Parliament Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah has advised the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) and other civil society organizations against relying on donor funding, saying that they often have different agendas and interests that do not work in favor of the countries they purport to support.
Oulanyah made the remarks while responding to calls by the UHRC to restore operations of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), a non-governmental organization that had been funding the operations of the Commission, among other national agencies and NGOs.
The Chairperson of UHRC, Mariam Wangadya told the Speaker that the Commission had a funding gap of Sh5.83b which had been affected by the closure of DGF.
She called on Parliament to intervene in availing more funding to cater for staffing and field activities for the human rights watchdog.
“Government of Uganda funds are only for administration, with only 15 per cent going to core activities. We call on Government to support us fully so that we can deliver without the need for donor support,” Wangadya said.
She added that the continued closure of DGF, has limited the UHRC in delivering on its mandate given that it had funded its operations including investigations, tribunal hearings and field offices.
The Speaker said that reliance on donor support should be a thing of the past. He advised the UHRC and other civil societies to develop local capacity and rearrange their priorities.
He urged the Commission to include all intended activities in its work plan for better budgeting.
Oulanyah who also received the UHRC reports for the years 2019 and 2020 on December 2, 2021, was concerned that a number of reports presented by agencies to Parliament do not adequately capture the concerns and issues affecting Ugandans in rural areas especially on matters such as human rights.
He advised the Ministries, Departments, Agencies and other stakeholders to focus their research studies and recommendations on the plight of the common man.