The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the Government of Uganda (GoU) is steadily going after the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). This is a deliberate act to stop their efforts and work, which thwarts the ideals of the state and the President at this current time.
That’s why the ones who are doing civic education or participating in the electoral accountability is hit hard. This is very deliberately done, and it’s done after this year’s polls too. The state has already suspended and gone after the foreign funding of several of NGOs in the near past. So, today’s action and press statement from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Only shows a continuation of these acts.
The NRM and the State House are doing this to stifle, stop and ensure they have no transparency and accountability. They are stopping civilian activity and NGOs from gathering, making conferences and having trainings. This is of organizations such as CCEDU, Chapter Four, Gliss and CEW-IT. The only one missing this time around was CEON-U. The rest was already targeted of these sorts.
The National Bureau of NGOs seems to be only functioning to ensure the demise and silence the possible critics. The ones who dares to question the powers to be and the ones who work to educate the masses. Are apparently the ones this suspended indefinitely. These has been targeted before through other measures, but now they are using the whip of lacking audited books. Which is striking, after the same state blocked and ceased the ability for funding for several of these through the suspension of Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) earlier this year.
That’s why you know the suspensions and direct assault on the 54 NGOs is with a plan. The state has already targeted several of these for months. It is not like they haven’t been under scrutiny for so long.
What we are seeing today is furthering the cause and the battle for legitimacy, as the NRM and the Government trying to show its sovereign power. However, this will only backfire, as the state cannot resolve or abdicate its role to facilitate for NGOs/CSOs, as they do the work the state isn’t able to do and filling in the gaps of the government. That’s why this is tragic, but also obvious.
The NRM and President knows what they are doing. Since this isn’t the first shot or warning even. The state has before also raided several of offices in Kampala. It has done so to intimidate and silence these organizations. That’s why this is just a bureaucratic measure to silence them and finally put the nail in the coffin. Especially, to NGOs who uses their means and organize things in connection to elections and electoral education. It is not the run-of-the-mill organizations fighting poverty or illiteracy who his hit the hardest here.
That’s why you know the drill and the game-plan. They want to signal to the NGOs and CSOs, civil society in general that the government can cease your operation and stop you in your tracks. That is clear here and the only message I’m getting out of this. Peace.
“Part of this money is to support and facilitate various groups and entities in Uganda to conduct what they called deepening democracy in Uganda. The President and government think that this money was brought to distabilise the country. So that is the gist of the concern of the President and the investigation will tell us the money trail and what it has done” – Ofwono Opono in an interview (Ali Twaha – ‘Government links DGF suspension to politics’ 05.02.2021, New Vision).
The suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), which is directly funding over 70 Civil Society Organization/Non-Governmental Organization and also their various of programs was suspended by the President in January 2021. As the President and the government was preparing to go to the polls and it had already hold grudges towards civil society for so long. This is the latest attempt to crucify and assault the ones working for a better governance in the Republic.
We know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni doesn’t want to listen to others. Neither does he want the input from anyone else either. However, he don’t mind free-money and slush-funds to spend as he see fit. That is why he goes after the DGF as it is a fitting “enemy” which he cannot directly control or have his hands in the cookie-jar.
Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo is saying it deliberately. They are calling it destructive. Because, they are undermining the “personification” of the state, which happens to be the President. The DGF’s civic education and programs are working indirectly to build sufficient institutions, policies and reforms, which in the end will weaken the power of one man. It would in the end be for good governance and accountable state organizations. Not just be ordered from “high above”. That is why OO and President is speaking ill of this. This will in the end weaken their drive and total control of the state, in the manner, which things are done today.
The “destabilizing” effort is indirectly weakening his reign and rule. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no troubles getting direct aid and grants for their government to run. However, they have trouble having the same donors paying for salaries, programs and civic education across the Republic. That shows a double standard and that the President have no trouble eating of the plate directly, but doesn’t want to be told how to be accountable for his eating. He wants to spend money, but don’t want to show recites. That is the memo I am getting from this.
It shows that his a weak man. The President and the government have had no issues taking money from Western donors like the ones who funds the DGF. If they are so afraid of the independence and the questions of usage of funds. The government shouldn’t accept any funds with possible sting attached. The state shouldn’t take loans or grants from the outside. If the donors cannot sustain organizations (CSOs/NGOs) who works with other ideals than the President at this current day.
