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HURIPEC Pledges to Continue Research and Documenting Human Rights Violations



The Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) at Makerere University School of Law (SoL) has pledged to continue research on human rights and document its violations in Uganda. This pledge was given by Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director – HURIPEC at a symposium jointly organised by HURIPEC and Human Rights Watch (HRW) held on the 30th June 2022 at Makerere University. The Symposium titled ‘Rule of Law and Barriers to Accountability for Unlawful Detentions: Challenges and Opportunities’ was attended by Diplomatic Corps, Civil Society representatives,Politicians, Government Officers, Academia, Researchers, Students and the general public.

The symposium was moderated by Professor Joe Oloka-Onyango, Faculty at the SoL. In his introductory remarks he quoted a report, ‘Uganda: The failure to safeguard human rights’ published by Amnesty International in 1992. The report examined the human rights record of the NRM government which had come to power in 1986 after gross human rights by previous governments. The report had concluded that ‘Despite some improvements regarding human rights, arbitrary arrest, illegal detention, torture (including rape) and summary executions by government forces continue to be reported and that the perpetrators are rarely brought to justice. Government critics, e.g. political leaders and newspaper editors, have been charged with offences such as sedition or treason, apparently for political reasons’. Professor Oloka-Onyango noted that 30 years later we are still discussing the question of unlawful detentions and human rights violations. He thanked HURIPEC and HRW for organising the event to allow participants to exchange views.

Professor Christopher Mbazira, Principal School of Law.
Professor Christopher Mbazira, Principal School of Law.

Professor Christopher Mbazira, Principal – SoL welcomed participants to the SoL and symposium. He thanked HURIPEC and HRW for organising the event noting that such partnerships proudly make SoL outstanding in the country, region and Africa continent.

Professor Mbazira added that ‘Uganda is currently defined as a country with repressed civic space where the population don’t share ideas freely’, He added, ‘Universities serve as civic spaces where people are able to share ideas. Makerere has many departments and colleges but its only SoL that provides civic space to promote human rights at the moment which I think is a mandate for academic institutions. I therefore urge and encourage other units to pick the baton’.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic Affairs, Professor Umar Kakumba represented Makerere University Management at the symposium. In his remarks, he warmly welcomed participants to Makerere University conveying greetings from management, particularly this centennial year when the institution is celebrating 100 years of existence. He reiterated the role of Makerere in transforming societies through its human capital and research output, adding that it is aligned to the reason we are convened here today to listen to work accomplished by HURIPEC, SoL and partners.

Professor Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs).
Professor Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs).

Professor Kakumba noted that Makerere’s history has been punctuated with upheavals linked to politics in Uganda. ‘The topic before us could not have been more timely now and even in the past. For many years after independence, Uganda saw a record of unlawful detentions and torture, many of which unfortunately ended in disappearances and death. Makerere was not spared losing our first Vice Chancellor, Frank Kalimuzo who reportedly was detained and killed on the orders of then President, Idi Amin Dada’. This marked the first attack on intellectualism and independent thinking in Uganda.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor highlighted that universities have a two-pronged role to play in human rights protection; first, human rights education which translates to public debate and opinions because of the autonomy as well as academic freedom of universities. Secondly, research output necessary for educating the next generation of policy and service providers, alongside objective evidence and reviews of current governmental policy. Professor Kakumba commended the School of Law in particular the Human Rights and Peace Centre for continuing to support the teaching of human rights law at Makerere. He further added that ‘as Makerere University, our strategic focus is to be a research-led institution, to provide relevant empirical data to the government and other key actors to guide the country’s policy and development agenda’.

Professor Kakumba explained that he hopes that the discussions here will trigger debate to shape policy on freedom from unlawful detentions.He wished the participants fruitful deliberations and thanked the School of Law, the HURIPEC team for always spearheading research on key legal, human rights and governance issues that always puts Makerere ahead of competitors. He assured the School of the support from University Management.

Dr. Busingye Kabumba, School of Law.
Dr. Busingye Kabumba, School of Law.

A keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Busingye Kabumba, Lecturer – SoL. His speech delved into the jurisprudence of liberty. Dr. Kabumba traced a history of documenting liberty quoting the US Declaration of Independence and French Constitution when the Monarchy was deposed. Coming closer to home, he explained that Article 23 of 2005 Uganda Constitution is about protection of personal liberty and a bill of rights is defined; however, while these are written the reality is different.

Dr. Kabumba Busingye added that its demoralizing that when colonialism ended and power handed over to African leaders, the leaders have been harsh. ‘Despite independence and declarations of liberty, the reality is hollow. Nationals are born in captivity and die in captivity in “open air prisons”’ he added. He highlighted laws that support unlawful detentions still in existence on the Uganda books of law like the Law of Idle and disorderly. In such instances, the arresting officer is the determinant of the wrong committed by the offender. Dr. Kabumba Busingye noted that because of unlawful detentions, prisons are full and more are required. He added that there are recent changes happening in the judicial system which will further affect civil liberties in Uganda for example high bail rates, appointment of acting judges among others.

‘Once you are in illegal detention, you are in no-man’s land, where anything can happen. We should be conscious of various forms of unlawful detentions’

‘There is a range of offenses targeting poor persons or political opponents; these are used to clean streets of undesirables. The person arresting you determines the offense’

Dr. Busingye Kabumba
Hon. Winfred Kiiza.
Hon. Winfred Kiiza.

Hon. Winfred Kiiza, former Leader of Opposition in Parliament; Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director – HURIPEC and Mr. Kenneth Roth, Executive Director – Human Rights Watch constituted a Panel to discuss accountability for unlawful detentions by government institutions. Brigadier General Felix Kulayigye, spokesperson of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) had been invited and accepted to join the Panel but he was unable to attend the symposium.

Hon. Kiiza thanked SoL and HURIPEC for inviting her to attend and speak at the symposium, an opportunity for knowledge sharing. She re-echoed the first stanza of the Uganda National Anthem where one of the lyrics is ‘United, free for liberty together we’ll always stand’. She wondered whether Ugandans are actually free.

‘If liberty and freedoms were protected would we be here to discuss unlawful detentions’

‘Bad laws will eventually catch-up with everyone, all people of conscience must rise up to defend the law and human rights. Even those perpetrating unlawful detentions are captives of they serve’

Hon. Winfred Kiiza

Hon. Kiiza stated, ‘everyone is expected to follow the law where the expectation is thatthe law is fair, but is it’. She thanked SoL and HURIPEC for organising the discussions because it has become so difficult to share knowledge. She called for accountability of leaders at all levels adding that we are in a situation of ‘rule by law not rule of law’.

Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law.
Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Director Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law.

Many issues are interconnected with unlawful detentions but ‘Ugandans have a tendency of normalizing situations, consider the rising prices of fuel (diesel is more expensive than petrol which was unseen before)’, Dr. Zahara Nampewo highlighted. She added that previously, there was a presidential acknowledgment of unlawful detentions where he said, ‘security agencies were arresting perpetrators of terrorism and insecurity, talk of unlawful detentions should be ignored because that can’t happen under the government of National Resistance Movement (NRM)’. Dr. Nampewo also shared summary of the report, ‘Human Rights Violations in Uganda: The Abuse of Civil and Political Rights in the Era of Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo’. The report was produced by HURIPEC to audit observance of human rights in the era of ‘Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo’, President Museveni’s term 2016-2021. The research findings concluded that violations of political and civil rights continued to occur in the term. Some of the violations highlighted included: excessive use of force by security agencies leading to injuries and deaths, detention beyond 48 hours, disappearances to unknown detention places, extra-judicial killings, torture and degrading treatment.

‘Strongman syndrome exists in Uganda where officers posture themselves to be above the law. The strongman syndrome has enabled powerful individuals to issue orders even in contravention of the law. These strongmen are able to use the system for their personal interests.’

