisinadequate:

IamanHIVpatientandonARVs,butwegetlittlefoodyetthedrugsareverystrong.Thisis
affectingourhealth.840

Budgetary limitations and overcrowding in prisons have forced many prisons to serve only two
meals per day. Prisons that provide only two meals attribute this mainly to a shortage of maize
flourandfirewood,andthelargenumberofinmatesthatmakeitpracticallyimpossibletoprepare
threeseparatemealsforthem.Thetwomealsincludebreakfast,whichisusuallyservedbefore8
am,andlunchthatdoublesassupperat4or5pm.

Thelackoffoodatpolicestationsisevenmoretroubling.Notallpolicestationsreceiveabudgetto
providefoodforsuspects.Forinstance,theOfficerinChargeofKatwePoliceStationnotedthatthey
areonlyabletoserveonemealtothesuspectsbecauseitisnotprovidedforinthebudget,andthat
theythereforelargelydependonvisitorstoprovidefoodforthesuspects.841TheUHRCnotedthat
thenumberofpolicestationsthatcouldnotprovideadequatefoodforsuspectsincreasedfrom343
in2013to674in2014.842

835AsperUgandaPrisonsServicestatistics.
836S.69ofthePrisonsAct,2006.

837FindingsfromFHRIsprisoninspections,andalsoconfirmedbyinspectionsfromUHRCin2014.See

UgandaHumanRightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,2014,p.53.

838FHRIassessmentofKaugaPrisonon2ndOctober2014.

839AccordingtoUgandaHumanRightsCommissionstatistics,only23prisonsprovidedfortheneedsof

vulnerablepersonsin2014.SeeUgandaHumanRightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,2014,p.54.
840FHRIinterviewwithinmatesatGuluWomenPrisonon8thApril2015.
841FHRIinterviewwithEzraTugume,OfficerinChargeatKatwePoliceStationon13thJune2014.
842UgandaHumanRightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,2014,p.53.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

195

12.5 PRISONLABOUR
The Prisons Act, 2006 recognises the prisoners right to undertake meaningful and paid
employment. 843 In some of the prisons visited, FHRI noted that some measures had been
undertakentopaytheinmatesfortheworkdonebasedontheirlevelofexpertise.Forinstance,at
SentemaPrison,forunskilledlaboursuchasdigginginmatesarepaidUGX100,844forsemiskilled
laboursuchascarpentryinmatesreceiveUGX200,845andforskilledlaboursuchasteachingthey
receive UGX 500.846However, most inmates interviewed by FHRI alleged that they do not receive
paymentfortheworkdone.AsuspectatBusaanaPrison,forinstance,toldFHRIthattheydonotget
paidfortheworktheydo:

Wedoalotofhardlabourthatincludestheharvestingofmaize,slashing,sweeping,cleaning
thewardsandfetchingwater.However,wedonotgetpaidforallthiswork.847

AsuspectatKitalyaPrisonstatedthathehasneverbeenpaidandhasneversignedforthework
thathedoes:

HereatKitalyaPrisonwegotothefarmfrom7:30amtill4:30pm.Ihaveneverbeenpaidfor
theworkIdoandIhaveneversignedanywhereforit.848

Mostprisons,however,dohaveanearningschemeinplaceandsuchallegationsmaybeattributed
toinmateslackofawarenesssincetheyarepaidonreleasefromtheprison.Oneoftheinmatesat
Kabasanda Prison informed FHRI that the prison has an earning scheme in place. He noted that
remands are paid in court upon release, while convicts have accounts and are informed of the
money on their accounts every Sunday.849The Officer in Charge of Nyimbwa Prison, however,
assertedthatbeforehewaspostedatNyimbwaPrisontherewasnoearningschemeinplaceand
inmateswerenotbeingpaidfortheirlabour.850

10.6 MOTHERSWITHINFANTS

Section59(3)ofthePrisonsAct,2006providesthatafemaleprisoner,pregnantprisonerornursing
mother may be provided with special facilities needed for their condition.851As at July 2015, 239
infants were detained with their mothers in prisons around the country.852The major challenge
remains the inability by the prison administration to provide an adequate diet for the babies.
Babies detained with their mothers continue to strain the already limited prison budget.
Notwithstandingbudgetconstraints,atMasakaWomenPrisoneffortsweremadetoprovidemilkto
motherswithchildren.853

843S.57(e)ofthePrisonsAct,2006.

844Perhourrate,equivalentto0,03USDollars.
845Perhourrate,equivalentto0,06USDollars.
846Perhourrate,equivalentto0,15USDollars.

847FHRIinterviewatBusaanaPrisonon2ndSeptember2014.
848FHRIinterviewatKitalyaPrisonon15thAugust2014.

849FHRIinterviewwithMahadYiga,inmateatKabasandaPrison,on27thApril2015.

850FHRIinterviewwithPeterNsabimaana,OfficerinChargeofNyimbwaPrison,on2ndJune2015.
851S.59(3)ofthePrisonsAct,2006

852AsperUgandaPrisonsServiceStatistics.

853FHRIvisittoMasakaWomenPrisonon20thApril2015.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Section 59(4) of the Prisons Act further provides that children of female prisoners should be
suppliedwithclothingandotherbasicnecessitiesuntiltheyare18monthsold.However,duetothe
meagre budgetary allocation to the UPS, prison authorities cannot afford to ensure a constant
supplyofsuchbasicnecessitiestotheseinfants.After18monthsofage,childrenarenotallowedto
stay in the prison facility. In practice, however, children often stay in prison up to four years.
Research conducted by FHRI and Penal Reform International (PRI) in prison facilities such as
LuziraPrison(thebiggestwomenprisoninUganda)foundthatitcanbedifficultforchildrentobe
transferredintothecareofrelativesforvariousreasonsincludingthefailureoffatherstocaterfor
their children, child neglect, and/or high levels of poverty amongst inmates families.854The NGO
Family of Africa, an Italian NGO in Luzira, has stepped in to support children of inmates so that
whenthechildrenturntwoyearsoldtheycanstayatadaycarecentre,andonSundaystheygetto
spendadaywiththeirmothers.855However,thisserviceisnotyetavailableinotherprisons.856

10.7 INMATESWITHMENTALILLNESS

Duringthecourseofatrial,ifacourthasreasontobelievethattheaccusedisofunsoundmind,and
consequentlyincapableofmakinghisorherdefence,thecourthasadutytoinquireintohisorher
mental state.857If the court is of the opinion that the accused is of unsound mind, and upon
considerationoftherecord,theMinisterofJusticeandConstitutionalAffairsmay,bywarrantunder
his or her hand, order that the accused be confined as a criminal lunatic in a mental hospital or
othersuitableplaceofcustodyandthecourtshallgivesuchdirectionsnecessarytocarryoutthat
order.858Moreover, the Prisons Act, 2006 provides that insane and mentally abnormal persons
shall not be detained in prison and arrangements shall be made to remove them to a mental
hospitalassoonaspossible.859

The United Nations Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for the
ImprovementofMentalHealthCare,providethateverymentallyillpersonhastherighttoreceive
health and social care appropriate for his or her health needs, and is also entitled to care and
treatmentinaccordancewiththesamestandardsasotherillpersons,860andthateverymentallyill
personhastherighttobetreatedintheleastrestrictiveenvironmentandwiththeleastrestrictive
or intrusive treatment appropriate to the patients health needs and the need to protect the
physicalsafetyofothers.861

Despite these provisions, persons with mental illness continue to be detained in prisons. As of
December2014,38inmateswereawaitingMinistersOrders,theearliesthavingbeencommittedin
1999.However,significantprogresshasbeenregisteredin2015.First,inJune2015fourcasefiles
were forwardedtothe Minister ofJusticeandConstitutionalAffairs and appropriate orderswere

854FoundationforHumanRightsInitiativeandPenalReformInternational,WhoareWomenPrisoners?Survey

ResultsfromUganda,July2015,p.8.

855Ibid.,p.8.

856ThesurveywascarriedoutinLuziraWomensPrison,KigoWomensPrison,KasangatiPrison,

ButuntumulaPrison,JinjaWomensPrison,GuluWomensPirson,MasakaPrison,NakasongolaPrisonand
KaugaPrison.
857S.45(1)oftheTrialOnIndictmentsAct,Cap.23.
858Ibid.,S.45(5).
859S.74(1)ofthePrisonsAct,2006.
860Principle8(1)oftheUnitedNationsPrinciplesfortheProtectionofPersonswithMentalIllnessandforthe
ImprovementofMentalHealthCare,adoptedatthe75thplenarymeetingoftheGeneralAssemblyon17th
December1991.
861ibid.,Principle9(1).

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197

issued accordingly. Second, a landmark court ruling delivered on 10th July 2015 stripped the
Ministerofpowerstoreleasementallyillprisoners.862Hon.JusticeBatemaheldthatwherethetrial
courtmakesaspecialfindingthatthesuspectisnotguiltybyreasonofbeinginsane,thejudgemust
make special orders as to the discharge or continued incarceration of the prisoner in an
appropriateplace.HefurtherorderedthatallcasefilesofinmatespendingMinistersOrdersshould
bepresentedbeforecourtsofcompetentjurisdictionfordischargeorotherappropriateorders.

10.8 JUVENILEOFFENDERS

TheUNConventionontheRightsoftheChild,1990(CRC)stipulatesthatnochildshallbedeprived
ofhisorherlibertyunlawfullyorarbitrarily,andthatlawfuldetentionshallbeusedonlyasalast
resortandfortheshortestappropriateperiodoftime.863TheCRCfurtherstatesthateverychild
deprivedoflibertyshallbeseparatedfromadultsunlessitisconsideredinthechildsbestinterest
nottodoso.864

TheConstitutionfurtherprovidesthatachildoffenderwhoiskeptinlawfulcustodyordetention
shallbekeptseparatelyfromadultoffenders.865ThisprovisionisrestatedinthePrisonRegulations,
2012totheeffectthatapersonappearingtobeayoungperson,whethermaleorfemale,shallbe
kept apart as far as practicable from an adult prisoner and confined in a separate building or a
separatepartoftheprison.866

Notwithstandingtheseprovisions,juvenileoffenderscontinuetobedetainedwithadults.Attimes,
thepolicerecordsinaccurateagesonthefileinordertoavoidtheseparation.

CaseStudy11Juvenilesdetainedinprison

FindingsfromFHRIsvisittoMuinainaPrisonon16thSeptember2014.

Kato,17years
Iwasarrestedon2ndMarch2013onchargesofrape.IwastakentoMubendeCourtandthereafterremanded
toKaweeriPrisonandfinallycommittedtoMuinainaPrisonon18thJuly2013.Ihavespentclosetooneyear
indetention.

Nyanzi,17years
Iwasarrestedon2ndJune2013andtakentoMubendePoliceStationonchargesofrapeandsenttoMubende
CourtwhereIwasremandedtoKaweeriPrisonandfinallycommittedtoMuinainaPrisonon18thJuly2013.
TheKatikirosaretherebiggestproblembecausetheytortureusandbeatusup.Theotherproblemisthat
weeachhaveoneblanket,howeversometimestheseniorscomeandtakeourssoweareforcedtosleepon
ouruniforms.

