By Andante Okanya
and Caroline Batenga
THE African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) should follow stringent measures to ensure accountability, Bishop David Niringiye, the chairman of the Uganda governing council, has said.
Niringiye described the current APRM structure as “a treaty that has no sanctions” that must be over-hauled to make heads of state and governments more compliant.
“Once you agree to become part of APRM, you must abide by the rules. We must go beyond the level of courtesy,” Niringiye said.
He was speaking during the international workshop for Africa civil society on APRM at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala yesterday.
Established in 2003, APRM is a mutually agreed upon voluntary self-monitoring mechanism whose mandate is to encourage conformity in regard to political, economic and corporate governance values, codes and standards, among African Union member countries.
Niringiye said the role of heads of state and government need to be reviewed to provide checks and balances for accountability.
Currently, the APRM depends on the goodwill of the heads of state and government, making it prone to manipulations.
However, the bishop commended Uganda for being on the right track, saying this is manifested in its full participation in the mechanism.
Richard Sewakiryanga, the Uganda National NGO Forum chief, said leaders ought to be reminded that investing in APRM is vital for good governance.
Mary Mugyenyi, the MP for Nyabushozi, and second vice-president of the Pan African Parliament, called for the strengthening of Parliament to play an oversight role.
The workshop was jointly organised by the African Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Programme, the Electoral Institute of South Africa, African Governance Institute, East African Centre for Constitutional Democracy and the South African Institute for International Affairs.