Dr. Zahara Nampewo
Mr. Kenneth Roth, Executive Director – Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Mr. Kenneth Roth, Executive Director – Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Mr. Kenneth Roth shared what transpired in a meeting that HRW had held with His Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to share their report on the status of Unlawful Detention and Abuse in Unauthorized Places of Detention in Uganda titled, ‘I Only Need Justice’.  Issues discussed included Human Rights Protection Act; holding government accountable;proposed human rights defenders law; persecution of civil society in Uganda through the changes instituted in the NGO law;attacks on press members; Facebook shut down among others. The President promised to review the issues raised.

‘The issue of unlawful detentions takes both a criminal and political dimension especially with Internal Security Organisation (ISO). People were picked up and disappeared. There were also reports of people beaten, raped and tortured with them being extorted for release’.

Mr. Kenneth Roth

A number of issues were raised during discussions:

  1. The four ‘I’s affecting human rights in Uganda were given as: Impunity by security and government personnel;Institutions and their collapse; Information and documentation of human rights violations as evidence for future reference and Implementation of laws and guidelines.
  2. The role of the international community in holding the government accountable for violations.
  3. Resilience and response mechanisms by the population.
  4. The appointment of NRM cadres as judicial officers and in human rights institutions which affects objectivity and impartiality required in justice.
  5. Partnerships are required in fighting human rights violations, no one or institution can solve the problem alone. Consider development of a strategic plan to bring all parties on table to work together.
  6. Ugandans are suffering from collective Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the abuse and violations suffered. The end might be very bad for the country.
  7. Vicious cycle of abuse of state power from colonial time to subsequent governments in Uganda since independence.
  8. Torture, fear and intimidation affecting population, media and others players in the country.
  9. HURIPEC has to organize other meetings like the symposium to continue sharing knowledge on human rights violations and unlawful detentions.
  10.  The civic space in Uganda continues to narrow and hopefully academic institutions can help close the gap.

The organisers of the symposium, HURIPEC and HRW promised to share a detailed report of the meeting.

The symposium was closed by Professor Christopher Mbazira, Principal SoL. He thanked HURIPEC and HRW for organising the Symposium. He also thanked the audience assuring participants that SoL will continue to be a safe civic space.

‘The culture of impunity has become more entrenched; Courts are mobbed not to grant bail or make certain decisions, people holding public offices are mobbed to grant favours, inconsistent with procedures of the law’

Professor Christopher Mbazira


School of Law Annual Report 2023



Cover page of the School of Law Annual Report 2023. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

I am delighted to present to you the Makerere University School of Law 2023 Annual report. The report highlights the major activities undertaken and the major outputs in light of our core mandate of teaching, research and community outreach. It also highlights the challenges the School is facing and future plans.

With respect to teaching and learning, we successfully implemented all the scheduled activities including teaching, examinations, orientation for new freshers, field attachment, graduate admission exams and graduation. At the 73rd graduation ceremony of Makerere University, the School presented a total of 249 graduands of which 23 were awarded Master of Laws degrees and 226 awarded Bachelor of Laws degrees. To make our graduate programmes more relevant and competitive, we revised the Master of Laws programme and the Doctor of Laws programme. Additional to these revised programmes, in the course of next year, we expect to launch two new specialized Master of Laws degree programmes which are currently before the National Council for Higher Education for accreditation.

Students’ participation in moot court competitions is one of the major methodologies we employ in teaching our learners. Besides the learning, participation in moot competitions gives our learners exposure and provides them great opportunities for net-working. I am happy to report that in 2023, our students excelled in all the national and international moot court competitions they participated in. They won the Phillip Jessup International Moot Court Competitions national rounds and were supposed to represent Uganda at the international rounds but failed to secure visas in time. Our students also won the inaugural Gender and the Law moot competition. We emerged first runners-up in the Great Lakes International Humanitarian Law moot court competitions.

In the area of research, our faculty undertook a number of research projects and published many scholarly journal articles, books and reports on different subjects. I congratulate them for these research out puts. Among our major research outputs for 2023 is the edited book volume on Militarization and Development in Uganda. This publication unravels how militarization is taking place in the different sectors, the implications, and the hard choices Uganda has to make with respect to governance, human rights and economic development.