Yowana,16years
IwasarrestedfromKigandaPolicePostandtakentoMubendePoliceStation.LatertheytookmetoMubende
CourtwhereIwasremandedtoMuinainaPrisononthe8thAugust2014onchargesofdefilement.Mymost
pressingissuesarethebullyingandtorturebyfellowinmates.Theyeventookmyblanket.Theotherproblem
isoverworking.IfeelIamworkingtoomuch.

862BushoboroziEricv.Uganda,HighCourtofUgandaatFortPortal,10thJuly2015.
863Article37(b)oftheConventionontheRightsoftheChild,1990.
864ibid.

865Article34(6)oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.
866Regulation27(6)ofthePrisonRegulations,2012.

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Fred,15years
IwasarrestedonchargesofrobberyandremandedtoMuinainaPrison.Ihavebarelyspentaweekhere.My
problemwiththisprisonisthetorturebyfellowinmates.

Hakim,17years
Iwasarrestedonchargesofrobberyon14thSeptember2013.AmobwantedtokillmethinkingIwasathief
of spare parts. The army intervened and rescued me. They took me to Mubende Army Barracks and then
MubendePoliceStation.IwaslatertakentocourtandcommittedtoMuinainaPrison.

Kato, Nyanzi and Hakim had already been committed to High Court, and following FHRIs findings, the
Magistrateorderedthattheyundergoamedicalexamination.YowanaandFredwerereleasedonbailfollowing
FHRIsvisit.

At Nakasongola Prison, three inmates alleged to be minors.867FHRI implored the authorities to


subjectthemtoamedicalexaminationandonlyonewasfoundtobeaminor.However,duetothe
lackofaremandhome,hewasremandedpendingthenextHighCourtsession.

AtSentemaPrison,onejuvenilewasfoundindetention.868FHRIcontactedhisfatherwhoproduced
hisbirthcertificateprovinghewasaminorandhewaslaterreleased.

At Butuntumula Prison, one suspected juvenile was found in detention.869Attempts to have a


medicalexaminationcarriedoutwerefutilebecausetheOfficerinChargeinsistedthatthesuspect
waslying.

AtKitalaPrison,twoinmatesallegedtobejuveniles.870Uponreportingthecaseofthefirstjuvenile,
theOfficerinChargeimmediatelyassignedthewelfareofficertohandlethematter.Inafollowup
callaweeklater,theinmatewastransferredtoMurchison Bay Prison fortreatmentandhiscase
referredbacktopolicetoascertainhistrueage.Thesecondjuvenilehadacourthearingscheduled
forthenextdayatwhichhewasconvictedandsenttoKampiringisaRehabilitationCentre.

AtMityanaPrison,twosuspectedjuvenileswerefoundindetention.871Whenthesetwocaseswere
broughttotheattentionoftheOfficerinCharge,itwasreportedthatoneoftheinmateswassent
for medical examination upon admission to Mityana Prison and found to be 18 years of age. The
otherinmatewasalsosentformedicalexamination.

At Entebbe Police Station, two suspects alleged to be juveniles were found in detention together
withadults.872TheOfficerinChargeoftheCriminalInvestigationDepartment(OCCID)promisedto
followuponthetwocasesandthesuspectswerelaterreleasedonpolicebond.

AtHoimaPoliceStation,twosuspectsallegedtobejuvenileswerefoundindetentiontogetherwith
adults.873ThefirstsuspecthadhiscasediscussedwiththeOfficerinChargeandthechargeswere

867FHRIinterviewswithinmatesatNakasongolaPrisonon23rdSeptember2014.
868FHRIinterviewswithinmatesatSentemaPrisonon10thSeptember2014.

869FHRIinterviewswithinmatesatButuntumulaPrisonon1stOctober2014.
870FHRIinterviewswithinmatesatKitalaPrisonon12thMay2015.

871FHRIinterviewswithinmatesatMityanaPrisonon26thMay2015.

872FHRIinterviewswithsuspectsatEntebbePoliceStationon15thJune2015.
873FHRIinterviewswithsuspectsatHoimaPoliceStationon25thJune2015.

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199

dropped. The Officer in Charge, however, noted that the suspect is a Rwandese national and
allegedly entered the country illegally. Because they still had an immigration case against the
suspect,theyrefusedtoreleasehim.Forthesecondsuspect,theOCCIDexplainedthatthesuspect
had been taken to court, but could not be tried in the absence of the probation officer who was
expectedbackinthefollowingweek.

DuringFHRIsvisittoGuluPrisonon8thApril2015,severalinmatessuspectedtobejuvenileswere
detected.TheDeputyOfficerinCharge,ZaidGwakibe,confirmedthatanumberofinmatesclaimed
to be juveniles. He explained that in cases where an inmate claims to be a juvenile, he or she is
taken for medical checkup or the prison officers liaise with the relatives about their birth
certificates.OCGwakibenotedthatincollaborationwithPAS,alistofallsuspectedjuvenileswas
compiled and submitted to court to have the inmates reexamined. A list of all alleged juvenile
inmates detained at Gulu Prison as at June 2015 was availed by PAS. According to this list, 84
inmates were between the ages of 15 and 17. The list awaits court determination. One of the
inmateswhoclaimedtobe16yearsold,narratedhisordeal:

My teacher arrested me together with four other friends from Pabo Secondary School
allegedlyfortheftofasolarbatterychargeron6thMarch2015.Iwasaseniortwostudent.On
arrest,IwastakentoPaboPolicePostfor4daysandthentakentoAmuruPoliceStationfor
anotherfourdays.ThereafterIwastakentocourtinGuluandchargedwiththeft.Inallthe
police cells I was detained with adults. I told both police and prison about my age but they
neverputitintoconsideration.874

Anotherinmate,whoregardlessofbeingconfirmedtobe16yearsolduponmedicalexamination
wasstilldetainedatGuluPrison,stated:

The police arrested me on 23rd February 2015 from Atiak subcounty in Amuru district for
defilementofa15yearoldgirl.Iwasinlovewiththegirlbutwehadneverhadsex.Onarrest,
IwastakentoAtiakPoliceStationfor4daysandthereaftertakentoGuluCourtandcharged
withdefilement.IwasthenremandedtoGuluPrisonwhereIhavespentoveramonthsofar.
At police I told them my age and I was even taken for medical examination. The doctor
confirmed that I was 16, but I do not know whether the results were included on the court
file.875

Mostofthejuvenilesfoundindetentioninprisonshadmedicalformsthatindicatedthattheywere
18 years and above. This can partly be attributed to the use of rudimentary methods of age
assessment such as counting teeth and existence of pubic hair.The justice system often relies on
these methods as many juveniles lack birth certificates. Article 18 of the Constitution obliges the
stateandparentstoregisterthebirthofchildren,howeverduetoanumberofreasonssuchaslack
ofresourcestoconductregistration,andmostbirthsoccurringawayfromhealthfacilities,veryfew
birthsareregistered.

Even when suspects are identified as juveniles, they are not always separated from adults.
Detention of juveniles with adults both at police and in prison is mainly attributed to the
inadequatenumberofremandhomesacrossthecountry.Currently,thereare6functionalremand
homes.876Kampiringisa National Rehabilitation Centre is the only referral child rehabilitation

874FHRIinterviewatGuluPrisonon8thApril2015.
875ibid.

876Naguru,Mbale,Gulu,FortPortal,AruaandIhungu.Kabaleisunderconstruction.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

centreinthecountry.AccordingtoGraceKatusiime,effortsareunderwaytobuildmoreremands
homes.Guidelinestodecongestremandhomesarebeingformulatedaswell:

ItwasagreedbyJLOSthatjuveniledetentioncellsshouldbebuiltinallpolicestationsacross
thecountry.Wearealsointheprocessofdevelopingdiversionguidelinestohelpdivertminor
casesfromthesystem.Wehavediscoveredthatthemajorityofthecasesintheremandhomes
are petty and suspects should ordinarily be cautioned and left to go. This will help save
governmentresourcesandtimeforboththejudicialofficersandthejuveniles.Ataskforcewas
appointedandsofartheyhavecomeupwiththefirstdraft,weexpectthattheguidelineswill
beoutbyJune2015.877

She noted that as a Ministry, they are advocating for a special High Court session for juvenile
offenderstodisposeofftheircasefilesexpeditiously.PioneersessionswereorganisedinNakawa
andKampalainDecember2014.878

10.9 CONCLUSION

Despite measures adopted by the UPS to improve prison conditions across the country, the over
crowdingcontinuestounderminetheseefforts.Theuseofbucketsanddetentionofjuvenileswith
adultsrequiredecisiveactionaswell.

10.10RECOMMENDATIONS

TotheMinistryofFinanceandEconomicDevelopment:
1. AllocatemorebudgetaryresourcestoboththeUgandaPrisonsServiceandtheUganda
2.
PoliceForcetoimproveinfrastructureandthequalityofdetentionfacilitiesandservices.

TotheUgandaLawReformCommission:
1. AmendtheTrialIndictmentAct,Cap.23toconferthepowersoftheMinisterinrespectof
issuingordersforinmateswithmentalillnesstothejudiciaryinlinewiththeHighCourt
rulinginBushoboroziEricv.Uganda.

TotheMinistryofGender,LabourandSocialDevelopment:
2.
1. Constructmoreremandhomesatleasttoaratioofoneremandhomepersubregionto
avoiddetainingjuvenileswithadults.

877Atthetimeofwritingofthisreport,theguidelineswerenotissuedyet.FHRIinterviewwithMs.Grace

Katusiime,PrincipleOfficerinChargeofProbationServicesandJuveniles,MinistryofGender,Labourand
SocialDevelopmenton17thFebruary2015.
878ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

201

PROHIBITIONAGAINSTTORTURE,CRUEL,INHUMANOR
DEGRADINGTREATMENTORPUNISHMENT

11.1 INTRODUCTION
TheUnitedNationsConventionagainstTortureandOtherCruel,InhumanorDegradingTreatmentor
Punishment,1984(CAT) defines torture as: any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether
physicalormental,isintentionallyinflictedonapersonforsuchpurposesasobtainingfromhimor
a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has
committedorissuspectedofhavingcommitted,orintimidatingorcoercinghimorathirdperson,
orforanyreasonbasedondiscriminationofanykind,whensuchpainorsufferingisinflictedbyor
attheinstigationoforwiththeconsentoracquiescenceofapublicofficialorotherpersonactingin
an official capacity.879According to this definition, acts of physical or mental suffering cannot
constitutetorturewithouteithertheconsentordirectinvolvementofapublicofficial.

BoththeCATandtheICCPRprohibittortureandrecognisethefreedomfromtortureasanabsolute
and nonderogable right. For instance, Article 7 of the ICCPR provides that no one shall be
subjectedtotorture,cruel,inhumanordegradingtreatmentorpunishment. InGeneralComment
No. 20, the UN Human Rights Committee noted that the aim of Article 7 is to protect the dignity,
physicalandmentalintegrityoftheindividual.880ThetextofArticle7allowsnolimitation,andthe
Committee reaffirms that even in situations of public emergency, no derogation from this
provisionisallowed.881

At the national level, the Constitutionguarantees the freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman and
degrading treatment or punishment and also recognises it as a nonderogable right.882This
provision is enforced by the PreventionandProhibitionofTortureAct,2012. The Act defines and
criminalisestorture,therebyguaranteeingtherespectforhumandignity,andensuringindividual
criminalliabilityoftheperpetratorsoftorture,amongothers.TheActexpandstheactoftorturein
Ugandatoactscommittedbyprivatepersonswithouttheinvolvementofpublicofficials.

