The Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera, earlier today presided over the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed members of the Equal Opportunities Commission at the Judiciary headquarters in Kampala.
The members sworn-in include Ms Safia Jjuko Nalule, as the Chairperson of the four-member Commission; Vice Chairperson, Mr Joel Cox Ojuko, and Ms Denise Tusiime and Sr Mary Wasagali as members.
The DCJ called upon the commissioners to serve the public with sobriety, humility and integrity. “Commissioners, as you take on this new assignment, you always need to remember that you are part of the chain and building block to the desired national development,” he said.
Adding, “I implore you always to remember your cardinal duties to the nation, the Constitution and the people of Uganda on whose behalf you have been sworn in to serve,” the DCJ said.
By law, the Commission is mandated to monitor, evaluate and ensure that policies, laws, plans, programs, activities, traditions, cultures, usages and customs of all organs of State, private bodies and cultural communities and other members of our society act in favour of groups that were marginalised based on sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, creed, religion, social and economic standing, political opinion, disability, gender, age or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom.
Ms Nalule reassured the DCJ that the Commission has already registered several achievements in ensuring that all people, especially the marginalised groups participate and benefit from government programs in all spheres of their social-economic, political, religious and cultural lives.
She noted that as a result of the advocacy work of the commission, “It is now a legal requirement for every government agency to get a Certificate of Gender and Equity Compliance” when submitting their budgets for consideration.
About the mandate and achievements of the Commission, Ms Nalule appealed to the Government to keep the Commission operational. “I urge the government to drop the idea of dissolving the Equal Opportunities Commission because of its mandate,” she said.
The Commission provides a forum for any person who has a complaint relating to discrimination, marginalisation or any act that undermines Equal Opportunities to raise it so that it is investigated and remedial action is taken.
The Registrar High Court, HW Samuel Emokor, congratulated the Commissioners upon their appointment and wished them well in their assignment.
The ceremony was witnessed by Commissioner Bernard Mujuni, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mr Robert Mugarura, Ag Secretary to the Commission (EOC); HW Dr Alex Mushabe, Ag Deputy Registrar/Private Legal Secretary to DCJ who moderated the ceremony; and the Personal Assistant to the Chief Registrar, HW Allan Gakyaro.