With respect to community outreach, our faculty and students participated in a number of initiatives and activities that were undertaken by our different units in particular, the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC), the Refugee Law Project (RLP) and the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC). Among these include: training of University staff and other stakeholders on refugee rights and duties; training of police officers on disability rights and the law; legal aid camp for students and staff of Makerere University; participation in the Uganda Law Society (ULS) probono day; and conducting the Administrative Law short course in various parts of the country. In addition to providing learning opportunities to students who participate in them, our community outreach activities are very important for making our School more relevant in terms of empowering the local communities and addressing some of their legal-related challenges and needs.

I thank the Government of Uganda, Makerere University Council, Makerere University Top Administration and all our partners and well-wishers for your support that enabled us to implement numerous activities and achieve the highlighted outputs. I also thank colleagues in the administration at our School, staff and students for participating in the different activities.

As We Build for the Future

Ronald Naluwairo, PhD

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HURIPECTalks: A Podcast by HURIPEC



#HURIPECTalks: A Podcast by HURIPEC featuring; Mr. James Nkuubi, Prof. Christopher Mbazira, Dr. Godber Tumushabe, Dr. Zahara Nampewo, Mr. Ndebesa Mwabutsya, Prof. Joshua B. Rubongoya, and Dr. Jimmy Spire Ssentongo.

To listen:

#HURIPECTalks is a podcast hosted by HURIPEC. It explores various issues shaping Uganda today and offers a platform where academics at the School of Law and beyond can share their research and reflections on a multitude of topics. The main objective of the podcast is to broaden avenues for dialogue, knowledge production and knowledge exchange with a view towards solving some of the most pertinent challenges facing Uganda, Africa and the world. The podcast is anchored in analyses on human rights, sustainable development, conflict resolution, gender equality, constitutional law, social justice, among others.

This first HURIPECTalks podcast series on law, militarisation, peace and development defines militarism and militarisation and explores how these phenomena have manifested throughout Uganda’s history and present. It examines how militarism and militarisation are impacting rule of law, policy and politics as well as the economy and society, and how they are shaping gender relations, youth expressions and aspirations.  The series also unpacks theories of Pan Africanism and decolonisation in relation to militarisation and militarism, and how they influence peace in Uganda and in the broader African context. The different episodes in this series suggest ways in which Uganda can balance the role of the military in operations other than war, such as development and security roles, while preserving democratic agendas and aspirations towards inclusivity, balanced civil military relations and sustainable peace in Uganda

Episode   Title and description of episodeGuest/Host
   Introduction   This is an introduction to the podcast series: HURIPECTALKS. It is made by the Director of HURIPEC and in it, he briefly describes HURIPEC’s history and mandate and how HURIPECTALKS serves as one of many platforms for the institution’s academic research, dissemination and advocacy mandate. Director, HURIPEC Dr. Kabumba Busingye
Episode 1:      DNA testing: In the case of militarisation of Uganda, who is the father?   The return of coups d’états in West Africa, has once again pushed militarism to the forefront of Africa’s politics, and here in Uganda, the discourse around the role of armies in the country’s social, political and economic landscape is gaining momentum. But as you discover in this episode, militarism is not new to our collective memory as a country. To start off this series, we ask ourselves where this phenomenon of militarism and militarisation came from and how it has come to define who we are as Ugandans. This episode explores the following key areas: the History of militarisation in Uganda; the conceptual scope of militarism and militarisation; contemporary manifestations of militarisation in Uganda; and a contextual understanding of militarisation in Uganda. It asks a critical question whether Uganda is a country with a military or a military with a country. It leaves this question unanswered to set an open dialogue for the rest of the series and for broader reflection by listeners.   Reference material: Jude, Kagoro. Militarisation in post 1986 Uganda: Politics, Military and Society Interpretation. 2015. Wæver, Ole. “Securitization and Desecuritization.” In On Security. Edited by Ronnie Lipschutz, 46–86. 1995.Guest: Mr. James Nkuubi  