11.2 TORTURETRENDS

TheConstitutionmandatesUHRCtohearcasesoftortureandhumanrightsabuses.883Accordingto
the 17th UHRC annual human rights report, cases of torture allegations constituted 32.5% of the
totalcomplaintsregisteredin2014.884

879Article1oftheConventionAgainstTortureandotherCruel,InhumanorDegradingTreatmentor

Punishment,26thJune1987.

880UNHumanRightsCommittee,GeneralCommentNo.20onArticle7oftheInternationalCovenantonCivil

andPoliticalRights,1994,par.2.

881ibid.,par.3.

882Article24oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.
883ibid.,Article52.

884UgandaHumanRightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,2014,p.20.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Table12:TorturecomplaintsregisteredbytheUHRCbyregionin2014
No Region
Numberofcomplaints
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Total

Arua
Central
Gulu
FortPortal
Soroti
Mbarara
Hoima
Moroto
Jinja
Masaka
Uganda

32
39
22
48
31
23
34
18
58
52
357

(Source:UHRC17thAnnualReport,p.19)

Complaints on the violation of the right to freedom from torture and illtreatment increased by
30.76%in2014.MostcomplaintsregisteredwereagainststateagentswiththeUPFtoppingthelist
at202complaints(Table13).885

Table13:Perpetratorsoftorture,cruel,inhumanordegradingtreatmentin2014
No Perpetrator
Numberofcomplaints
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Total

UgandaPoliceForce
UgandaPeoplesDefenceForces
Privateindividuals
UgandaPrisonsService
UgandaWildLifeAuthority
LocalGovernment
Educationalinstitutions
Privatesecurity
KCCA
ClanLeaders
GuluRemandHome
Uganda

202
74
28
26
8
7
5
4
1
1
1
357

(Source:UHRC17thAnnualreport,p.19)

The African Centre for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) received and
treated1154newvictimsoftorturein2014(Table14).886Themajorityoftorturevictimsreceived
byACTVweremale(69.9%).

885ibidp.19.

886TheACTVisaUgandanNGOthatprovidesphysicalandpsychologicalcareandlegaladvicetosupportthe

processofrehabilitationofvictimsoftortureinUganda.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

203

Table14:Numberofnewsurvivorsoftorturereceivedin2014
Gender

Male
Female
Total
Gender

Male
Female
Total
GrandTotal

Jan
6
4
10
Jan
21
26
47
57

Feb
30
35
65

Feb
80
0
80
145

Mar
71
43
114

Mar
43
3
46
160

KampalaCentre
Jul
Aug
Sept
20
11
20
13
10
19
33
21
39
GuluCentre
Apr May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
15
44
36
48
93
8
0
23
0
0
19
1
15
67
36
48
122
9
103 147
80
81
143
48
(Source:ACTVAnnualReport2014,p.4)
Apr
62
26
88

May
53
27
80

Jun
19
25
44

Oct
17
20
37

Oct
13
12
25
62

Nov
5
27
32
Nov
43
0
43
75

Dec
4
5
9

Dec
45
9
54
63

Total
318
254
572

Total
489
93
582
1154

%
56
44
100

%
83.2
16.8
100
100

Analysisofthetotalcomplaintsoverthepastfiveyearsshowsthattortureisthehighestregistered
complaint with a total of 1,637 complaints registered.887In 2014, the UHRC registered 357
complaintsoftorture,cruel,inhumanordegradingtreatmentorpunishment,whichwasthesecond
highest complaint after detention beyond 48 hours, constituting 30.76% of all complaints in
2014.888

Figure24:TorturetrendsinUganda(20102014)
428

450
400
350
300
250
200

276

303

273

357

150
100
50
0

2010

2011

2012

2013

(Source:UHRC17thAnnualReport,p.19)

2014

In 2014, the compensation awarded to victims of human rights violations totalled UGX 993.8
million889ofwhichthehighesttribunalawardswerecompensationfortheviolationoftherightto
freedom from torture and illtreatment.890Unlike in the past, where compensation awards were
madeagainsttheAttorneyGeneral,underthePreventionandProhibitionofTortureAct,2012,such
awardscanbemadeagainstindividualperpetratorsoftorture.891However,thegovernmentshould
set up a Victims Compensation Fund to ensure timely compensation of torture victims where the
accusedperpetratorsarestateagentswhoareunabletopaythecompensation.In2014,theUHRC
awardedUGX1,495,102,759892totorturevictimsofwhichonlyUGX999,323,093893waspaid.894

887UgandaHumanrightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,2014,p.20.
888ibid.,p.19.

889Equivalentto301,311USDollars.

890UgandaHumanRightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,2014,p.44.
891S.6ofthePreventionandProhibitionofTortureAct,2012.
892Equivalentto453,302USDollars.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA


In the course of this research, FHRI noted more cases of torture in 2014 than in 2015 both in
prisonsandpolice.Inprisonsmanyofthetortureallegationswereagainstprisonwardensandthe
katikiros.AninmateatKitalyaPrisonrelayshisexperience:

I was arrested in December 2011 from Gayaza and taken to Nabweru Police Station. I was
latertakentoNabweruChiefMagistratesCourtandchargedwithdefilement.Iwasthereafter
remanded to Luzira Upper Prison where I spent one year and eleven months. I was later
transferredtoMurchisonBay,LuzirawhereIspenttwomonths.On28thJanuary2014,Iwas
transferredtoKitalyaPrison.Iwasbadlybeatenupbytheprisonstaffwhilewewereoutat
the farm. They said I was digging slowly. My left leg and rib cage were badly bruised in the
processandIcannotwalkstraightnow.895

AnotherinmateatKitalyaPrisonnarratesasimilarexperience:

Iwasarrestedon20thJanuary2012fromSalamazoneinKampalaonallegationsofdefiling
aneightyearoldgirl.IwastakentoKibuyePoliceStationwhereIwasdetainedfor20days.I
was later taken to Makindye Court and remanded to Luzira Prison. On 28th January 2014, I
wastransferredtoKitalyaPrison.DuringmyfirstweekatKitalyaPrison,Iwasbeatenbythe
Katikirowhilewewereoutatthefarmandhebruisedmykneebone.Itriedtofightbackbut
Bogere,aprisonwarder,furtherhitmeonmybacksoIbecamedefenceless.Iwasthentaken
back to the prison because I could not work anymore. My friend Joshua gave me Panadol. I
laterattemptedtolodgeacomplaintwiththeOfficerinChargebutheonlyretortedthat:that
is how stubborn prisoners are treated, it is just the beginning. I have not received any
treatmentsincetheincident.IrequestedforatransfertoLuziraPrisontoreceivetreatment
butIhavenotreceivedanyfeedbacksince.896

AthirdinmateatKitalyaPrisonsustainedabrokenfingerasaresultofcorporalpunishment:

Iwasarrestedon23rdOctober2012bytwopoliceofficersinKitetika,Gayazaanddetainedat
Kasangati Police Station for two weeks on allegations of defiling a nine year old girl from
school. I was later taken to Kasangati District Court, charged with defilement and then
remandedtoMurchisonBayPrisonLuzirafortwoyears.On28thJanuary2014,Iwasbrought
toKitalyaPrisonFarm.Oneoftheprisonofficers,AfandeEtyangbeatmeupwhileatthefarm
andbrokemyfinger.Ihavenotreceivedanymedicalassistance,yetIstillgoouttodig.897

OneinmatesattemptedescapefromKitalyaPrisonprovedtohavesevereconsequences:

I was arrested on 11th November 2013 in Kanoni for stealing a cow. I was detained at
Bugobango PoliceStationforonedayandlatertransferredtoKanoniPolicestationfortwo
weeks.IwaslatertakentocourtatKanoniMagistratesCourtandsentencedto30months.I
waslatertakentoKanoniPrison.However,on6thDecember2013,IwastransferredtoKitalya
Prisonandhavesofarbeenhereforninemonths.Ionceattemptedtoescapewhileoutatthe
farm.WhenIwascaught,theprisonofficialsorderedmyfellowinmatestobeatmeup.Ihave

893Equivalentto302,986USDollars.

894UgandaHumanRightsCommission,17thAnnualReport,pp.263267.

895FHRIinterviewwithaninmateinKitalyaPrisonon15thAugust2014.
896ibid.
897ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

205

sincedevelopedcomplicationsandIcurrentlyurinateblood.Ihaverequestedtobetakenfor
treatmentbutmyappealhasfallenondeafears.898

Atpolice,manysuspectsallegedtohavebeentorturedduringarrest.InOctober2014,asuspectat
LuweeroPoliceStationsustainedseriousinjuriesfollowingactsoftorturebypoliceofficers:

Iwasarrestedon7thOctober2014fromLukinziforallegedlystealingacow.Iwasnotaware
thatthecowwasstolen.Iwasarrestedintheprocessofsellingit.Duringthearrest,thepolice
started beating me up using their guns. Afterwards, they brought me to Luweero Police
Station.899

FHRI

Injuries sustained by a suspect at Luweero Police Station following acts of torture


perpetratedagainsthim

AtthetimeofFHRIsvisittoLuweeroPoliceStation,thissuspectwasbleedingandlyinghelplessin
thecell.Hehaddifficultywalkingandtalking.Hishead,armsandlegswereswollenasaresultof
thetorture.Hehadalsosustainedacutonthehead,whichwasallegedlycausedbythepolicewhen
theystabbedhimwiththegun.900Oninquiringaboutthetorture,theOfficerinChargeofLuweero
PoliceStationinformedFHRIthathewasbeatenbecausehetriedtoresistarrest,therebyinjuring
thepolicemanwhoarrestedhim.901

898ibid.

899FHRIinterviewatLuweeroPoliceStationon7thOctober2014.
900FHRIinterviewatLuweeroPoliceStationon7thOctober2014.
901FHRIinterviewwithASPElwaruEugeneon7thOctober2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Another suspect at Luweero Police Station was threatened and tortured upon arrest for not
disclosingthewhereaboutsofthemotorbikeheallegedlystole:

IwasarrestedforrobberyfrommyhouseinKikyuusaon3rdOctober2014.Afriendhadkept
hismotorcyclepartsatmyhome.Whenhewasarrested,thepolicecamewithhimtomyhome
topickthespareparts,andIwasalsoarrested.Duringarrestoneofthepoliceofficersputa
gun in my mouth and threatened to kill me if I did not show them where the frame of the
motorcycle was. When I failed to disclose the whereabouts of the frame, the police beat me
withthebuttofthegunandstabbedmewiththeknife.902

At the time of FHRIs visit to Luweero Police Station, the suspect had wounds all over his body,
allegedlycausedbythebeatingandstabbing.Hesayshenowhasdifficultiessleeping,eatingand
goingtothetoilet.

