The Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) hosted a Multi Stakeholder engagement on militarisation, sustainable growth and peace in Uganda. The event was held on Wednesday, 17th November 2021 to discuss the question, ‘Is the growing militarization of Uganda’s civilian institutions necessary for development and compatible with human rights and democracy?’ This was hosted under the auspices of HURIPEC’s collaborative research project – Security, Peace and Development in partnership with the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Established in 1993, HURIPEC is a semi-autonomous centre and department under the School of Law (SoL), Makerere University. HURIPEC is an academic teaching unit that oversees the teaching of human rights and human rights related courses. The centre is also a research and activist engine, aiming to generate human rights conscious law graduates sensitive about relevant human rights, peace and governance issues in Uganda.
The multi-stakeholder engagement was an opportunity to explore the role of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) In the country’s development agenda. Panelists presenting at the event included academia, civil society and the UPDF to discuss the nature, extent and rationale of the UPDF’ involvement in development. There has been an increasing role and appointment of UPDF to lead institutions in agriculture, fisheries, health, roads and construction, police among others.
In her welcome remarks, Dr. Zahara Nampewo – Director, HURIPEC explained that ‘we are seeing an increasing role of the security sector in Uganda’s development. However, as we recognized at the start of the project in 2019, security in development is profoundly under-examined, both theoretically and empirically in the larger development context’. The project therefore is undertaking to provide a deeper understanding of the role of security actors, both within Uganda and regionally in development.
Dr. Nampewo stressed the importance of partnerships for successful implementation of the project and appreciated their partners at CRIC for this worthwhile academic engagement. She also thanked the Principal – SoL, Makerere University Management for the support extended to HURIPEC in implementing the project. She also thanked the HURIPEC team for organizing the event and to all the participants who attended.
Speaking at the event, Prof. Christopher Mbazira – Principal, SoL welcomed Prof- Umar Kakumba – DVC Academic Affairs, Makerere University who represented the Vice Chancellor. He thanked the University Management for the support accorded to SoL. He also thanked all the participants for honoring the invitation to attend the engagement. Prof. Mbazira highlighted the importance of the discussions at the event owing to the inclusion of Security and Governance as a key Programme of the National Development Plan (NDP) III.
He reiterated that there has been limited research on security and its effect on development thus the SoL is compelled to study this area to contribute evidence on the role of the Military on development. Prof. Mbazira highlighted that while there is a lot of data on the militarisation of police, there is limited research regarding military in fisheries, Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), revenue collection among others. The Principal welcomed the partnership with CRIC, thanking Prof. Ole from CRIC who attended the meeting.
Prof. Ole Wæver – CRIC, University of Copenhagen said that a lot of research has been done together with HURIPEC and expressed their happiness to continue the partnership considering the results and data produced.
Ms. Ann Sophie Oxlund – 1st Secretary, Royal Danish Embassy, Uganda congratulated the HURIPEC and CRIC for the work done to understand the intersection of military, governance, development and democracy. She noted that it is important for the government to respect democracy, freedom of expression and human rights. She also reiterated that DANIDA is happy to support the project and looks forward to the results of the research conducted; the academia and civil society should continue to engage the military and other security agencies on how to get a better understanding of what is happening in Uganda.
The engagement was officially opened by Prof. Umar Kakumba – Deputy Vice Chancellor/Academic Affairs, Makerere University who represented the Vice Chancellor. He thanked SoL and HURIPEC for organizing the event to discuss the important issues pertaining to security and development.
Prof. Kakumba noted that ‘development is a key issue for a country but it can’t be achieved without peace and security’ He thanked the organisers for inviting the security agencies to be part of the discussions. The Makerere University Strategic Plan is premised on the role of Makerere as a leader in knowledge generation for societal transformation and thus the discussions here contribute to knowledge generation and ranking of the university, the Deputy Vice Chancellor highlighted.
