Uganda, god does not uphold theePosted: 11 April, 2023 Filed under: Nimrod Muhumuza | Tags: anti-homosexuality law, colonial rule, Constituent Assembly, culture, For God and My Country, homophobia, Kulwa Katonda n’Eggwanga Lyaffe, National Symbols Committee, religion, religious ideologues, religious preferences, revenge killings, sexual minorities, state religion, Uganda Leave a comment
Author: Nimrod Muhumuza
Politicians and religious ideologues often deploy the mantra “Uganda is a god-fearing country” and cite the motto “For God and my Country” to tip the scales on controversial or polarasing issues as if it is a substitute for reasoned, principled debate. They would have us believe that religion regulates and should dictate our conduct, going as far as suggesting that our laws should be informed or at least inspired by scripture. Contemporary religion and its ideals has been a mainstay of Ugandan politics and society, manifested in the religious wars of the 1880s, Christian-inspired colonial rule, President Idi Amin’s Sharia-inspired decrees to the raft of morality laws that have been proposed or enacted recently.
The ball is in our court: Why the UN Children’s Rights Committee decision on climate change was the right one.Posted: 24 January, 2022 Filed under: Khatondi Soita Wepukhulu, Nimrod Muhumuza | Tags: climate change, climate change impact assessment, climate change litigation, climate response policies, coal-fired power plants, Domestic remedial mechanisms, Earthlife Africa, emissions, global warming, international human rights law, Kyoto Protocol, legitimacy deficit, local remedies, national courts, Neubauer, Paris Agreement, positive change, public international law, renewable energy, Sharma, UN children’s rights committee, Urgenda Leave a comment
Author: Nimrod Muhumuza
LL.D. candidate, Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape
Author: Khatondi Soita Wepukhulu
Reporter, openDemocracy, Uganda
In a ground-breaking decision, the UN Children’s Rights Committee recently found that states are legally responsible for the harmful effects of emissions originating in their territory on children outside their borders. The fact that climate change is a global problem does not absolve individual states of their responsibility to reduce their share of emissions. Nonetheless, it found the authors’ complaint inadmissible for failure to exhaust local remedies. The decision was welcomed in some quarters and criticised in others.
The rules on exhaustion of local remedies within public international law and international human rights law are settled. The requirement serves as a manifestation of a state’s sovereignty – that states should be allowed to deal with a claim brought against it using the judicial and administrative mechanisms within their domestic legal order. In human rights law, exhaustion of local remedies is premised on the principle of subsidiarity. The primary avenues for remedying human rights violations are states’ judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative bodies. Only when these domestic avenues are ‘objectively’ considered unavailable, ineffective, unduly burdensome or only obtainable after inordinate delays can the complainants turn to international human rights mechanisms for recourse.
Uganda’s blasphemy law is unconstitutionalPosted: 19 June, 2019 Filed under: Nimrod Muhumuza | Tags: belief, blasphemy, blasphemy law, constitutional validity, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, International Religious Freedom, non-religious, religion, religious ideas, Uganda, unconstitutional, violence 3 Comments
Author: Nimrod Muhumuza
Lawyer and LLD candidate, Dullah Omar Institute, University of Western Cape
Laws prohibiting blasphemy are astonishingly widespread worldwide with many countries criminalising conduct deemed blasphemous with disparate punishments ranging from prison sentences to lashings or the death penalty. A comprehensive report prepared by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom found that 71 countries prohibit views deemed blasphemous. These laws have dire consequences for those who find themselves on their wrong side as the most recent and much publicised case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan has demonstrated.
South of the Sahara, the report found that only four countries criminalise blasphemy. Uganda did not make that list. This is despite the provisions of Chapter III, sections 118-122 of the Penal Code Act. Sections 118-121 proscribe conduct that involves the destruction or damage or defilement of any place of worship with the intent of insulting the religion; disturbing religious assemblies, trespassing on burial places hindering burial of a dead body. The utility and legality of these provisions is not inherently the protection of religions and religious ideas and their constitutional validity will not be canvassed at this point.
Apartheid, gender and property relations in South Africa: Some reflections from Rahube v Rahube & OthersPosted: 20 August, 2018 Filed under: Kennedy Kariseb, Nimrod Muhumuza | Tags: apartheid-era laws, black women, customary law, Group Areas Act, Land reform, ownership, post-apartheid, property ownership, Rahube judgment, Rahube v Rahube & Others, South Africa Leave a comment
Authors: Kennedy Kariseb & Nimrod Muhumuza
|Kennedy Kariseb||Nimrod Muhumuza|
Land reform is a litmus test for how far post-apartheid democratic South Africa is willing to go to redress its abhorrent racist and sexist history. There have been several attempts to reconcile colonial and apartheid-era laws with their concomitant rights and obligations in the new democratic dispensation, epitomised by the transformative 1996 Constitution. The latest proposal is to expropriate land without compensation which is currently undergoing public consultation. However, scant attention has been paid to the gendered land relations that have excluded women from owning land in their own name.
The recent judgment of Kollapen J in Rahube v Rahube & Others, is one such case that indicates the difficulty of reconciling the impact of a skewed racial, gendered history in a new democratic dispensation premised in a supposedly transformative constitutional regime. The Rahube judgment is another (rather unfortunate) reminder of the subordinate position that women occupy in South Africa, as in most parts of Africa, reminding us that inasmuch as land and property relations in South Africa were racially anchored, they were, (and still are) thoroughly gendered. This is because for the most part, colonial and apartheid laws and practices limited, and at worst excluded women from accessing and controlling resources such as property, including land.