AsuspectatKawempePoliceStationallegedtohavebeentorturedbyaflyingsquadofficer:

I was arrested on 6th November 2014 from my house in Nankuwadde by flying squad. They
pickedmeupataround5:00amandIwastakentotheflyingsquadofficesatKawempePolice
Station.Theyaskedmeaboutagun,whichIdidnotknowabout.Itriedtoexplainthistothem,
but they insisted and started beating me. I was tortured from 6:00 am to 8:00 am. I was
handcuffedandbeatenonmylegsandbackusingbatonsbyflyingsquadofficers.903

AtthetimeofFHRIsvisitinNovember2014,hehadbruisesonhislegsthatwerecausedbythe
handcuffs.Hefurtherassertedthatafterthetorturehecouldnotwalksohewaspulledintothecell
andnevergivenanytreatment.Fourdayslatertheyaskedhimtotakethemtothepersonwhohad
thegun.Outoffearofbeingtorturedagainheimplicatedanotherresidentwhowasarrestedthat
night.904

Another suspect at Kawempe Police Station also alleged to have been beaten by flying squad
officersatKawempePoliceStation:

IwasarrestedfrommyhouseinNankuwaddeon11thNovember2014byflyingsquad.They
broke into my home at around 3am while I was sleeping. I initially thought that they were
thievesbutlaterrealisedthattheywerepoliceofficersandthattheyhadcometoarrestme.
WhentheyenteredmyhousetheyaskedforBukenyaIsmawhomIdonotknow.Ishowedthem
my identification but they still insisted that I was the one they were looking for. I was not
beatenduringarrest,butonreachingKawempePoliceStation,theystartedbeatingmeusing
rubbersticksandbatons.905

Withregardtoallegationsoftorturebypolice,Twaruhukwaexpressedshockattheseallegations
andcommittedtofollowupthematterwiththeCommandantFlyingSquad:

Atnoonetimecantorturebejustified.Evidenceobtainedbytortureisinadmissibleincourts
of law. So it defeats the purpose. As the UPF we have consistently trained police officers,

902FHRIinterviewatLuweroPoliceStationon7thOctober2014.

903FHRIinterviewatKawempePoliceStationon6thNovember2014.
904ibid.

905Ibid.AtthetimeofFHRIsvisit,hehadbruisesonhislegsandback.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

207

however, there is needfor more retrainings to ensure better compliance with human rights
standards.IwilldefinitelyfollowupthismatterwiththeheadoftheFlyingSquadunit.906

Owomugisha,however,dispelledallallegationsagainsthisunit:

Those allegations are false. I have zero tolerance for torture. There is no way this could
happenwithoutmyknowledge.907

HealsocommittedhimselftofollowingupontheseallegationsandrequestedforFHRIsassistance
inhighlightingsuchcasestoensureathoroughinvestigationintothematter.908

Allegations of torture at the hands of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) officials were also
notedin2014.AninmateatBusaanaPrisonnarrateshisordeal:

Iwasarrestedon7thJuly2014bythe[KCCA]officialsonallegationsofbeinganuisanceinthe
community.IwassellingsomecommoditiesbytheroadsidewhenIwasarrestedbytheKCCA
enforcementofficersandtakentocityhallbeforebeingtakentoCentralPoliceStation(CPS)
where I spent two days. I was tortured and beaten by the enforcement officer, reason being
thatIhadbeencarryingoutillegalbusinessintown.Ineverreceivedanyformofmedication
afterthebeatings.IwaslatertransferredtoBusaanaPrisonwhereIhavesofarspentthree
monthsindetention.909

Inabidtoraiseawarenessanddevisewaysofcurbingthispracticeinbothprisonsandpolice,FHRI
engagedtheUgandaPrisonsServiceandtheUgandaPoliceForceadministrations.Thewillingness
depicted by both institutions to dialogue and address the issues raised has resulted in positive
improvements.Forinstance,followingFHRIsmeetingwithprisoncommissionersandtheOfficerin
Charge of Kitalya Prison at UPS headquarters on 25th March 2015, there has been a significant
improvementinthetreatmentofinmatesintheprison.910WhenFHRIvisitedKitalyaPrisonagain
inJuly2015,theinmatesapplaudedFHRIsinterventionandnotedthatthehumanrightssituation
in Kitalya Prison had changed immensely with better observance of inmates rights and the
introduction of a human rights committee.911Inmates have noted a significant reduction in the
occurrenceoftortureandcorporalpunishmentattheprisonsincethen.

Despite these improvements, FHRI received allegations relating to torture, cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment in 2015. For instance, in Busaana Prison, several inmates
allegedtobetorturedwhileworkingonthefarms:

Iwasarrestedon9thApril2015fromKangulumiraandtakentoKayungaPoliceStationon
allegationsoftheft.Iwastakentocourton15thApril2015andremandedtoBusaanaPrison.

906FHRIinterviewwithMr.ErasmusTwaruhukwa,AssistantInspectorGeneralofPoliceandAg.Director,

DirectorateofHumanRightsandLegalServiceson19thMarch2014.
907FHRIinterviewwithMr.HermanOwomugisha,thenCommandant,UgandaPoliceFlyingSquadon10th
November2014.
908Ibid.
909FHRIinterviewatBusaanaPrisonon2ndSeptember2014.
910MeetingwithMrW.J.Kururagyire,CommissionerofPrisons,MsElizabethNanfuka,Assistant
CommissionerofPrisons,MrVictorAiok,AssistantCommissionerofPrisons,andMrFredKayongo,Officerin
ChargeofKitalyaPrison.
911FHRIinterviewswithinmatesatKitalyaPrisonon21stJuly2015.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

WearetorturedbyprisonofficersandtheKatikiroswhileworkingonthefarms.Theybeatus
uponadailybasis.912

Another inmate at Busaana Prison also narrated his experience of being beaten frequently by
Katikiros:

I was arrested on 21st July 2015 and taken to Kayunga Police Station on allegations of
trespass.Onthesameday,IwastakentocourtandremandedtoBusaanaPrison.Theprison
officers send the Katikiros to beat us every day. For example, I was beaten today morning
when we returned from the farm because we had missed out water for showering. I have a
problemwithmyspinalcordbuttheycontinuetobeatmeinthesameplace,makingmyinjury
worse.913

Torture was also noted in Muinaina Prison. During FHRIs visits to Muinaina Prison in 2013 and
2014, there were reports of torture. The Officer in Charge of Muinaina Prison was subsequently
removed.DuringFHRIsvisittoMuinainaPrisonon13thOctober2015,inmatesnotedthatafterthe
removaloftheoldOfficerinCharge,incidencesoftorturehaddeclined.ThenewOfficerinCharge,
KarubangaSemaate,didnotcondoneanyformoftorture.Theinmatesfurthernotedthathedidnot
permitinmatesonremandtoworkonthefarms.However,followinghistransfertoUpperPrison
Luzira,incidencesoftorturehaveresurfacedaccordingtotheinmates.Oneoftheinmatesnarrates
hisexperience:

All the time I spent on committal I was not being taken to the farm. Committals were not
supposedtodig,butwiththenewOC,hedecidedtotakeevencommittalstothefarm.Iwas
amongthecommittalsthatweretakentothefarmbutbecauseIwasnotusedtohardwork,I
collapsedduringwork.IwasbeatenbytheOCandIcollapsedagain.HethoughtthatIforged
thecollapsesohecanedme.OngainingmysensesIrealizedIhadbeenhandcuffedandlocked
inacellfilledwithwater.Iwasmadetostayinthecelluntilevening.AfterIwastoldthatI
wasnotsupposedtowearashirtagainandtodateIamnotallowedtoputonashirt.Icannot
sleepwellduetopainfromthewoundsIhaverequestedforbettertreatmentinLuzirabutthe
OCisstillreluctanttotransferme.914

Atthetimeoftheinterview,theinmatehadfreshwoundsalloverhisbodyandhewasnotwearing
his shirt. On follow up with the Officer in Charge, he said that he was aware of the case but he
denied torturing the inmate. Even after the inmate repeated his story in front of the Officer in
Charge,hestilldeniedtorturingtheinmate.TheOCsaidhewaswaitingforacarfromKampalato
providetransferoftheinmatetoLuzira.

AnotherinmatealsoaccusedthecurrentOfficerinCharge,ofactsoftortureinMuinainaPrison:

ThecurrentOChasbroughttortureintheprison.Weusedtohaveatorturefreelifebutwith
the current OC we are being tortured. Many prisoners who come from the farm, come back
with wounds. Katikiros cane them on orders of the officers. Some are detained from the
guardroomwhennaked.915

912FHRIinterviewatBusaanaPrisonon31stJuly2015.
913ibid.

914FHRIinterviewatMuinainaPrisonon13thOctober2015.
915ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

209

TheOfficerinChargerefutedtheallegationsoftortureandarmingKatikiroswithsticks.However
duringaninterviewwithhim,severalprisonerswereseenwalkingwithstickswithintheprison.

11.3 CONCLUSION

Acts of torture remain rife despite the enactment of the PreventionandProhibitionofTortureAct,


2012.Thelawshouldbeenforcedagainsterrantofficerstominimisethepractice.

11.4 RECOMMENDATIONS

Tothegovernment:
1. Adopt the Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act Regulations to operationalise the
PreventionandProhibitionofTortureAct,2012.
2. SetupaVictimsCompensationFundtoensuretimelycompensationoftorturevictims.
3. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984 to allow for independent
inspectionsinplacesofdetention.

TotheUgandaPoliceForce:
1. Adoptazerotolerancepolicytowardstortureamongpoliceofficers.

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RIGHTTOLIFE

12.1 INTRODUCTION
TheICCPRprovidesthattherighttolifeisafundamentalright.AccordingtotheICCPR,derogation
fromtherighttolifeisonlypermittedinexecutionofadeathpenaltycarriedoutpursuanttoafinal
judgement rendered by a competent court and only for the most serious crimes. 916 The
Constitutionreinforcesthis.Article22oftheConstitutionguaranteestherighttolifeexceptwherea
deathsentenceispassedinafairtrialbyacourtofcompetentjurisdictioninrespectofacriminal
offence, and such conviction and sentence have been confirmed by the highest appellate court.917
The Sentencing Guidelines further provide that the death penalty may only be imposed in the
rarestofrarecaseswhereothersentencingoptionsaredemonstrablyinadequate.918

The government has an obligation to both respect and protect the right to life. The obligation to
respect the right to life means that the government must refrain from unduly or arbitrarily
threateningthelivesofitscitizens.919Thisobligationmostsalientlyincludesrefrainingfromtheuse
oflethalforce,savewhereitisnecessaryforthedefenceofthepeople.920Theobligationtoprotect
the right to life means that the government must take measures to eliminate threats to citizens
lives,suchasthoseposedbycriminalelements.This,forinstance,requiresthestatetoinvestigate
extrajudicial killings and mob justice incidences promptly, thoroughly and effectively through
independentandimpartialbodies.921

12.2 DEATHPENALTY

InSusanKigula&417OthersvAttorneyGeneral,theSupremeCourtruledthatalllawsprovidingfor
a mandatory death sentence are unconstitutional and hence null and void.922Despite this court
ruling,thelawcontinuestoprovideforthemandatorydeathsentence.923ToimplementtheKigula
ruling, a bill was tabled in Parliament, titled The Law Revision (Penalties in Criminal Matters)
Miscellaneous Amendment Bill, 2015.924The bill was gazetted on 3rd November 2015 and is
awaitingdebateinParliament.

