Ms. Mariam Fauzat Wangadya | Chairperson
Ms. Mariam Fauzat Wangadya is an accomplished Advocate of the Supreme Court and all Courts Subordinate in Uganda who started the journey of her career in private legal practice, with a short stint at FIDA, Uganda.
She was later spotted by the appointing authority and picked to join the Uganda Human Rights Commission in 1996 at its inception as one of the founding Members of the new Constitutional Body. She was privileged to start the institution with others from scratch and had the honour to serve as a pioneer Member of the Commission for a period of 17 years. During the 17 years at the Commission, Ms. Wangadya served under the then pioneer Chairperson Margaret Sekaggya and later under the late Hon. Med S.K Kaggwa, now her immediate predecessor.
She was appointed Deputy Inspector General of Government in 2013, a post she held for the last 8 years and diligently deputizing the Government Ombudsman, until July this year when she was appointed the new Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission.
She re-joined the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) as Chairperson on Wednesday 29th September 2021, after being sworn-in by the Chief Justice Alfonso Owiny-Dollo, following the country’s long awaited appointment by the President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. She returns to lead the UHRC fresh from her Deputy IGG position, in order to fill the void created by the demise of the previous Chairperson in November 2019 which created a glaring gap in the leadership at UHRC for almost two years to date.
Ms. Wangadya, a renowned human rights defender and in particular a passionate Children’s Rights defender and legal guru, is eagerly welcomed back home to the Commission which has not been fully constituted for almost the last two years. Her appointment to fill the position of Chairperson is therefore a welcome move by all at the Commission, human rights defenders and the country at large as it is expected to rejuvenate the Commission.
During her earlier time at UHRC, Ms. Wangadya is credited for her dedicated service in the delivery of justice to the indigent members of the public whose cases she diligently handled at the Commission Tribunals throughout her term of office, until her departure in 2013. Her return to at the helm of the Commission is therefore no mean achievement and a vote of confidence in her leadership skills and managerial experience gained over the years through her elaborate career served in the two Constitutional bodies.
She also brings back to the Commission, a wealth of technical experience acquired from several trainings in areas such as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Public Administration and Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Women’s Rights among other disciplines, gained from both national and international institutions and exposure.
Ms. Wangadya is quite well travelled having attended several bench-marking visits and training seeking ideas and knowledge during the 17 year period for establishing policies to ground the Uganda Human Rights Commission for posterity. She together with fellow Commissioners made such trips to Europe covering countries like Sweden, Denmark and also attended trainings in South Africa.
She also as Deputy IGG attended several national and international trainings, workshops and benchmarking visits and conferences which made her grounded in the Government Ombudsman position. The position and responsibilities of Deputy Inspectorate of Government also required a lot of bench-marking and international exposure to enable her ably handle the enormous task of fighting corruption in Uganda.
Ms. Wangadya holds a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center and a Certificate of Admission and Enrollment as an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda and other subordinate Courts from the Uganda Law Council. She is a member of a number of professional bodies including the East African Law Society; Uganda Law Society; International Bar Association; Uganda Women Lawyers Association (FIDA-Uganda). She also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Management from UTAMU University.