Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) and Resident City Commissioners (RCCs) have been advised to be very cautious while dealing with equal opportunities issues in order not to occasion legal liability on themselves.
Mr. Habib Seruwagi, a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) said RDCs and RCCs recieve many cases of discrimination and marginalisation from residents in their respective districts and while handling them, they sometimes end up making mistakes, thus landing themselves in trouble with the long arm of the law.
“RDCs receive cases from their districts that ‘so and so gave out a job to the sister yet I was more qualified’. When it comes to discrimination and marginalisation, sometimes you don’t have Constitutional powers to solve such cases. You mishandle them, you end up in court charged individually. So, when you get cases that involve discrimination, marginalisation or inequalities, just forward such cases to us,” Mr. Seruwagi told the Commissioners during the ongoing orientation retreat at the National Leadership Institute (NALI), Kyankwanzi, this morning.
“Our mandate is incorporated in the state’s constitutional obligation to eliminate discrimination and inequality against any individual or group of persons on the ground of sex, age, race, colour, ethnic origin, tribe, birth, creed or religion; health status, social or economic standing, political opinion or disability. We also take affirmative action in favor of groups marginalised on the basis of gender, age, disability or any other reason created by history, tradition or custom for the purpose of redressing imbalances which exist against them; and provide for other related matters,” he added.
Mr. Seruwagi also urged the Commissioners to always work hand in hand with the EOC to monitor, evaluate and ensure that organs of the state at all levels, private businesses and enterprises, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), among others, are compliant with equal opportunities for all and affirmative action is taken in favour of marginalised groups.
“Where discrepancies are reported, the Commission has powers to issue summons or other orders requiring the attendance of any person before the Commission and the production of any document or record relevant to the investigations by the Commission, to question any person in respect of any subject matter under investigation before the Commission and to commit persons to prison for contempt of its orders.
Over the years, the EOC has ensured that national unity, security, freedom and prosperity are consolidated,” he said.
Mr. Seruwagi also noted that as the Commission, they are advocating for harmonisation of remuneration for public servants including RDCs, saying that this will help to deal with the deadly vice of corruption.
“If you receive salaries lower than the people you supervise, you end up being compromised. EOC recommends a fair pay that is commensurate to the ever changing economic environment to overcome corruption, low morale, and absenteeism from offices. And, together with other Government agencies, the Commission has been working to ensure that Ugandans are paid equitably,” the facilitator explained.
He said the EOC is open to work with RDCs and RCCs in their areas of jurisdiction to deepen equal access to opportunity among Ugandans.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at email@example.com