The Kigula ruling also required that death row inmates whose sentences arose from mandatory
sentencing, and whose cases are still pending before an appellate court, would have their cases

916Article6(1)and(2)oftheInternationalCovenantonCivilandPoliticalRights,1966.
917Article22oftheConstitutionoftheRepublicofUganda,1995.

918Guideline17oftheConstitution(SentencingGuidelinesforCourtsofJudicature)(practice)Directions,

2013.
919UnitedNationsGeneralAssembly,HumanRightsCouncil,WorkingGroupontheUniversalPeriodic
ReviewUniversalPeriodicReviewforUganda.AfricanCentreforTreatmentandRehabilitationofTorture
Victimsetal.,A/HRC/WG.6/12/UGA/1,2011.
920UnitedNationsHumanRightsCommittee,GeneralCommentNo.6onArticle6,(HRI\GEN\1\Rev.1),1994.
921UNHumanRightsCommittee,GeneralCommentNo.31onthenatureofthelegalobligationonStates
PartiestotheCovenant(CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.13),2004,par.15.
922SusanKigulaand417othersv.theAttorneyGeneral,ConstitutionalAppealNo.03of2006
923ThePenalCodeAct,Cap.120(asamendedin2005),theAntiTerrorismAct,2002(asamendedin2015),and
theUgandaPeoplesDefenceForcesAct,2005provideamandatorydeathsentenceforintotal28offences.
924TheBillseekstoreducethenumberofoffencespunishablebydeath,definelifeimprisonment,introduce
mitigationhearingsforcapitaloffendersandexemptvulnerablepersonssuchaswomenandtheelderlyfrom
thedeathsentence,amongothers.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

211

remitted to the High Court for mitigation hearings. A large number of former death row inmates
have since had their death penalty substituted with alternative sentences. For instance, in July
2014, 5 judges at the High Court in Kampala heard a total of 67 cases. This round of mitigation
hearingsresultedintheconfirmationof11deathsentences,3lifesentences,45custodialsentences
rangingfrom1560years,andthereleaseof8deathrowinmates.925In2015,sofar,2mitigation
hearings took place in the High Court of Kampala. As a result, two death row inmates had their
sentencesreducedto20and30yearsimprisonment.926

As a result of the mitigation hearings, the number of death row inmates has drastically reduced
overthepastyears.Forinstance,in2012,thenumberofinmatesondeathrowstillstoodat487
(377menand29women),whileasofNovember2015,thishasreducedto211(200maleand11
female).927

Figure25:NumberofdeathrowinmatesinUganda(20092015)

700
600
500
400
300
200

58

565

58

557

35

470

453

2011

2012

100
0

2009

2010

34

32
376

2013

(Source:UgandaPrisonsService)

18
274
2014

11

Women
Men

200
2015

Despite the last known execution in Ugandas civilian justice system dating from 1999, courts
continuetoawardnewdeathsentences.In2014,fournewdeathsentenceswereawarded(Figure
25).928Threepersonsweresentencedtodeathformurderandonepersonwassentencedtodeath
foraggravateddefilement.In2015,sofar,3deathsentenceshavebeenawarded,twoformurder
andoneforaggravateddefilement.929

925FHRIsmonitoringofthemitigationhearingsbetween15th22ndJuly2014.

926InformationprovidedbytheOfficerinChargeofLuziraWomenPrison,SPNabunyaStella,on29thJuly

2015.

927InformationprovidedbytheOfficerinChargeofUpperPrisonLuzira,ACPMagomuWilson,on19th

November2015andOfficerinChargeofLuziraWomenPrison,SPNabunyaStella,on2ndNovember2015.

928JusticeWilsonMuseneatEntebbeHighCourtawardedtwosentenceson15thJanuary2014toEmmanuel

DrazuaandMuhammadKawooyainseparatemurdercases.FrancisSsaliwassentencedtodeathformurder
andarsonon8thMay2014andJosephOmalewassentencedtodeathforaggravateddefilementatSorotiHigh
Courton4thJuly2014.
929InMarch2015,TheHighCourtofLuweerosentencedKamugishaMusaAlitodeathforaggravated
defilement,andinApril2015,KamanyaYokobyaandEsivaSekuweresentencedtodeathformurderbythe
HighCourtinPallisa

212

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Figure26:DeathsentencesawardedinUgandasince2009
8
7

8
7
6
5
4

2
1
0

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

(Source:UgandaPrisonsService)

2015

Notwithstandingthecontinueduseofthedeathpenalty,inDecember2014,Ugandaabstainedfrom
votingfororagainstaglobalmoratoriumonexecutionsattheUNGeneralAssembly.Before2014,
UgandaconsistentlyvotedagainsttheresolutionMoratoriumontheuseofthedeathpenalty.This
impliesapositivechangeinattitudetowardsabolishingthedeathpenalty.

12.3 EXTRAJUDICIALKILLINGS

Extrajudicialkillingsaredeliberateandunlawfulkillingscarriedoutbyorderofastateauthority
orwithitsacquiescence.Thisdefinitionissometimesextendedtoactsbyvigilantegroups,terrorist
cellsorrevolutionarymovements.

Incidencesofextrajudicialkillingspersist.Forinstance,on4thFebruary2015,theOCofKajumbiro
Police Station in Gomba district, Corporal Augustine Lwamirama, shot two civilians, killing one
VincentKizza(28yearsold)instantly,andinjuringtheother,KalanziMosesMusisi(27yearsold).
AccordingtoKalanziMoses:

IwasinKajumbirotowninacinemahallwhenIwascalledtosettleadisputebetweentwo
friendswhowereinvolvedinafight.AsIwastryingtosettletheissueIheardgunshotsand
peoplewerescattering.ItisatthispointthatIrealizedthatIhadbeenshot.Oneofmyfriends
who had been fighting brought a car and they drove me and Vincent to the hospital, but
Vincent died along the way in Maddu. The bullet tore my abdomen apart exposing all my
intestinesbutthedoctorsoperatedonmeandIamnowimproving.930

Lwamirawasarrestedandchargedwithmurderandattemptedmurder.Heiscurrentlyonremand
atKigoPrison.

Incidencesofattacksbyvigilantegroupshavealsobeennotedduringtheperiodunderreview.On
5thJuly2014,anumberofsmall,organisedfighterslaunchedthirteenattacksagainstpolice,army

930FHRIinterviewatKajumbiroinGombadistricton10thFebruary2015.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

213

and business buildings in Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Ntoroko districts in the Rwenzori region.931
Between5thand10thJuly,securityforcesandrivaltribesactedviolentlyinreprisal.InKirumyasub
county,SubCountyInternalSecurityOfficers(GISOs)andvigilantesreportedlykilled7peoplewith
machetesinanopenspacebyavideohall.932Intotal,atleast96peoplewerekilledintheviolence,
including five policemen, five UPDF soldiers, and 86 civilians a grave violation of the right to
life.933

On28thJuly,aBakonzogroupclaimedresponsibilityforthe5Julyattacks.Motivationscitedinclude
tribal land conflicts, high Bakonzo unemployment rates, and the refusal of President Museveni to
meet with Bakonzo elders.934The government promised amnesty to suspected attackers on the
condition that they would surrender and undergo a psychosocial amnesty programme. Five
hundred and fortytwo people underwent the amnesty programme and received amnesty
certificates on 23rd September 2014.935The programme graduates have since organized as the
Rwenzori Nuyo Youth Patriotism Association and called for an independent inquiry into the
violence.936

Followingtheattacks,anumberofpoliceofficerswerealsoaccusedofinvolvementintheattacks.
Among others, there were allegations of selective communication of information leading to
inadequate responses by the police to attacks. 937 The Police Professional Standards Unit
investigatedsevenpoliceofficersforfailingtopreventorrespondtotheJuly5attacks.938

12.4 MOBJUSTICE

Mob justice is the unlawful punishment of alleged perpetrators by society, often to the point of
death,withoutallowingtheperpetratortodefendhimselforherselfinacourtoflaw.Mobjustice,
therefore,deprivesallegedperpetratorsofacrimeoftherighttoafairhearingandinmanycases
therighttolife.

Mobjusticecaseshavebeenontherise(Figure27).In2014,atotalof453casesofdeathbymob
actionwerereportedandinvestigatedbythepolice,comparedto426casesin2013.939Thisisan
increaseof6%.

931G.Matsiko,"Almost100KilledinUgandaClashesSinceWeekend:Army"AgenceFrancePress,8thJuly

2014,retrievedon26thJune2015fromreliefweb.int/report/uganda/almost100killedugandaclashes
weekendarmy.
932Ibid.
933ibid.
934HumanRightsWatch,Uganda:Violence,ReprisalsinWesternRegion,5thNovember2014
<http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/11/05/ugandaviolencereprisalswesternregion>.
935NewVision,RwenzoriAttacks:180SuspectsStillonTrial,byPascalKwesigaandPaulMayambala,25th
September2014<www.newvision.co.ug/news/660073rwenzoriattacks180suspectsstillontrial.html>.
936TheInsider,RwenzoriChaos:KayihuraPreachesUnity,23rdSeptember2014
<www.theinsider.ug/rwenzorichaoskayihurapreachesunity>.
937FHRIinterviewwithMrGeraldKankya,ExecutiveDirectoroftheTwerwanehoListenersRadioClub(TLC),
FortPortal,on20thJuly2015.
938ThesevenofficersareAlexMwineMukono(BundibugyoDistrictPoliceCommander),ThemboYokania
(BundibugyoDistrictCrimeIntelligenceOfficer),JimmyOsomere(KykyoPolicePostOfficerinCharge),
ThemboSylvester(NtorokoPoliceStationDriver),AlexNuwagaba(BundibugyoPoliceStationDriver),Alfred
Muhindo(Bundibugyoconstable),andStephenAtiang(BundibugyoCriminalInvestigationOfficer).Atthe
timeofwritingofthisreport,thePolicewasunabletocommentontheprogressofthisinvestigation.
939UgandaPoliceForce,AnnualCrimeandTraffic/RoadSafetyReport,2014,p.8.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA


Figure27:Mobjusticecasesanddeaths(20072014)
700
600
500
400

368

300
200

184

100
0

2007

364

332

438

357

466
383

540

508
426

266

2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
(Source:UPFAnnualCrimeandTraffic/RoadSafetyReports)

582
453
Cases
investigated

2013

Deaths

2014

Thecausesofmobjusticein2014were:thefts(69%),burglary(15%),robbery(6%),murder(6%),
suspectedwitchcraft(1%)andothercauses(3%).940In2014,73casesweretakentocourt,outof
which1casesecuredconvictionand72caseswerestillpendingincourt;380caseswerestillunder
investigation.941Bothvictimsandperpetratorsaremostcommonly(unemployed)youngmen.942In
2014,ofthe582victimsofmobjustice,562wereadultmales,17wereadultfemales,2weremale
juvenilesandonewasafemalejuvenile.943

Matovusexperienceillustratesthedangerofpeopletakingthelawintotheirownhands:

IamabusinessmanworkingfromNakaseromarket.On30thMay2014,mybossaskedmeto
take some items to his car that was parked around Cham Towers in Kampala. On reaching
there I found another car similar to my boss car so I tried to open it. The owner of the car
thoughtIwasathiefsohemadeanalarmandevenstartedbeatingme.Hewaslaterjoinedby
otherpeoplesoIcouldnotfightback.Itriedtoexplainthatitwasacaseofmistakenidentity
ofthecarsbuttheycouldnotlisten.Theywerearmedwithlogs,otherswithstonesandthey
weretargetingmostlythehead.MybosscametoseewhyIhaddelayedtocomebackonlyto
findthembeatingme.Heexplained[thesituation]tothembuttheywouldnotlisten.Hewas
instead beaten too by the mob. Later he was able to save me and I was taken to Mulago
Hospital. On coming back after two days I was told that the owner of the car was arrested
togetherwithanotherpersonwhohadstolenmyphone.Thepolicehadalsoopenedacaseof
attemptedmurderagainstthetwo.TheownerofthecarstillinsiststhatIhadbeensentbymy
bosstostealhiscar.944

940UgandaPoliceForce,AnnualCrimeandTraffic/RoadSafetyReport,2014,appendixx.
941ibid.,p.8.