He also noted that HURIPEC is one of the flagship units for Makerere University for research and publications directly contributing to the university’ ranking. Prof. Kakumba further noted that Makerere is well-position to provide policy advice an contribute to important conversations for the country.
He welcomed the support from the Royal Danish Embassy and partnership with CRIC. He thanked Prof. Mbazira and colleagues for taking Makerere University out of the Ivory Tower and contributing to national development.
Panelists presenting at the event included: Ms. Sarah Bireete – Director, Centre for Constitutional Governance, Major General Henry Matsiko – National Political Commissar, UPDF, Brigadier General Felix Kulaigye – Director Mindset Change, OWC, Prof. Fredrick Jjuuko – SoL, Prof. Sallie Simba – Department of Political Science, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The moderator was Mr. Charles Odongtho.
Some of the issues arising from the presentations and discussions included:
- As a country we do not know whether there can be change of government without involvement of the army.
- Citizens have to speak freely and hold leaders to account.
- There is need to define the role of the army in engaging civilian institutions.
- Militarisation is derogatory word.
- The army has been assigned to undertake the tasks because civilian managers have failed in some cases
- The involvement of the army in national development shouldn’t be an issue to cause anxiety.
- Lessons are present for Uganda as seen from the advances by the ‘Asian Tigers’ where the army has greatly contributed to national development.
- The nation must learn from the circumstances that led to 1966 attack of the Lubiri nd more recently in 2017 attack of the Rwenzururu Palace by the army otherwise the same mistakes will be repeated.
- The institutions like Parliament have abdicated their role to hold army to account.
- There is ‘civilianization’ of the military rather than ‘militarisation’ of society
The meeting ended with calls for an understanding of the exit strategy of the army’s involvement in civilian works and the implication of military involvement on democracy, peace, security among other sectors. There is also the need to understand how to harness the UPDF as a resource for development in Uganda. ‘How do we work together amicably?’
Dr. Zahara Nampewo closed the meeting and thanked all the participants and panelists for the presentations, discussions and attending the engagement. She reiterated that ‘this is only a scratch of the surface and we hope to host more of these conversations’
Zaam Ssali is the Principal Communication Officer SoL & MakCHS
Call For Applications: Administrative Officers’ Law Short Course
Makerere University School of Law invites applications for admission to the Administrative Officers’ Law Short Course for the KAMPALA CENTRE that will run for two (2) months during the period (12th Sept. to Nov. 2022). The course will start on Monday 12th Sept. 2022 at the School of Law premises. Classes will be conducted from Monday to Friday, between 5.00 P.M. to 8.00 P.M.
The tuition for the course is UGX 900,000/= and the application fee is UGX 50,000/= plus bank charge of UGX 2,750/=. Payments should be made to Makerere University/Uganda Revenue Authority, using a Deposit Reference Number (DRN) obtained from the Office of the Bursar of the School. Please contact Mr. Rolland Mpiriirwe on 0777699887/0701338259 or firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
The minimum admission requirement for the course is ‘A’Level or its equivalent.
We also have other centres in Tororo, Jinja, Mukono, Mityana, Masaka, Arua, Lira, Gulu, Moroto on weekends, for (9 weekends).
For more information, contact the Course Coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Ronald Kakungulu-Mayambala on 0772318528/0752983648 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ndagire Joyce Irene (Administrator) on 0772498954/0701498954 or email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Public and Comparative Law, for Application forms and also a soft copy can be sent
Desk Officers for the Centres
Vice Chancellor congratulates School of Law team upon winning the 2022 All-Africa Human Rights Moot
Professor Barnabas Nawangwe, Vice Chancellor – Makerere University has congratulated the Makerere University School of Law (SoL) team – Ms. Kevin Nakimbugwe and Mr. Edwin Sabiiti upon winning the 2022 edition of the Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition. The Moot Competition held from the 25th – 30th July in Cairo, Egypt was hosted by The British University in Egypt.
