The Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Uganda have condemned the manner in which security personnel responded to the recent demonstrations in Kampala.
The Bishops observe that the amount of force used by some security agents while arresting protesting students of Makerere University, journalists and opposition groups over the recent weeks was uncalled for and violated human dignity.
In a statement signed by the Chairperson of Uganda Episcopal Conference Joseph Anthony Zziwa, the Bishop of Kiyinda Mityana Diocese, the Bishops termed the brutality as abuse of power.
They called for respect of Articles 24 and 44(a) of the Constitution which stipulate respect of human rights and dignity.
“The same Constitutional Provisions guarantee the right to protection from inhuman and degrading treatment by prohibiting any forms of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” the statement dated November 8, 2019 reads in part.
The bishops acknowledge the condemnation of the brutality by Members of Parliament and Government; urging all parties in the disagreement to choose dialogue over violence.
“It will not help to make our country a family where everybody can [not] live in peace and harmony. We therefore call upon government to promote dialogue and to always listen to the grievances of its citizens.”
The statement drafted during the November 4-8th Assembly of the Uganda Episcopal Conference was released to the Press on Sunday by Father Phillip Odii, the Executive Secretary for Social Communications.
They call on individuals, communities and institutions to respect the rule of law and endeavour to seek peaceful ways of resolving conflicts.
The Makerere University fees strike broke out on October 22 as students protected institution policy to annually increase tuition by 15 percent. Students opposed to the increment assert that it will affect private sponsored students and deny them basic fundamental human rights – education.
Although the violence has subsided, scores of students were injured or suspended by University administration.