942UgandaHumanRightsCommission,Statementontherecentescalationofcasesofmobactioninthe

countryandtherampantkillingsofsecuritypersonnel,1stJune2014,retrievedon22ndJuly2015from:
http://www.uhrc.ug/statementrecentescalationcasesmobactioncountryandrampantkillingssecurity
personnel.
943UgandaPoliceForce,AnnualCrimeandTraffic/RoadSafetyReport,2014,p.8.
944FHRIinterviewwithMatovuRobertKamya,victimofmobjustice,on10thMay2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

215

MonitorPublicationsLtd

Suspected conmen at Jinja Hospital who were rescued by police from a mob who planned to set them
ablazeforconningaJinjaSecondarySchoolstudenton27thJuly2014.

According to Florence Nakazibwe, Legal Officer at UN OHCHR, mob justice results from a lack of
appreciationofthecomplexitiesofthejudicialsystem:

There is also the dimension of the justice process and awareness on how it operates. Many
timesyoufindthattheordinarypersonisnotveryconversantwiththeissuestodowithbail
andpolicebond.Theyexpectthatoncetheyhavehandedoverasuspecttopolice,heshould
notbereleased;yeteveryonehaslegalentitlements.945

The link between legal processes and mob justice has also been noted by President Museveni.
According to him granting bail to capital offenders encourages mob justice by communities
because the aggrieved relatives of the wronged person react to show displeasure with the court
decision.946Due to ignorance of the law and judicial processes amongst community members,
when an accusedindividualreentersthecommunityonbail,manyindividualsbelievethatheor
shehassimplybeenreleased.947Mugerwa,theActingDPCofKabalagalaPoliceStation,experiences
thesame:

945FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceNakazibwe,LegalOfficer,UNofficeofHumanRightson4thDecember

2014.
946BbosaTonny,PresidentMuseveniswearsinnewHighCourtJudge,19thDecember2013,retrievedon21st
July2015from:http://www.statehouse.go.ug/media/news/2013/12/19/presidentmuseveniswearsnew
highcourtjudge.
947R.Glad,A.Strmberg&A.Westerlund,MobJusticeAqualitativeresearchregardingvigilanteJusticein
ModernUganda,UniversityofGothenburg,DepartmentofSocialWork,April2010,p.59.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Four suspects were detained at the police station who had assaulted an older man outside
Uchumi[supermarket]andtriedtostealfromhim.Thecommunitywantedtoengageinmob
justice but fortunately police officers were around and were able to arrest them. The
community said that if they saw those boys [engaged in mob action] walking around, they
would know that the police did not do their job. We, therefore, made the decision to detain
thembeyondthe48hourperiodintheinterestoftheirownsafety.948

The loss of trust in the judicial system due to lengthy trials has been cited as another underlying
causeofmobjustice:

Sometimes people get frustrated by the delays in the judicial system, yet the victims want
justicefast.However,duetothecasebacklog,theircasesmaynotbehandledasfastasthey
maywish.Sotheyloseinterestthinkingthepolicearenotinterestedinpursuingthecaseany
more. All these factors contribute to peoples loss of trust in the justice system resulting in
manytakingthelawintotheirownhands.949

The tendency among communities to expedite justice by taking the law in their own hands is
confirmed by crime reporter Andrew Bagala. In his experience, people do not believe in the legal
procedures because it takes too long, and by the time justice is served through official channels,
peoplehaveforgottenaboutit.950

Otherunderlyingcausesofmobjusticeareinadequatehumanandfinancialresourcesinthepolice
forcetoadequatelypreventandrespondtomobactivities,951corruptioninthejusticesystemboth
onthesideoftheUPFandthejudiciary,952andhighlevelsofpovertyandunemploymentamongthe
populationandparticularlytheyouth.953

TostrengthenthecapacityoftheUPFtopreventandrespondtocrime,7,000newpoliceofficers
wererecruitedin2014/15.954Thishasreducedthepolicepopulationratiofrom1:812in2013/14
to1:775in2014/15,whichisstillabovetheinternationalstandardof1:500.955

948FHRIinterviewwithOfficerBernardMugerwa,ActingDPCofKabalagalaPoliceStation,on23rdJune2015.

949FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceNakazibwe,LegalOfficer,UNofficeofHumanRightson4thDecember
2014.
950FHRIinterviewwithAndrewBagala,CrimeReporterattheDailyMonitor,on29thJune2015.
951JusticeLawandOrderSector,AnnualPerformanceReport2013/2014,p.73.
952TheUPFandjudiciaryareperceivedtobethe1stand3rdmostcorruptinstitutionrespectivelyby
Ugandans,andrankamongthetop10institutionsmostcomplainedagainstinrelationtocorruption.See
InspectorateofGovernment,TrackingCorruptionTrendsinUganda:UsingtheDataTrackingMechanism,4th
AnnualReport,2014,pp.7,10.
953UgandaHumanRightsCommission,Statementontherecentescalationofcasesofmobactioninthe
countryandtherampantkillingsofsecuritypersonnel,1stJune2014,retrievedon22ndJuly2015from:
http://www.uhrc.ug/statementrecentescalationcasesmobactioncountryandrampantkillingssecurity
personnel.
954JLOSAnnualPerformanceReport2014/15,AProPeopleJusticeSystem:ProfilingVulnerability,
September2015,p.35.
955JLOSAnnualPerformanceReport2014/15,AProPeopleJusticeSystem:ProfilingVulnerability,
September2015,p.35.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

217

900
800
700

Figure28:Policepopulationratioascomparedtotheinternationalstandard(20092015)
786

709

600
500

755

754

812

757

400
300
200
100
0

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

Police
population
ratio
International
standard

2014/15

(Source:JLOSAnnualPerformanceReports2009/102014/15)

Strategies have also been put in place to strengthen the public confidence in the justice system.
Examples are the JLOS AntiCorruption Strategy,956and the communitypolicing programme.
Community policing aims to strengthen communication and cooperation between police officers
andthecommunities.Theimpactofcommunitypolicing,however,hasbeenlimitedandisunlikely
tohavesubstantiallyimprovedtheauthoritarianimageoftheUPF.957Thelimitedimpactismainly
attributedtoinsufficienttraining.958

Where community policing is effectively applied, it strengthens respect between the community
andpolice.Forinstance,Mugerwaisoftheopinionthatcommunitypolicingisaneffectivetoolin
addressing mob justice.959He explained that the implementation of community policing in his
division has resulted in community members respecting the police and assisting the police in
carryingouttheirfunctions.Mugerwanotedthatinonecommunitytherentforthepolicestation
is being paid by the community because they want the police to remain present.960According to
him,communitypolicingandsensitisationofthepopulationarethebestmethodstoaddressmob
justiceinthecountry.

12.5 CONCLUSION

Therighttoliferemainsanissueofconcerndespitenotedreductionsintheapplicationofthedeath
penalty and the number of inmates on death row. In particular, the inadequate response to and
investigations in the Rwenzori violence and the failure to reduce acts of mob justice signify
inadequateactiononthegovernmentsparttoprotecttherighttolifeofitscitizens.

956AspartofitsAntiCorruptionStrategy,JLOSsetuptheJLOSIntegrityCommitteeandtheHumanRights

andAccountabilityWorkingGroup,developedinstitutionalanticorruptionstrategyimplementation
guidelinesandproducedinformation,educationandcommunicationmaterialsforthestrategy,organised5
anticorruptionBarazasacrossthecountry,andintroducedsuggestionboxesinpoliceofficestogather
informationonhowtoaddresscorruptionamongUPFofficers,amongothers.
957O.Bitaliwo,ConceptualizationofCommunityPolicingintheUgandaPoliceForce,InternationalJournalof
PeaceandConflictStudies,Vol.2(3),2014,p.62.
958ibid.
959FHRIinterviewwithOfficerBernardMugerwa,ActingDPCofKabalagalaPoliceStation,on23rdJune2015.
960ibid.

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12.6 RECOMMENDATIONS
Tothegovernment:
1. InstituteanindependentinquiryintotheattacksintheRwenzoriregion.
2. Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Convention on Civil and Political
Rightsaimedatabolishingthedeathpenalty.

ToParliament:
1. PasstheLawRevision(PenaltiesinCriminalMatters)MiscellaneousAmendmentBill,2013
toamendsectionsintheUPDFAct,PenalCodeActandAntiTerrorismActthatstillprovide
forthemandatorydeathsentence;provideforlifeimprisonmentinstead,andreducethe
numberofoffencesthatattractthedeathsentence.

TotheUgandaPoliceForce:
1. Expand the Community Policing Programme as a measure of reducing incidences of mob
justice.

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219

EQUALRIGHTSOFMENANDWOMEN

13.1 INTRODUCTION
States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women
(CEDAW)are under an obligation to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, and to
pursueallappropriatemeansandpoliciesthatoutlawdiscriminationwithoutdelay.961Article21of
the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 provides for equality of all persons before and
under the law and freedom from discrimination on grounds of sex, among others. Despite these
protections,womensrightscontinuetobeviolated.Thepracticeoffemalegenitalmutilation(FGM)
anddomesticviolencecanbesingledout,amongothers.

13.2 FEMALEGENITALMUTILATION

FGMisaculturalpracticeinvolvingpartialortotalremovaloftheexternalfemalegenitaliafornon
therapeuticreasons.962Itusuallyservesasariteofpassagethatmarksatransitionfromchildhood
toadulthoodandpreparesyounggirlsformarriage.963

FGM interferes with the enjoyment of rights, such as the rights to health, freedom from torture,
inhumananddegradingtreatment,privacy,andattimes,therighttolife.964TheUNCommitteeon
the Elimination of Discrimination against Women argues in its General Comment 19 that FGM
violatesinteraliaarticles2(f),5(a),and12oftheCEDAW.965

In Uganda, only select ethnic groups practice FGM: the Sabiny, Pokot, Tepeth, and Nubi.966The
practice of FGM is almost exclusively limited to 6 districts in northeastern Uganda: Kapchorwa,
Nakapiripirit,Moroto,Amudat,BukwoandKween.967

961Article2oftheConventionontheEliminationofallformsofDiscriminationAgainstWomen,1979.
962S.1oftheProhibitionofFemaleGenitalMutilationAct,2010.

