The Hu­man Rights Com­mit­tee of Par­lia­ment has ex­pressed their frus­tra­tion af­ter the Uganda Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Com­mis­sion’s (UCC) Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor God­frey Mu­ta­bazi failed to ap­pear be­fore the com­mit­tee. The com­mit­tee chaired by Chair­per­son Hon. Egunyu Nan­tume wrote to the UCC on Mon­day 6th May 2019 re­quest­ing them to ap­pear be­fore the com­mit­tee. In the let­ter, a list of is­sues that the com­mit­tee needed the Com­mis­sion to ad­dress was high­lighted from the 20th An­nual Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion Re­port (2017).

Mr God­frey Mu­ta­bazi del­e­gated the Com­mis­sion’s Di­rec­tor of Cor­po­rate Af­fairs Mr Fred Ot­tunu but the com­mit­tee was go­ing to have it. The Chair­per­son said that many of the is­sues raised against UCC needed the head of the in­sti­tu­tion to be pre­sent with the di­rec­tors of the dif­fer­ent de­part­ments. Hon. Sssewungu Gon­zaga who is not a mem­ber of the com­mit­tee but was in­ter­ested in the pro­ceed­ings said that Mr Mu­ta­bazi has on count­less oc­ca­sions un­der­mined the man­date and au­thor­ity of Par­lia­ment. He added that there was no of­fi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor del­e­gat­ing Mr Ot­tunu to rep­re­sent him. Mr Ot­tunu con­ceded and apol­o­gised on be­half of the com­mis­sion.

He, how­ever, jus­ti­fied his boss’ ab­sence say­ing that the com­mis­sion has a board meet­ing to­day to which Mr Mu­ta­bizi is a mem­ber and will be en­gaged in it. The com­mit­tee mem­bers main­tained that UCC should have writ­ten to them to this ef­fect and asked for a resched­ule of the meet­ing. The com­mit­tee fur­ther noted that the en­gage­ment was go­ing to en­com­pass hu­man rights is­sues against the com­mis­sion that are not lim­ited to 2017.

Bukhooli County MP, Hon. Ouma George abort re­quested that the com­mit­tee ex­cuses Mr Ot­tunu be­cause his pre­sen­ta­tion will only cover a frac­tion of what needs to be de­lib­er­ated upon. This idea gar­nered the sup­port of all the com­mit­tee mem­bers and through the Chair­per­son, a de­ci­sion was made and Mr Ot­tunu ex­cused. The com­mit­tee then turned to an in house meet­ing to dis­cuss what ac­tion plan they should take to have the Mr Mu­ta­bazi ap­pear be­fore them.