Host: Dr. Sylvie Namwase      
Episode 2:    Battle of the law and the gun in Uganda: questioning the way forward   This episode unpacks the tensions between law and militarisation in Uganda. It explores the impact of military deployment in Uganda’s development sectors in the absence of functional institutional and civilian oversight. It also examines the phenomenon of “orders from above” and the impact this has on governance. Ultimately, the episode examines the relationship between the supremacy of the military versus the supremacy of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.   Reference material: Uganda v. Commissioner of Prisons, Ex Parte Michael Matovu [1966] 1 East Africa Law Reports 514.  Guest: Prof. Christopher Mbazira  

Host: Mr. James Nkuubi    
Episode 3:  Re-imagining Uganda’s future in the era of militarisation.   This episode explores how militarization and militarism are impacting citizens’ agency and accountability of state institutions in Uganda. The episode examines how these phenomena affect the various formations of citizens’ civic expression in Uganda, such as youth, ethnic nationalities, media, civil service, and many others. It also considers the question whether beyond militarisation the army has a role to play in civic spaces. Reference material: Rebecca, Tapscott.  Arbitrary states: social control and modern authoritarianism in Museveni’s Uganda. 2021.Guest: Dr. Godber Tumushabe

Host: Dr. Sylvie Namwase.    
Episode 4:    Gender and militarisation in Uganda: Do women have agency in militarised Uganda?   This episode examines how militarization and militarism impact gender dynamics in Uganda. It explores the roles women played in Uganda’s military and political history and interrogates whether these roles have translated into benefits for Ugandan women in today’s socio-economic and political context. The episode also explores how militarism and militarisation affect masculinities in Uganda.   Reference material: The Abuja Declaration on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other related infectious diseases. 2001.Sylvia, Tamale. Decolonisation and Afro-Feminism, 2020.Rosalind, E. Boyd. ‘Empowerment of women in Uganda: real or symbolic,’ Review of African Political Economy, 16:45-46, 106-117(1989). Guest: Dr. Zahara Nampewo  

Host: Dr. Sylvie Namwase
  Episode 5:    Military development Model? From combatants to Industrialists.   This episode examines the role of the military in the industrialization process underway in Uganda. It takes a specific focus on the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) which is the commercial arm of the Ministry of Defence and the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF).  It also explores the role of the UPDF in natural resource protection with respect to forestry, fisheries, minerals and wild life resources.   References: National Economic Corporation Act, 1989.  Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document S/2002/1146). Mr. Ndebesa Mwabutsya  

Host: Mr. Jackson Odong
Episode 6:    Snake oil and smoke screens? revisiting Pan Africanism, decolonisation and militarisation   This episode explores Pan Africanism, decolonisation and militarisation in Uganda with a focus on the political economy of regional militarisation. The episode discusses the role of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in Africa with regard to peacekeeping and stabilisation missions.  It also explores the role of global actors such as the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union and regional blocs such as the East African Community.Guest: Prof. Joshua B. Rubongoya

Host: Mr. Jackson Odong
Episode 7:    Is Uganda in a cycle of militarisation?   This concluding episode reflects on the entire series and analyses the political, social and economic landscape in the country to ask the critical question whether Uganda is repeating its history of militarism which led it down a path of political, social and economic turmoil. It explores aspects of citizen’s resistance, compromise and/or co-optation to militarisation.  It probes what type of citizen has emerged in Uganda over the course of a history marked by militarisation. It concludes with reflections on how Uganda might ensure peace even in the context of militarisation.    Reference material: Jimmy Spire Ssentongo. What I saw when I died. 2021.Jimmy Spire Ssentongo. Quarantined: my ordeal in Uganda’s Covid-19 isolation Centres. 2021. Jimmy Spire Ssentongo. Uncomfortable laughter. 2020.Jimmy Spire Ssentongo. Inquiry into withering heritage: the relevance of traditional Baganda approaches to sustainable environmental conservation today. 2012. Dr. Spire Ssentongo  

