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.