Civil society activists have called for transparency in the state house scholarships and money dished out by President Yoweri Museveni. The activists made the call during a public dialogue on Enhancing Accountability and Ending Impunity for human right violations on Tuesday.
The dialogue attracted members of the Human Rights Committee of parliament, academicians and civil society organizations as part of the activities to commemorate the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, which celebrated on June 26th.
According to the activists, government spends tax payer’s money on many activities that Ugandans are ignorant about. Dr. Mwambutsya Ndebesa, a Senior Lecturer of History and Development Studies at Makerere University, says government needs to stop informal spending when it comes to taxpayer’s money.
According to Ndebesa, the absence of transparency is leading to unexplained expenditures and impunity.
In his key note address on the theme ‘Enhancing State Accountability and Ending Impunity in Addressing Human Rights Violation; Where we are; Where we ought to be’, Dr. Kabumba Busingye, a lecturer from Makerere University Law school, said Ugandans cannot hold government accountable for its spending because they do not have power.
“Ugandans do not have the power to hold government or elected officers in power accountable because Uganda is a country where the military is dominant and overbearing and where the judiciary is contradicted by presidential proclamations that turn the constitution into a lie,” he said.
Dr. Busingye explains that due to the many human rights violations, the constitution has been turned into a book that speaks lies because government is following laws that contravene what it states.
Meddie Kaggwa, the Chairman Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), says Ugandans need to hold government accountable for more than its spending in the national budget, adding that it needs to answer for human right violations too.