Host: Dr. Sylvie Namwase

About the Guests

Mr. James Nkuubi, practices Constitutional and human rights law and democratization in Africa through teaching, research, writing and strategic activism with particular focus on security sector reform, citizenry resilience and liberative politics in Africa. James also lends a great deal of his professional acumen and time to human rights initiatives and campaigns across Uganda. He has previously chaired the Civil and Political Rights Working Group under the Network for Public Interest Lawyers, based at the School of Law, Makerere University-using public interest litigation to counter, mitigate and combat social injustice, human rights and constitutional law transgressions by the State. James holds a Masters’ Degree in human rights and democratization in Africa from the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and currently an LLD student focusing on Militarization, peace and sustainable development, under a programme administered jointly at the Department of Political Science, Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC), University of Copenhagen-Denmark and the Human Rights and Peace Center, School of Law, Makerere-University, Kampala-Uganda. James has published journal articles and book chapters on the subjects of militarization, electoral security, citizenry resistance to State-led militarism among others.

Dr. Christopher Mbazira is a Professor of Law at the School of Law, Makerere University. He is also the Coordinator of the Public Interest Law Clinic (PILAC) at the same School and a founding member of the Network of Public Interest Lawyers (NETPIL). He previously chaired of the Rule of Law Committee of the Uganda Law Society.  He was one of 9 academics who approached the Supreme Court of Uganda and were admitted as amici in the 2016 Presidential Election Petition. This has resulted into positive jurisprudence on the subject of Amicus Curae. Prof. Mbazira has written and spoken widely on the subject of socio-economic rights in the context of the judicial application of these rights as well as public interest litigation. Since 2018, Prof Mbazira has supported the National Planning Authority (NPA) in integrating the Human Rights Based Approach in the country’s development agenda. Prof Mbazira has consulted with international agencies, including the United Nations on human rights and governance matters. In 2021, Prof Mbazira won the Uganda Law Society Award for his distinguished service in legal education in Uganda. Prof Mbazira has been key in introducing the use of the clinical methodology of teaching the law and building a community of public interest lawyers in Uganda. Prof Mbazira holds an LLB from Makerere University, an LLM in Human Rights from the University of Pretoria and a PhD from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. In 2015, Christopher was a co-recipient of the Vera Chirwa Award given by the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, for his outstanding contribution in the promotion of socio-economic rights in Africa.

Mr. Godber W. Tumushabe is a lawyer, policy analyst, community organizer and social entrepreneur. He teaches international law, international and regional human rights, and environmental law. He is the founding Executive Director of Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (2000-2013) and is currently Associate Director at the Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS), a Kampala-based regional think tank. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law (LLB) and a Master of Laws Degree (LLM) from Makerere University, and a Juridical Science Master (JSM) Degree from Stanford Law School, Stanford University. He previously worked with the African Centre for Technology Studies in Kenya (1997-1999) where he directed Africa-wide projects on environmental governance. Godber Tumushabe has published widely on a wide range of domestic and international policy areas. He is co-author of Governing the Environment: Political Change and Natural Resources Management in Eastern and Southern Africa and Unlocking Africa’s Future: Biotechnology and Law.

Dr. Zahara Nampewo is a lawyer and human rights practitioner with over 20 years’ experience in the private, public and non – profit sectors. She has been with the School of Law at Makerere University since 2006. She is the Deputy Principal of the School of Law. Dr. Nampewo received her PhD from Emory University in the United States. Her PhD research focus followed a feminist socio-legal examination of law and culture on how women’s sexuality is articulated within the social domains of family and marriage. She holds a Master of Laws degree (International Human Rights) from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom and an advanced Diploma in Human Rights Protection from Abo Akademi University, Turku, Finland. She completed her Bar Course and acquired a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Uganda in 1999. She is an Advocate of the Courts of Judicature in Uganda. Dr. Nampewo’s areas of interest and expertise include human rights, health justice, gender and transitional justice. She teaches and practices in Health Law, International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights and Gender Law. Dr. Nampewo has published on a range of subjects including health and disability justice, gender and family law, sexuality, human rights and access to justice.