963UNFPA,UgandanCommunitiesScrutinizeaViolentSometimesDeadlyRiteofPassage,1stFebruary
2013,retrievedon2ndJuly2015from:http://www.unfpa.org/news/ugandancommunitiesscrutinize
violentsometimesdeadlyritepassage.
964UNWomen,SourcesofinternationalhumanrightslawonFemaleGenitalMutilation,retrievedon2ndJuly
2015from:http://www.endvawnow.org.
965Section2(f)oftheConventionontheEliminationofallformsofDiscriminationAgainstWomen,1979
reads:Totakeallappropriatemeasures,includinglegislation,tomodifyorabolishexistinglaws,regulations,
customsandpracticeswhichconstitutediscriminationagainstwomen(emphasisadded).
Section5(a)oftheConventionontheEliminationofallformsofDiscriminationAgainstWomen,1979reads:
StatesPartiesshalltakeallappropriatemeasures:(a)Tomodifythesocialandculturalpatternsofconduct
ofmenandwomen,withaviewtoachievingtheeliminationofprejudicesandcustomaryandallother
practiceswhicharebasedontheideaoftheinferiorityorthesuperiorityofeitherofthesexesoron
stereotypedrolesformenandwomen.
Section12oftheConventionontheEliminationofallformsofDiscriminationAgainstWomen,1979reads:
StatesPartiesshalltakeallappropriatemeasurestoeliminatediscriminationagainstwomeninthefieldof
healthcareinordertoensure,onabasisofequalityofmenandwomen,accesstohealthcareservices,
includingthoserelatedtofamilyplanning.
96628TooMany,CountryProfile:FGMinUganda,July2013,p.30.
967ibid.

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MonitorPublicationsLtd

TraditionalFGMsurgeoncuttingyounggirlsinKaritasubcountyinAmudatdistrict.

The ProhibitionofFemaleGenitalMutilationAct,2010creates two major offences: the offence of


female genital mutilation, which carries a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, and
aggravatedfemalegenitalmutilationwhichcarriesasentenceoflifeimprisonment.968

Accurate statistics on the prevalence of FGM are unavailable because FGM is mostly practiced in
secret since the enactment of the FGM Act. Florence Auma, Gender Team Leader at the United
NationsPopulationFund(UNFPA),states:

Itisnolongerapublicevent.Thismeansthateventhedatawecollectisnolongeraccurate
sincethecuttingisdoneinprivate.969

Several initiatives have been undertaken to ensure compliance with the FGMAct. Data available
fromtheUPFandcourtregistryshowsthatin2014inthedistrictsofMoroto,Bukwo,Kapchorwa,
Amudat and Nakapiripirit, 32 persons were arrested and charged with offences under the FGM

968ApersoncommitstheoffenceofaggravatedFGMwhere:(a)deathoccursasaresultofFGM;(b)the

offendersisaparent,guardianorpersonhavingauthorityorcontroloverthevictim;(c)thevictimsuffers
disability;(d)thevictimisinfectedwithHIVasaresultoftheactofFGM;or(e)FGMisdonebyahealth
worker.SeeSections2and3oftheProhibitionofFemaleGenitalMutilationAct,2010.
969FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on
27thNovember2014.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

221

Act.970Ofthese,atleast14weresentencedtoimprisonmentofbetween3to10years,5werefined
between100,000and500,000UGX,9712dismissedforlackofevidenceandotherswerereleasedon
bail.972

The government has also undertaken mass sensitisation and empowerment campaigns among
communities to create awareness on the FGM Act and the dangers associated with the practice.
Governmenteffortsspecificallyfocusonstrengtheninggirlchildeducationandsensitisingwomen
aboutthedangersofFGM.Hon.Nakadama,MinisterofStateforGenderandCulturalAffairs,notes
thatgovernmenthasstartedconstructingschoolsasameasureoftargetingthegirlchild:

As government we are in the process of constructing a girls secondary school in Kween


district. However, we realise that what is needed to change the mindset of these girls is a
boardingprimaryschool.Soplansareunderwaytoconstructone.Thatwaywewillbeableto
reachouttothegirlchildwhoisyettobemutilated.973

Hon.Nakadamafurthernotesthattheyhavealsosolicitedthesupportofformerwomensurgeons
toconductthesensitisation:

Mostpeopledonotunderstandthelaw.Thatiswhywearecontinuingtosensitisethem.Itis
being practiced but in hiding and by the elders. As government, we are trying all means to
ensureprotectionofthesegirls.Thereisagroupofwomensurgeonsintheregion,aboutfour
ofthem,whosurrenderedandbroughttheirknivestomeandsaidthattheywillneverdothe
cutting again. That was in 2013. These women have been brought on board and are now
assistinginthesensitisationprocess.974

Such a step is likely to initiate a change in attitude and practice among the communities. Auma
states:

Including the grandmothers as agents of change and mobilising people against FGM is a
positivestep.Ifyougetthereformedgatekeeper,reformedmutilator,andyougivethemthe
rightskillstheycanhelptochangetheattitudeofthepeople.975

970Chargesincluded:carryingoutFGMcontrarytoSection2oftheFGMAct;carryingoutFGMononeself

contrarytoSection4oftheFGMAct;procuring,aiding,abettingofFGMcontrarytoSection6oftheFGMAct;
participatingineventsleadingtoFGMcontrarytoSection7oftheFGMAct;stigmatizationofafemalewho
hasnotundergoneFGMcontrarytoSection11oftheFGMAct;andfailuretoreportFGMcontrarytoSection
16oftheFGMAct.AsperinformationprovidedbyMsEstherCherop,NationalProgramLeaderGender,
UNFPA,on4thFebruary2015.
971Equivalentto28and141USDollarsrespectively.
972AsperinformationprovidedbyMsEstherCherop,NationalProgramLeaderGender,UNFPA,on4th
February2015.
973FHRIinterviewwithHon.RukiaNakadama,MinisterofStateforGenderandCulturalAffairs,on20th
February2015.
974ibid.
975FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on
27thNovember2014.

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

Government efforts are complemented by initiatives from nonstate actors as well. For instance,
Aumanotesthat:

AsUNFPA,wehavealsomobilisedandconductedcampaignsfortheabandonmentofFGM.By
the end of 2013, we had more than 51 communities declaring publicly that they had
abandonedthepractice.Thisisastepforward.Wehavealsointegratedahumanrightsbased
and social approach in our interventions. We begin by trying to appreciate where they are
comingfromandbuildonthepositiveaspectsofculturethatpromotehumanrightsprinciples
and thenrallyonthatto reallyhelpthem begintohave consensus,dialogueandappreciate
someoftheharmfulpracticesandtheneedtoabandonthem.976

SensitisationofyounggirlsisalsobeingundertakentochangetheyounggirlsbeliefsaboutFGM.
FGM is regarded as a rite of passage. Young girls are made to believe that they will not make
suitablewivesunlesstheyaremutilated.Suchabeliefposesachallengetoeffortsaimedatcurbing
thepractice.Hon.Nakadamaconfirmsthis:

Culture plays a big role in shaping peoples perspectives about life. Many girls are told and
they think they will not get married unless they are circumcised. Majority of the people
practicingFGMareilliterate,andassuch,theydonotunderstandthedangersofthepractice.
Rather, they continuepracticingitby virtueofitbeingaculturetheyhave grownupseeing
andbelievingin.Assuch,curbingFGMisnotaneasytask.However,wehavealsobroughtmen
onboardtoconductthesensitisation.Webelievethatthiswillalsohelpchangethemindsetof
theyounggirlsbydispellingsuchbeliefs.977

Notwithstanding the continuance of the practice of FGM, signs of empowerment among the
communitieshavebeennoted:

Wehavegirlswhoarerescuedbeforebeingcircumcised.However,formethegirlsthatrun
away,inspireme.Itisasignthattheyarebeingempoweredtosaynotothispractice.In2013,
wehad200girlswhoranaway.978

EmpowermentamongyounggirlshasalsobeennotedbyHon.Nakadama:

Most girls have run out of their homes due to the sensitisation. This is because many are
beginningtoappreciatethedangersrelatedtothepractice.979

Notwithstanding these positive developments, the deeply engrained beliefs around FGM continue
toshapewomensattitudeandperceptionaboutthepractice.AsAumanotes,thishascontributed
tothechangingfaceofFGM:

976ibid.

977FHRIinterviewwithHon.RukiaNakadama,MinisterofStateforGenderandCulturalAffairson20th

February2015.
978FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on
27thNovember2014.
978FHRIinterviewwithHon.RukiaNakadama,MinisterofStateforGenderandCulturalAffairson20th
February2015.
979Ibid.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

223

TherearesomanymythsinrelationtoFGM.Somebelieveforinstancethatifawomanhas
notbeenmutilatedandherclitoris,whilegivingbirth,touchesthebabyshead,thebabywill
die.SuchbeliefsshapethewomensattitudeandperceptionaboutFGM.Womenarenowbeing
mutilatedbyTraditional BirthAttendants(TBA); taken across the bordertoKenyaor being
cutfromhiddenplaces.Recently,girlswerecaughtafterbeingmutilatedandonaskingwho
haddoneit,theysaidtheyhaddoneitthemselveswhichwasnotpossible.Theywereshielding
themutilators.Thisshowsthestrongsocialbondandattitudetowardsthepractice.Soitisa
changeofattitudethatneedstobetargeted;changeinthebeliefsystem.Wecanhavethelaws
there but they will not achieve much. Some Sebei elders still believe in the custom of FGM.
SomeofthosewhooriginallydecampaignedFGMwerekilled.980

CurbingthepracticeofFGMshouldnotbelimitedtosensitisationandtransferofknowledgeonthe
lawandthedangersofthepractice,butextendedtoinfluencingtheaffectivedomainwhichinclude
achangeinculturalvalues,beliefsandattitudes.

13.3 DOMESTICVIOLENCE

In April 2010, Uganda enacted the Domestic Violence Act, 2010. The Act criminalises any act or
omission that harms, injures or endangers the health, safety, life, limb or wellbeing, whether
mentalorphysicalofthevictimortendstodoso,andincludescausingphysical,sexual,emotional,
verbal, psychological or economic abuse.981The crime includes acts that relate to a domestic
relationshipbetweentheperpetratorandthevictim.982

The Act provides for the protection and relief of victims of domestic violence and stipulates the
punishment of perpetrators of domestic violence.983The Act came into force in 2011 after the
Domestic Violence Regulations, 2011 were gazetted. The Regulations provide a mechanism for
victimsofdomesticviolencetoobtainredress.

Despitetheexistenceofthesemeasures,incidentsofdomesticviolencecontinuetorise.Between
2012and2014,thenumberofdomesticviolencecasesrecordedbytheUPFincreasedfrom2,793
to3,006.984In2014,asin2013,themajorityofthevictimswerewomen(77%).985Theperpetrator
isoftenthespouse.Forinstance,Mariamwasbeatenbyherpartner:

980FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on

27thNovember2014.

981Section2oftheDomesticViolenceAct,2010.

