Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said he will not take lessons from anybody about human rights in Uganda. Addressing a delegation from Human Rights Watch led by the Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Roth, which had gone to present to him a report on human rights violations incidences in Uganda on Wednesday, Museveni said it was his desire to restore human rights in Uganda that pushed him to fight previous regimes.
“No one can teach me about the subject of human rights because that is what I fought for, to have a democratic society in Uganda. I spent sixteen solid years of my life putting in place human rights observance and correcting what the regime of Idi Amin distorted. When handling human rights issues, be careful,” Museveni said.
Museveni assured the delegation at his country home in Ntugamo that cases of illegal detention, torture, and human rights violations will end, and will not be tolerated. He also assured them that he will use the report and verify its findings as a case study to strengthen human rights recognition in the country.
Museveni explained to the officials that his government will also battle illegal acts by security institutions like the police force of beating, illegally detaining, and interrogating people, because when they do that they are not doing their work properly.
“What we are doing is to tell them to use legal solutions by educating the forces about standing orders of managing society while handling criminal acts and suspects. This can stop the forces from making unnecessary mistakes,” Museveni said.
He applauded the Human Rights Watch, saying their findings have revealed to him that the organization has some value to offer. “You have discovered some rot on human rights according to the discussion that summarizes the report and I assume it is evidence-based,” Museveni said. For his part, Roth said that the purpose of human rights enforcement is to make sure that the law takes its course.
He commended the President for his pledge to “Zero tolerance” against torture and human rights violations committed by armed forces. “This is a signal that you are doing a good job,” Roth said. In the run-up to and after the 2021 elections, a number of human rights violations were committed in the country including extrajudicial killings, forced disappearance, and torture among others.
Despite the push by different human rights organizations, perpetrators who are majorly in the armed forces are yet to be brought to book. The meeting was also attended by Mansion Segun, Human Rights Watch Executive Director for Africa, Carbine Caneza, the Advocacy Director for Africa, Oryema Nyeko, a researcher, and Mariam Wangadya, the Chairperson of Uganda Human Rights Commission.