Human Rights Committee Finally Gets Money for Electoral Violence Probe

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Members of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee pose for a picture outside the Kyengera suspected Safe House.

The Human Rights Committee of parliament will finally head to the field to probe rights violations during elections a month after they were tasked to do so.

In February, committee chair Janepher Egunyu Nantume decided to postpone investigations into the matter due to funding problems.  The probe that seeks to interact with all Presidential candidates, victims of violence and stakeholders stems from  the Speaker’s directive that  the committee should take stock of the human rights violations that marred the electoral process.  Parliament had not budgeted for any committee work in the third quarter due to the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

However this process was limited because of money, forcing the committee to run back to the Speaker who sent them to the field, and complain over the lack of funds. Now Uganda Radio Network (URN) has learnt that Parliament has got the money and the team is set to start field work next week on 10th March.

Although URN could not establish how much money was released, Each MP on the committee earns  400,000 Shillings in per diem for a day while the other members of delegation get between  200,000 Shillings and 300,000 Shillings per day. There are 30 members on the committee.  

At least 100 million Shillings is required on average for the committees depending on the number of days. Parliament pays for the meals and accommodation separately among other requirements for the legislators and parliamentary staff.    

Hellen Kaweesa, the Acting Director Corporate and Public Affairs of Parliament, says that finally they have got some money for the committee and work should start its work on 4th March.

She says there was no money at that time but funds were secured and the team should be moving out this week for their work.

Kawesa says that funds have been secured and the committee can now continue with their work.  Several other committees however still remain without funding, and might be affected in case of a field work.

The Human Rights Committee will not be able to cover several of the parts of the country like they had planned but will only go to 8 districts of Ntungamo, Masaka, Mbale, Mayuge, Lira , Gulu , Kampala and Wakiso due to funding.

“ We will go to the areas based on the statistics on violence given to us by the Research committee and hopefully, we will do sampling of those areas” a committee source said.

URN has learnt that the team will then finalize with Kampala where they will then meet all the candidates. 

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