Kigali, (RW): The recently concluded 7th General Assembly of African Ombudsmen in Kigali climaxed with the election of a new leadership where Uganda won the position of Vice President of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA).
Convened between 27th and 30th November under the theme ” Navigating Ethical Dilemmas on Mediation and Ombudsman Roles,” the assembly conducted elections for the executive whose mandate was expiring this year.
Angola’s Celestine Muyambe was elected president and Deputy Inspector General of Government, Mrs Anne Twinomugisha Muhairwe scooped the post of First Vice President. The electoral process was supervised by the outgoing President of the association and the ombudsman of Rwanda, Hon. Madeleine Nirere and the Secretary-General and ombudsman of Kenya, Hon. Florence Kajuju who is also the International Ombudsman Institute – Africa President).
Angola overpowered Libya by 14 to 7 votes while Gabon trailed Uganda 6 to 15 in the hotly competitive elections as the association demonstrated its immense commitment to democracy and regional diversity.
Before the elections, various training sessions covering a variety of topics such as understanding Ethical Frameworks; identifying Common Ethical Dilemmas; confidentiality, Transparency, Neutrality, and Impartiality; in ethical Decision-making were held.
The sessions also examined the fundamental principles that guide ethical behaviour in mediation and Ombudsman practices, offering a thorough analysis of the difficulties encountered and possible solutions.
A special training session on the theme was conducted on 28th November 2023, to enhance the participants’ knowledge and skills to deal with the complex ethical dilemmas that often emerge in the field of mediation and ombudsman services.
As the Assembly wound up, members reaffirmed their commitment to prioritising ethical standards in mediation and ombudsman roles and enhancing a fair and just continent.
The African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) is a continental network of 47 National Ombudsmen and 6 sector Ombudsman, established in 2003.
The association aims to promote the establishment and independence of Ombudsman institutions in Africa; provide them with information, training and development opportunities; enhance good governance and human rights; and foster cooperation and collaboration among Ombudsman offices and other relevant stakeholders.
Through its various initiatives, the association has successfully facilitated knowledge exchange, capacity building, and the establishment of a robust network of professionals dedicated to resolving disputes ethically.
Who is Anne Twinomugisha?
Ms Twinomugisha is a seasoned lawyer. She is a member of the Uganda Law Society and has served under the Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity, East African Law Society and Uganda Federation of Women Lawyers. She also spent 15 years in the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs under various portfolios; first as a prosecutor in the General Court Martial and rose through the ranks to the level of principal legal officer.
According to the IGG website, Ms Twinomugisha holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies from Makerere University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration and Management from Uganda Management Institute and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University. She is also credited for the establishment of the Veterans Legal Aid Clinic and for creating a supportive mechanism for women’s involvement in peacebuilding.
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