Kakwenza asks EU to ban Ugandan officials’ visas for human rights violations

By APN Reporter

Acclaimed author, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, has submitted a petition to the Ugandan delegation of the European Union, urging the imposition of visa bans on specific government officials involved in human rights abuses against Ugandans. Kakwenza’s petition, emphasizing its urgency, stems from his profound apprehension about what he perceives as the “apparent inadequacy of the European Union’s 27 member states to effectively enforce the union’s stance on human rights and corruption” within Uganda.

Kakwenza argues that the European Union bears a moral responsibility to uphold and safeguard the rights of the oppressed, particularly when those rights are grievously violated by a government that receives support from the Union. Recent revelations have brought to light distressing instances of homophobia exhibited by influential figures such as the Speaker of Parliament, the deputy speaker, and other prominent individuals who openly expressed discriminatory views in the media.

These figures also played instrumental roles in pushing for the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023. Kakwenza contends that such reprehensible behavior and the subsequent legislation stand in stark contrast to the universal principles championed by the European Union. He asserts that this draconian law infringes upon the rights and dignity of the LGBTQ+ community, compelling many to seek refuge in Europe and other safe havens.

In Kakwenza’s view, despite these grave human rights violations, member states of the European Union have yet to take decisive action, such as imposing visa restrictions on those responsible for orchestrating these abuses. He raises concern that high-ranking officials directly accountable for violating the very principles upheld by the European Union continue to freely travel across Europe without impediment.

These officials exploit diplomatic engagements to do so, a reality that Kakwenza finds deeply regrettable. Furthermore, he highlights the involvement of security personnel in the direct and indirect torture of Ugandans, as well as the complicity of magistrates and judges who fail to uphold domestic and universal law to protect victims of human rights violations.

Kakwenza’s appeal to the European Union is clear: individuals accountable for human rights abuses in Uganda should not be permitted to enjoy the freedoms and liberties Europe offers while simultaneously denying these rights to Ugandan citizens. He underscores the imperative for the European Union to demonstrate unwavering commitment to justice and human rights by imposing visa bans on these perpetrators of human rights violations and corruption. This action, Kakwenza argues, would unequivocally convey the message that such actions will neither be condoned nor tolerated.

The writer stresses that he seeks tangible measures from the European Union in holding these officials accountable for their abuse of power and obstruction of justice. He maintains that by taking firm and principled stands against those who trample upon human rights, the European Union can reinforce its core values and contribute to a world characterized by justice and equity.

Kakwenza concludes by reiterating that the safeguarding of human rights must remain uncompromised, even amid complex geopolitical dynamics. He believes that through resolute action, the European Union has the potential to significantly impact the lives of numerous Ugandans, offering them hope for a future where fundamental rights are upheld and protected.

This petition has also been shared with the European Parliament, European External Action Service, European Council, and the European Commission. Emmanuel Gyezaho, the press adviser at the European Union in Uganda, has confirmed the receipt of the petition and pledged a response.