The All Africa Moot Competition is named after Professor Christof Heyns (1959-2021)who was a Professor of Human Rights Law, Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria and a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The 2022 edition attracted a total of 50 Law Schools, 38 of these were English speakers.
The Vice Chancellor hosted the winning team in his Office on Thursday, 4th August, 2022 and presented Certificates of Recognition to Kevin and Edwin for making Makerere University proud. Dr. Daniel Ruhweza, Lecturer at SoL and Patron of the Makerere University Moot Society and Mr. David Kasibante, alumni – SoL and team coach also attended the presentation.
Explaining to the Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ruhweza said, “We are happy that you have hosted this team which worked so hard to bring the trophy home”. He also highlighted the rigorous process through which the team that represented Makerere University was selected.
In his remarks, Professor Nawangwe said, “I congratulate you for winning the competition and making Makerere University proud, more especially in this centennial year of celebration for the institution. Thank you for flying the Makerere flag high which instils confidence that the University and our School of Law are centres of excellence”. He commended the team for their commitment and doing their best to represent Makerere University. Professor Nawangwe also thanked Dr. Ruhweza for committing time to support the students. He added, “this is an activity that should be supported and I will present it to the University Council for inclusion in the budget for financial year 2023/2024”.
Sharing their experience from attending the competition, Kevin and Edwin explained to the Vice Chancellor what is entailed in participating.
“The Moot was very challenging in-terms of preparing for the competition while balancing it with class work; the processing of travel documents and visas was also quiet hard. We are grateful that you have hosted us here today and also the support of the SoL, University that enabled us to triumph despite the challenges”, Ms. Nakimbugwe said. Kevin added, “we are a brilliant team and our win is evidence”.
Edwin Sabiiti who is also the President of the Makerere University Moot Society said, “the society organises internal moots, identifies the students to represent the University at various competitions. We participate in several competitions within the country, continent and internationally, only that this is the most prestigious. Makerere University are reigning champions of the national Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) Moot Court Competition”.
Edwin further explained that mooting is an opportunity to learn as well as apply the law that we learn in class. He expressed that the University should consider inclusion of mooting as a course unit on the academic transcript because a lot of time is spent in preparing for the various competitions. Edwin also requested that the University extends a supporting arm in facilitating preparations for the various moots that the students participate in.
SoL teams also won the 2018 competition held in Accra Ghana; were 2nd in 2019 edition held in Gaborone, Botswana and emerged finalists in the 2020 edition held online and the 2021 edition held in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Read more about the Competition:https://www.chr.up.ac.za/moot#:~:text=The%20Christof%20Heyns%20African%20Human,of%20human%20rights%20in%20Africa
Inaugural Makerere Law Journal Symposium held
The Makerere University School of Law (SoL) held the Inaugural Makerere Law Journal (MLJ) Symposium on 17th June 2022 under the theme, ‘Charting the Course and Diversifying Scholarly Content’. The symposium was held to give opportunity to authors of outstanding papers in recent issues of the MLJ to present their work to the general membership of the Makerere Law Society (MLS) and the public. The symposium was supported by the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC), SoL.
The MLJ is a student-edited law journal published by the SoL under the auspices of the law students’ union, MLS. The journal founded in 1971 considers submissions from legal writers, students, and scholars within Uganda and beyond. Quoting the pioneer editor of the MLJ, Daniel Omara Atubo, ‘the journal was intended as a medium for discourse on the immense problems of law’. The submissions may be for education purposes; aimed at causing law reform in the jurisprudence of Uganda or other African jurisdictions on matters of legal doctrine and philosophy; human rights; public policy; governance; economics among others.
Previously, the MLJ was printed annually, however, it is now a free-access online publication that considers, reviews and publishes submissions on a rolling year basis throughout the year. Access issues of the MLJ here: https://makererelawjournal.org/. At the inaugural symposium four papers were presented and interrogated by subject experts. Highlights of the papers are detailed below.