Mr. Ndebesa Mwambustya is a Political Analyst and former Senior Lecturer of History and Development Studies in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHUSS), Makerere University.

Professor Joshua Rubongoya is anaccomplished liberal arts college Professor (Ph.D. University of Denver) with over 24 years of instructional and administrative expertise. Responsible for lectures, seminars, workshops and student trips to Africa for hands-on experiential learning. Served as Department Chairperson for 3 years in an academic department of 6 full-time and 4 adjunct professors and managed inter alia the Department budget, new faculty recruitment and curricula revisions in addition to liaising with the Academic Dean. Committed to research; authored Regime Hegemony in Museveni’s Uganda: Pax Musevenica, journal and newspaper articles/reviews and book chapters. Experience also includes consultancies for organizations such as the World Bank and Danida in several areas: political economy, democratic governance and party politics in Uganda. Also served as political analyst on Uganda TV including NTV and WBS.

Dr. Jimmy Spire Ssentongo is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, Makerere University, where he has taught since 2011. Jimmy is a member of Makerere University Press Editorial Board, since 2018 and a Coordinator of Ethics in the Department. Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Ethics and Identity Studies at Uganda Martyrs University, where he variously served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; Associate Dean in Charge of Research and Publication at the School of Postgraduate Studies and Research; and founding Chair of the Center for African Studies. Jimmy has edited two book volumes and widely published in peer-reviewed journals, book volumes, and monographs. With a strong belief that academics should be actively engaged in their communities, Jimmy has served as a Columnist and Editorial Cartoonist for the Observer Newspaper since 2006. In 2021, he won the national Janzi Award for Outstanding Cartoonist, and also nominated for Outstanding Non-Fiction Writer. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University for Humanistic Studies (Holland), and was a winner of the Commonwealth Scholarship for MSc in Education for Sustainability at London South Bank University where he won the Dean’s Award for Best Student on the programme. Most recently, Jimmy won a fellowship on the African Humanities Program (2019-2020) and was also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cambridge (2019- 2020). He is a facilitator on the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung ‘Youth Leadership Programme’ on ‘Managing Diversity’ since 2017. He was recently appointed to the Board of the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda and also serves as the current Chairman of the Board of Padre Pio Rural Development Initiative (PAPIRUDEI).

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Scholarship Opportunity: LLD Scholarship in climate policies on Charcoal Conflicts in Uganda & Tanzania



The Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law, Makerere University. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

The Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC), School of Law, Makerere University invites excellent and motivated candidates for a doctoral position in climate policies and law. The position is part of the DANIDA funded research project titled: “Charcoal Conflict in Climate Change’s Decarbonisation Dilemmas: Knots of Livelihood, Nutrition, Communities, Gender, Migration and Energy in East Africa”. The successful applicant will join a vibrant international research environment and enrol at the School of Law, Makerere University. The studies are expected to begin on 1 November 2023. The scholarship position is for 4 years ending on 30th November 2027.

The Project “Charcoal Conflict in Climate Change’s Decarbonisation Dilemmas” explores the conflict potential in green transitions in Uganda and Tanzania, with a special attention to the ways charcoal is embedded in local communities and therefore tied up with food, health, gender, youth, migration, ethnic relations and the informal economy. Local level field work in select regions within the two countries is connected to on the one hand analyses of the political and legal frameworks in the two countries and on the other hand the global climate management regime, formal and informal, that increasingly puts low-emission countries under pressure of energy transitions.

The candidate selected for the advertised doctoral position will principally contribute to the project by developing her or his original analysis of Uganda and Tanzania’s legal and policy frameworks as they relate to the social and economic dynamics of charcoal under the terrain of relevant laws and polices mapped out by global climate regimes. This will happen in close collaboration with the research teams in Uganda, Tanzania and Denmark, which include: one other PhD from Tanzania, Post-Doctoral researchers and senior scholars from the three countries.

