MARACHA. The residents of Maracha district who attended the community dialogue organized by Uganda human rights commission (UHRC) that ended on Friday in Kijomoro sub-county have ruled out committing offenses out of ignorance in the near future.
Other sub-counties covered during the week-long meeting that started on Monday include Tara, Yivu, Oleba, and Oluffe.
During the training, UHRC offered general sensitization on human rights programs and the dangers of mob action.
A number of stakeholders from the district who took part in the dialogue from the different venues acknowledged the legal guidelines presented, saying the advice has given them the insight to judge their actions before implementation.
In his presentation, Mr. Bosco Okurut, a legal officer from UHRC based in Arua regional office said Maracha district officials allowed them to conduct the training following the upsurge of mob action due to failure by the locals to interpret the laws in the constitution.
Land conflicts and witchcraft allegations were later identified by the members of the community as the common causes of mob action in the area.
Ms Peace Ayikoru Anguyo, an official from UHRC cautioned the people involved in mob action against promoting the act due to reprisal attacks.
“I want to assure you that no mob action is legal, first go and see people languishing in the prisons before you risk. No one is above the law and if anyone abuses your rights, we will help you except criminal cases which we refer to the police for investigations,” Ms Ayikoru stated.
Mr Sunday Masabua, a resident of Osidribiku trading centre in Oluffe sub-county expressed gratitude for being liberated from ignorance of the law for the first time in his life.
Masabua believes that the knowledge will also relieve the active youths who are killing people along with the border points in cold blood.
“I think this is the last time people here are going to claim they participated in mob action due to ignorance. The law enforcers should be at liberty to ask whether a suspect was not sensitized by UHRC officials in front of this shop at Osidribiku trading centre or not when they are accused,” Masabua stressed.
The Yivu sub-county chairperson Mr Peter Andeku Otima congratulated the rights body on grounds that the high crime rate has been wasting people’s time for development.
“This program is going to help us to solve the problem of legal ignorance in a place where the magistrate’s court is not in existence for people to attend and learn about possible charges and judgment. I want to assure the legal team that our people to date, have failed to differentiate between civil and criminal cases,” Mr. Andeku stated.
He appealed to the participants to disseminate the knowledge acquired to the grassroots so as to eliminate the common crimes.
Mr Lawrence Atiku, the parish chief of Ojapi parish in Tara sub-county said the information they have got from UHRC has enlightened them.
“People have learned that they have been taking the wrong procedures in handling such issues. We have now learned that mob justice is actually illegal,” Mr Atiku noted.
Ms Harriet Driciru, a resident of Tara sub-county said: "This awareness meeting by UHRC is important to everybody, I have known my rights and I have got to know what my community is supposed to do regarding human rights."