982DomesticrelationshipsaccordingtoArticle3oftheDomesticViolenceAct,2010include:relationships
where(a)thevictimisorhasbeenmarriedtotheperpetrator;(b)perpetratorandthevictimarefamily
membersrelatedbyconsanguinity,affinityorkinship;(c)theperpetratorandthevictimshareorsharedthe
sameresidence;(d)thevictimisemployedbytheperpetratorasadomesticworkersorhouseservantand
thevictimdoesordoesnotresidewiththeperpetrators;(e)thevictimisanemployeroftheperpetratorsand
doesordoesnotresidewiththeperpetrator;or(f)thevictimisorwasinarelationshipdeterminedbythe
courttobeadomesticrelationship.
983Article4(2)oftheDomesticViolenceAct,2010providesthatapersoninadomesticrelationshipwho
engagesindomesticviolencecommitsanoffenceandisliableonconvictiontoafinenotexceedingfortyeight
currencypointsorimprisonmentnotexceedingtwoyearsorboth.Article4(3)oftheActfurtherprovides
thatthecourtmayinadditionordertheoffenderofdomesticviolencetopaycompensationtothevictimofan
amountdeterminedbythecourt
984AspertheUgandaPoliceForce,AnnualCrimeandTraffic/RoadSafetyReport,2013(p.19)and2014(p.
22).

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HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

IgotmarriedtoJuma5yearsagoandwehavenochildren.JumahasotherwomenandIam
thefifthwife.Herefusedmetowork,sayinghewillbeprovidingeverythingforme.However,
timecamewhenhewouldnolongerreturnhome.Ialsostartedmovingoutwithmyfriends
becauseIcouldnotbearbeinginthehousealone.HeheardrumoursthatIwascheatingon
himandhecamebackandstartedbeatingme.Hetiedmyhandsandlegsandthenusedan
electriccabletobeatmewhileboxingmeinmyface.Theneighboursheardmyscreamsand
cametomyrescue.MyhusbandwasarrestedanddetainedatKabalagalaPoliceStation.986

FHRI

MariamatMulagoHospital

Zainaexperiencedasimilarordeal:

IhavebeenstayingwithAshrafforoneyearnow.SometimebackIgavebirthtoababygirl.
On returning home from the hospital, Ashraf wanted to have sexual intercourse with me. I
declinedhisadvancesbecauseIknewIhadnothealedyet.Thisannoyedhimandhestarted
neglectingme.Hewouldleavehomewithoutleavinganymoneyforourupkeep.Idecidedto
go to my grandmothers place with the baby. He refused to send us money. So one day I
returnedhomeonlytofindhimwithanotherwomaninbed.Westartedfightingwiththeother
womanandintheprocesshebeatmeupbadly.Ireportedthecasetothepolicebutheisstill
ontherun.987

985In2013,70.1%ofdomesticviolencevictimswerefemaleand29.9%wasmale.SeeUgandaPoliceForce,

AnnualCrimeandTraffic/RoadSafetyReport,2014,p.23.
986FHRIInterviewwithMariamatMulagohospitalon13thMay2014.
987FHRIinterviewwithZainaatKayungaPoliceStationFamily,FamilyandChildrenProtectionUnit,2nd
September2014.

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225

Even though women constitute the majority of domestic violence victims, men too experience
domesticviolence.Forinstance,Katongolewasattackedbyhiswifewhopouredacidonhisface:

I got married to Mutesi 8 yearsago. We have a son who is now 7 years old. However, each
time we would get into a misunderstanding, she would leave home for even three days. So I
decidedtogetanotherwoman.ShetriedtopickafightwithmesomanytimesbutIjustkept
ignoringher.OnedayIwantedtoselloffmyplotofland.Ididnotinformheraboutthisplan
because we hadspentsometimenot communicatingthoughwewereinthesamehouse.On
16thAugust2014ataround10:30pm,Ireceivedacallfrompeoplewhowantedtobuytheplot
ofland.Ididnotknowthatitwasmywifewhohadplannedtokillme.Iinsistednottocome
outofthehousebecauseitwaslateinthenightbutthepersontoldmethatthiswastheonly
timetheyhad.Imovedouttogoandmeetthepersonwhohadcalledme,anditwasatthat
timethatMutesipouredacidinmyface.Iscreamedforhelpbutnoonecouldhelpme.Iran
towardstheroadandfoundabodaguywhodrovemetothehospital.Mywifeisstillonthe
runandIrequestthepolicetosearchforherbecausemylifeisindanger.988

FHRI

KatongoleatMukonoHospital

The persistence of domestic violence can partly be explained through the high tolerance rates
among both men and women. As Auma notes, 58% of women and 44% of men feel that spouse
batteringisjustifiedundercertaincircumstances.989

The occurrence of domestic violence is likely to be much more widespread than is documented
becausemanyvictimsdonotreportsuchabuse.AumanotesthatthepatriarchalnatureofUgandan
societydiscourageswomenfromreportingabusivepartners:

There are quite a number of cultural and social issues that hinder women from reporting
abuse because they know there are sanctions once they report. If you testify against your

988FHRIinterviewwithKatongoleatMukonohospitalon5thSeptember2014.

989FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on

27thNovember2014.

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partnerandhehaspaidbridewealth,youarealreadyseekingfordivorceorseparation,and
sometimestheyarenot evenmarriedlegally.Ifthiswomangetsoutofthisrelationshipand
yetthemanisthesourceofincome,shedoesnothaveanyothersourceofincome.Shehasthe
children,andherselftolookafternow,yetshe cannotaffordit.So thereareaspectsaround
economicempowerment,aswellasthesocialaspectthatreallyputswomeninbondageand
makesthemfailtoreport.990

Tosupportwomenwhoareseekingtoescapeanabusivehome,governmentandNGOsareputting
up shelters across the country. According to the Executive Director of Uganda Women Network
(UWONET),RitahAciro,womenareincreasinglyseekingassistanceatthesheltersthathavebeen
setup:

ThereareanumberoforganisationsthathavebeenrunningsheltersinUganda.Particularly
ActionAidandMIFUMIarethepioneers.Theyhavedoneagreatjob.Inthelastthreeyearswe
havebeencoordinatingaGenderBasedViolence(GBV)program.MIFUMIandActionAidwere
also part of this process. We were able to construct more shelters in Mbarara, Moroto and
Masaka.SothesearesomeofthesheltersrunbyActionAidandMIFUMI.UWONEThas two
sheltersinNamutumbaandKamuli.Womenhaveoverwhelminglyembracedtheshelters.For
instanceattheKamulishelter,wereceiveonaverage100womenamonththoughnotallend
upattheshelter.Thesheltercantakeupto20womenamonth.991

Action Aid, in partnership with FIDAUganda, operates 11 shelters across the country. These
providetemporaryshelterforwomenwhohavenoalternativeandneedprotection.992Accordingto
Aciro,thesesheltersofferaholisticandsustainableapproachtoremovingwomenfromanabusive
environment:

We offer counselling, psychosocial support by a social worker as well as legal services and
representation for these clients. In order to ensure a holistic approach, we try to give them
skillsonhowtoearnsomemoney.Thisisbecausemostofthewomenwhocometotheshelters
aredependentontheperpetrators,andwhentheygobackhome,theyendupinthesamecycle
ofabuse.993

As noted above, economic dependence of women reduces the ability or willingness of women to
report abuse. The economic empowerment offered at the shelters may therefore also promote
reporting abuse. However, even in cases where domestic violence is reported, few victims of
domestic violence are willing to bring charges against the perpetrator, and therefore few
perpetrators are prosecuted. According to the UPF Annual Crime and Traffic/Road Safety Report,
2014,ofthe3,006reportedcasesofdomesticviolence,only564weretakentocourt,accountingfor
only18%ofthecaseload.994Aumaarguesthatwhenadomesticviolencecaseisreportedtopolice,

990ibid.

991FHRIinterviewwithMs.RitahAciro,ExecutiveDirector,UgandaWomenNetwork(UWONET)on3rd

February2015.

992FHRIinterviewwithMs.StellaBiwaga,Programsmanagerinchargeofgovernanceandmembership,FIDA

Ugandaon20thOctober2014.
993FHRIinterviewwithMs.RitahAciro,ExecutiveDirector,UgandaWomenNetwork(UWONET)on3rd
February2015.
994UgandaPoliceForce,AnnualCrimeandTraffic/RoadSafetyReport,2014,p.23.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND POVERTY: ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY IN UGANDA

227

the woman often refuses to testify against her husband because of the bride wealth paid by the
husband.995

Thelowcaseportfoliocouldbeattributedtothelimitedknowledgeofthelaw.Aciroconcurs:

The good thing about having this law in place is that we now have a point of reference.
However,inrelationtohowfarithasbeenimplemented,therearestillgaps.Recentlywewent
totheBusogaregionandotherplaces.Whatwenoticedwasthatevenpoliceofficersdidnot
havethislaw.SoyoufindthatsomeonewhoissupposedtoinvokethisActhasnotseenit,let
aloneknowitscontent.Thereisahugegapbetweenthelawandthepracticeontheground.It
isamajorhindrance.996

ThisdisconnecthasfurtherbeenexacerbatedbythepolicescontinuedrelianceonthePenalCode
Act, Cap. 120 instead of the Domestic Violence Act when handling domestic violence cases.
Perpetrators of domestic violence under the Penal Code Act are charged with ordinary assault.
StellaBiwagaofTheUgandaAssociationofWomenLawyers(FIDAUganda)argueslikewise:

Oftentimesyourealisethatitisthepolicewhopreferthecharges.Sothefilesarecompiledby
thepoliceandhandedovertotheResidentStateAttorney(RSA).Thepoliceneedtoappreciate
that this [the Domestic Violence Act] is another piece of legislation that they can put to use.
TheyhavebecomesocomfortablewiththePenalCodeActandoftenrefertoitnotrealizing
thatthereisalawthatspecificallyaddressesdomesticviolence.Thereisaneedtopopularize
thelawtoenablerelevantstakeholderstoappreciatetheirrolesandresponsibilities.Ifvictims
ofdomesticviolencedonotreportthesecases,thenthehandsofthepolicearetied.Likewise,if
they report and police charges the perpetrators under the Penal Code Act, it defeats the
purposeofthelaw.Equally,doctorsandmedicalpersonnelneedtoappreciatetheirrolesand
responsibilitiestoensureeffectiveimplementation ofthelaw. Without theirreportsitwould
behardtoprovedomesticviolence.997

13.4 CONCLUSION

The enactment of the ProhibitionofFemaleGenitalMutilationAct,2010and the DomesticViolence


Act,2010,isapositivesteptowardsthefulfilmentofthestateobligationtopromotetherightsof
women. Domestic violence, however, persists, and although the practice of FGM has seemingly
reduced,itcontinuestobepracticedinsecret.

13.5 RECOMMENDATIONS

Tothegovernment:
1. EnforcetheProhibitionofFemaleGenitalMutilationAct,2010andtheDomesticViolenceAct,
2010.

995FHRIinterviewwithMs.FlorenceApuriAuma,TeamLeaderGender,UnitedNationsPopulationFund,on

27thNovember2014.

996FHRIinterviewwithMs.RitahAciro,ExecutiveDirector,UgandaWomenNetwork(UWONET)on3rd

February2015.

997Ibid.

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