Now that’s it apparent that the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) is closing in December 2022. This after baseless accusations and demeaning insults from the His Excellency President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni ahead of the General Election in 2021. Certainly, he that to control the narratives and in general ensure to silence his critics. While the DGF only did what it always has done, which is to support over 30 CSOs/NGOs who works on governance and civil education, which could have strengthen the society at large.
That’s why the closure of DGF will not only hurt a 100 people who has worked directly in the DGF. No, it will hurt the over 30 CSOs/NGOs who was directly funded by the DGF. Also, government entities and structures, which was also funded by the DGF. The DGF over the last five years has ensured a circulation of Shs. 15 trillion shillings. That’s a substantial amount of currency and monies that are taken out of rotation, which would be there to get domestic revenue for the state and ensure livelihoods of plenty. This will hurt service providers and those who is bound by contracts to the DGF and the entities it provided funds for. It is really compelling the damage the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has done here and it will feel it in 2023.
We know things was bad when the President suspended the DGF in February 2021. While he has lifted the suspension in June 2022. The DGF will not continue now and the regime will feel the losses. Just like the DGF together with NIMD used to support IPOD. Now, there are several other entities that is losing out. That will hurt the government and it’s institutions at large, but we know the President isn’t concerned about it.
The donors who made the agreement with Government of Uganda (GoU) to create the DGF in 2011, which happens to be Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the European Union might seek other partners or places to fund. Since, they are not welcomed or has the mechanisms to ensure development goals are met. Because, the donors has again to report to their citizens and taxpayers for the usage of funds. Which means they cannot just waste money and not prove any sort of value for money. That is squandered here, because the DGF was an organization and an umbrella organization, which kept it all organized and good oversight over it.
We know the national budget still needs external funding sources, though the bloated budgets are projecting more domestic revenue by any given year. Though there are common practice of deficits of funds, which leads to more borrowing, either domestically or by other sources. Meaning, the spiral of debts are growing and the nature of financing is becoming more dire. Since, the state has to pay interests and pay old debts to keep up with the programs. Certainly, the state or the republic has no plans to configure or has a back-up for the loss of DGF funding. No, it has lived on these funds for years and thinks the donors are gullible to return the favour anyway.
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has gambled a lot of people’s futures here. The current day-to-day operations of both government entities and CSOs/NGOs will be hurting for a long time. They will not have payroll or be able to keep up with contracts, which was signed a time back. We will see both local government and NGOs cry out. Especially, when the DGF finally close and leave.
It won’t be that easy for the donors of the DGF just to donate or use funds in Uganda after this. They have had mechanisms and organizations, which have followed statutes and means of oversight. That is needed and gives good basis for them to continue to donate in the Republic. However, when that is now gone and cease to operate. The NRM with it’s baseless attacks and wanting to interfere. Has ensured this loss. They will feel the pinch and the loss of domestic revenue through this. They might not consider it right now. Neither the ramifications of the CSOs/NGOs, but their activities and such has ensured livelihoods of lots of people. That’s why this is biting the hand that feeds you. Without having any sort of back-up or other revenue to ensure the longevity of the partners of DGF, which are getting hurt by this.
The IPOD is just one of them, but there are 30 CSOs/NGOs and a few government entities that is losing out too. That’s where there will be shortfall in 2023 and beyond. Unless, the Government of Uganda is able to talk and negotiate again with donors to create another body to have similar functions. Which I doubt, because, why do that? When you have seen how the NRM and the President has acted towards the DGF? Peace.