Kampala – The Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development has directed all local governments to establish grievance-handling mechanisms that will handle people who are aggrieved at their respective local governments.
According to the Commissioner for equity and rights at the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development, Bernard Mujuni the mechanisms shall train district local government executive committees on grievance redress handling mechanisms in addition to conducting community sensitisation on business and human rights.
Mr. Mujuni made these remarks on Tuesday morning while speaking to journalists on the forthcoming national symposium on business and human rights scheduled for 9th to 10th November 2023 under theme “Assessing Uganda’s journey in access to Justice for Business and Human Rights at the Media Center in Kampala.
Relatedly, the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Commissioner Shifra Lukwago has implored government to ensure that basic rights and dignity of individuals are protected and promoted and where there are human rights violations, appropriate remedy should be accorded in a timely manner. Mrs. Lukwago was delivering a brief statement on the business and human rights symposium in preparation for the annual national symposium on business and human rights in Uganda at the Media Center.
“As the country prepares for the 5th annual symposium on business and human rights, Uganda Human Rights Commission therefore pledges unwavering commitment to monitoring and accessing business activities to ensure they comply with both domestic and international human rights standards and basic practices in business and human rights in line with the United Nations guiding principles of respect, protect, remedy and fulfilled enjoyment of human rights to all,” she said.
Local Governments are supposed to develop Procedures for recording, investigating and responding to grievances. Grievances arising out of implementation of all investments will follow the normal grievances redress mechanism in Government.
The purpose of the grievance redress mechanism is to provide affected people with avenues for making a complaint or resolving any dispute that may arise during implementation of government funded projects using the sector development grant or other grants.
Ensure that appropriate and mutually acceptable corrective actions are identified and implemented to address complaints.
Verify that complainants are satisfied with outcomes for corrective actions;
Avoid the need to resort to judicial (legal court) proceedings unless it is warranted.
Meanwhile most of the grievances in local governments stem from poor service delivery like on Monday 6th November, 2023, residents in Tororo district in eastern Uganda were involved in running battles with police while protesting over the poor state of Nagongera–Busolwe road. The residents want the road to be tarmacked as per the presidential pledge.
The road in question has been a presidential pledge since 2001 and to date, the promise is yet to be fulfilled.