The project is a collaboration between three partners: The Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) a semi-autonomous department under the School of Law at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT), a private University in Mwanza, Tanzania, contributing expertise in health, gender and peace studies; The Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, a hub for peace and conflict research in Denmark.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Doctoral student is expected to:

  • Develop an independent research project for an LLD thesis that covers the local levels of the project (Uganda and Tanzania) in a way that productively supports the overarching project and the other sub-projects.
  • Participate actively in the development of the CHARCOAL CONFLICT project and its academic activities, including collaborating in refining the project design and methodology and further developing the theoretical framework
  • Prepare and participate in joint publications and workshops and help make an impact on the scholarly and public debate on global climate politics and (in)justice
  • Travel to Tanzania and Denmark for annual retreats, participate in field trips and possibly stay for some periods at partner universities.
  • Assist in carrying out administrative and coordination duties associated with the project, including interim reporting to DANIDA, co-organisation of workshops, the project website and initiating new initiatives.

Your Competencies and Opportunities

  • The applicant must be Ugandan and must have a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from a recognized university. Candidates who display knowledge of de-colonial and critical legal theory approaches to the field of study will have an added advantage. Applicants must be motivated, creative and mature and should display enthusiasm and good interpersonal and communication skills. They must display good knowledge of East Africa, its laws and policies especially as they relate to the social, economic and political dynamics of charcoal, renewable energy transitions and climate change in the region.

Other possible competences include:

  • A good grasp of relevant academic literature
  • Strong academic writing skills
  • The ability to work independently as well as collaborate with other members of a research team
  • An ability to work across disciplines and in an international context.

Scope of the Scholarship

The Scholarship will cover the following:

  1. Full Tuition fees for up to four years
  2. A generous monthly stipend for the duration of the doctoral studies.
  3. Research period of 3 months at CRIC in Denmark
  4. Full access to the Danish Library and other connected libraries.
  5. Extra and thorough supervisory research support from senior academics under the project at HURIPEC, SAUT & CRIC.

Other benefits:

  • Being part of an ambitious team that aims to produce high quality research with significant policy relevance.
  • The opportunity to develop an independent research agenda within the overall project.
  • Being part of a strong multidisciplinary research environment within Law, Sociology, International Relations and Conflict Research.
  • Get the opportunity to see typical Northern research agendas challenged by excellent scholars from East Africa and being part of this team.
  • Funding for participation on project relevant conferences.

Instructions for Application

Applicants should submit a 5 page concept note of their planned thesis exploring any of the project themes and objectives but with an emphasis on the social–economic impact of the legal and policy frameworks on charcoal in the clean energy transition discourses in both Uganda and Tanzania. The concept should include key questions, a theoretical framework, methodology and how the planned thesis will add to already existing research. The concept note should also comprise a preliminary bibliography and a preliminary study plan. All applications will be reviewed by an appraisal committee following which the successful applicants will appear before an expert panel for further assessment. The successful candidate will be asked to fulfil the admission requirements at Makerere University before submitting a full proposal.

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria will be followed when shortlisting candidates for assessment:

  1. Relevant qualifications and knowledge to the proposed area of study
  2. Research qualifications relevant to the overall research project.
  3. Quality and feasibility of the concept note
  4. Originality and creativity of the research concept.
  5. Significance of the research in respect to any of the following issues:
    • (i) The special need addressed in society / discipline.
    • (ii) Providing a solution to an existing problem
    • (iii) Improvement of a critical service
    • (iv) Proposal for alternative best practice or cost effectiveness
    • (v) Contribution to a strategic goal or global issue
  6. Performance (grades obtained) in graduate and post-graduate studies.

Concept notes together with the accompanying documents should be submitted electronically to the following E-mails: copying busingye.kabumba@amugalu

The following are the required accompanying documents:

  1. A Cover Letter addressed to the HURIPEC Director, detailing your motivation and background for applying for the LLD programme.
  2. A work plan demonstrating ability to complete the LLD programme in less than or within four years.
  3. A CV including list of publications, where available.
  4. Recommendation from at least one senior academic in a recognised institution of higher learning.

The application must be submitted electronically. Deadline for applications is: 15th October 2023.


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