Tukwatanise Hans Rwantangare presented his paper titled, ‘A Case for The Application of the Theory of Deferred Indefeasibility in Uganda as an Instrument to Promote Indefeasibility of Title Under the Registration of Titles Act’. Abstract: The theory of deferred indefeasibility as opposed to immediate indefeasibility is presented as a means to improve security of title today. A comparison is made of the relative merits and demerits of the two theories of deferred and immediate indefeasibility. In so doing, the aim is to reconcile the outdated theory of immediate indefeasibility with the modern legal regime and to preserve its relevance in the prevailing socio-economic situation. In a comparative analysis, other jurisdictions, especially Canada are studied to ascertain how they have evolved their interpretation of the same. Inevitably, indefeasibility, as a concept of real property is analysed considering human rights perspectives as relatively impacted by the two theories.For more about Hans’ paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/view-publication/35. The paper was discussed by Dr. Rose Nakayi, Senior Lecturer at SoL. Dr. Nakayi is a seasoned expert in land law and rights and an advocate for the reform of the mailo land tenure system.
Fatumah Ramathan-Nabulya presented her paper which had reviewed a case Baryamureeba V Kabakonjo Abwooli. In her review she argued that it was ‘A Win for Women’s Property Rights in Cohabitation’. Abstract: Marriage, especially at its dissolution, tends to be contentious owing to its cross cutting effects on property rights, children custody, spousal maintenance among others. It is more complex when that “union” is not legally recognized. Over 65% of Uganda’s couples are left out under the law because their arrangements are not contracted in accordance with the laws provided for. This potentially subjects women to unequal social laws (patriarchy) usually with no legal remedies. Hence, marriage, due to its overarching effects, can be breeding ground for the entrenchment of gender inequality. This paper reviews a High Court decision through which judicial activism is employed to lessen the plight of cohabiting women. Due to the time they have been in operation, it is often difficult to see our matrimonial laws for what they really are; patriarchal and gender indiscriminate. There is need for Judges to be fully alive to the history of these laws and the debates that led to their passing, to correct the wrongs of history.For more about Fatumah’s paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/view-publication/23. Dr. Diana Musoke, Senior Lecturer, Islamic University in Uganda and expert on family law discussed the paper.
‘The Human Rights Implications of Uganda’s Borrowing’ paper was presented by Ruth Muhawe. Abstract: The relationship between the sovereign debt of developing countries and the protection of the social rights of citizens in those countries has received considerable analysis from the economic, political and moral perspectives, but relatively little has been written from the legal point of view. Consequently, this paper provides legal insights into the lingering crisis that sovereign debt poses to human rights, with a specific focus on the economy of Uganda. The paper is particularly concerned with examining what Uganda’s debt burden means for the basic observance and enjoyment of human rights by its citizens of both the present and the future.For more about Ruth’s paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/issues (MLJ 2019 Issue) A constitutional law and international law expert, Dr. Busingye Kabumba, Senior Lecturer at SoL was the discussant of the paper.
A joint paper titled, ‘The Legal Risks of Cryptocurrency On State Sovereignty; A Case Study of Uganda’ was presented by Ntamugabumwe Victor & Joshua Kingdom. Abstract:State sovereignty is conventionally known to mean that all states are equal under Public International Law, the decisive criterion being effective power over territory and people. Indeed, the most rudimentary definition of a state is the organization of power over territory and people within that territory. However, sovereignty today depends much on the state’s monetary independence – the state’s capacity to control the flow of money and currency in their jurisdiction. With the constant evolution of money transactions from Cash to credit and then to crypto, the state must always be ready for each revolution so that sovereignty is kept. Cryptocurrencies work outside the existing legal financial framework and as such avoid the state’s invented structure to control their monetary policies, stability to achieve sovereignty.For more about the paper click: https://makererelawjournal.org/view-publication/17
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