Crispin Kaheru, a member of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC), expressed concern over the inadequate funding available to the commission. He voiced these concerns during an interview on Tuesday, October 31.
Kaheru’s remarks came shortly after his participation in the 2nd Governance and Security Programme Review Meeting at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
The commissioner highlighted the pressing issue, stating, “At the moment, the commission is not resourced to investigate allegations of violations or even convene tribunals.”
To effectively fulfill their mandate, the UHRC requires a budget of sh58 billion. However, they are currently operating with a budget of only sh19 billion.
Kaheru further elaborated on the funding constraints, revealing that the budget allocation for running programs stands at a mere sh450 million for an entire year. This limited funding is expected to cover all operational expenses.
The commissioner emphasized the significance of adequately resourcing the UHRC to execute their key responsibilities. He argued that the inadequate funding sends conflicting signals regarding the nation’s commitment to upholding human rights standards, both domestically and internationally.
Uganda has experienced a surge in human rights allegations, but Kaheru pointed out that verifying the veracity of these claims, separating truth from falsehood, is only possible through impartial investigations.
He stated, “Allegations of human rights abuses can be true or false. We can only arrive at that conclusion if we impartially investigate and duly separate wheat from chaff.”
Kaheru highlighted the importance of thorough scrutiny and investigation to exonerate the innocent and hold the guilty accountable. However, he stressed that these tasks are challenging when the commission lacks the necessary resources.
The UHRC is currently inadequately funded to monitor places of detention and conduct civic education, which are crucial components of their mandate. The commissioner underlined the critical need for increased financial support to fulfill these responsibilities effectively.