That is the reality of this all. There is no free lunch. It has never been so. There is always something attached and expectations of an outcome. If you borrow money to build a road, the lender hope you build the road, but also repays the loan with interests. If you take a donation or a grant, then its expected to go to a certain organization or work, which is beneficial for the ones receiving it. That is just a mere reality we all know.
Now, the ones receiving it wants to directly control the funds and how it is spent. When it was funds, which wasn’t his in the first place. They are worried of the efforts and effects these organizations have in the Republic. However, we all know that the President just want to eat and don’t bother with questions. This is why he has retaliated, because he can and he want to show strength. Nevertheless, these acts are an act of a coward. A coward who has taken money all his life, but now cries foul. It is a bit late when you been eating for over three decades and never caused a fuzz. Peace.
Now that the letter from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija is out. The infamous letter where he suspends the accounts of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). This is important, because the DGF supports programs and organizations across the Republic. The DGF is sole funder of several of civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations. There are atleast 70 of them that is hit by this and would cease operations, as the funding and lack of funds to pay staff. That is all happening, because Museveni wrote a letter in early January 2021.
President Museveni have targeted CSOs and NGOs around election time. That is common. That he claims they are up to “no good” and supporting “terrorism” or any other objectively bad enterprise they can. That has been common for decades. However, ceasing their funding totally and blocking a multi-national funding scheme like the DGF. Only undercuts the ideals of the givers, the donors and the ones who monetary support the government and people in the Republic in general. This isn’t government funded money from the tax-base. No, these funds are given from outsiders to support governance and other organizations to strengthen democratic institutions and educate the masses.
The DGF is a collective fund donated by the European Union, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to support programs and CSOs/NGOs in Uganda. They are partnered with at least 72 organizations across the republic to different capacities. All working in various of fields and for causes to better the Republic. They are all civil society voices for good governance and creating a freer society. However, that is clearly not the beacon that the President believes in anymore.
The donors that see this action by Museveni should shun him and cease all direct donor-funds and also block all loans through multi-national organizations, which the donors are funding as well. That would make it harder for the President to operate and he would seek funds elsewhere. If he wants to be free of stipulations and not have any oversight. This cutting funds to International Monetary Funds (IMF) and World Bank (WB). Also others where the Government of Uganda is seeking loans for development projects and government programs.
The National Resistance Movement was able in the late 1980s and 1990s to have progress and financial backing to pursuit the government programs, which is it so proud of. The state also saw debt relief and cuts from donors. Now, the NRM is gaining more debt, but also putting in obstacles with the donors in regards to the DGF. The ones funding DGF should suspend all other funds and funding that goes towards Museveni. As a retaliation to this, as these projects, programs and NGOs/CSOs are working for ideals that Museveni once stood for, but with lingering in office despises.
We are clearly seeing the punitive action made by Museveni. He wants to prove supremacy, but does it in a mockery of a way. This is only showing the donors what sort of little man he is. That he has to go to this step. Take away the securities of the CSOs and NGOs. Instead of actually serving the general public. If the President really did that. He would haven’t have the need for all these CSOs/NGOs to cover where the government is lacking. The state is fluid and lacking institutions. That’s why the state needs them to cover the basics and civic education. This is still needed after over 30 years in power. That shows the weakness of the Presidency and his reign.
President Museveni isn’t showing strength here. His showing weakness and lack of control. That he got to act like this. This is acting a villain and hurting own citizens, because he can. So, the donors should act upon this and not just take it on the chin. They should show force too. Just to prove him what he has done. It is about time and not just “condemn” and move-on. That is not making any changes or challenging the old man. You need to meet him head-on. He plays games and these are with the lives of all these organizations. It is not the money of Museveni and neither funding from the state either. That is why his sour, as he got to loan to pay his cronies salaries. This is why he attacks and confronts, instead of talking and negotiating with the donors.
What he does with this is putting himself in corner and making less friends. If he wanted more support and legitimacy. He should have acted differently. However, he rather picks the trick of the pariah, instead of the friendly grand-pa, which is what he tries to act in the media. That is clearly not working and that is why this letter is undressing his motives. Peace.
Ref: ADM72/01 – The Republic of Uganda – The Electoral Commission:
The Electoral Commission appointed 3rd and 4th November 2015 as dates for the nomination of candidates for the 2016 Presidential Elections. There were forty eight (48) persons who picked Nomination Forms for Presidential Elections. Twelve (12) persons/parties returned the Forms to the Commission for verification. The nomination exercise which commenced yesterday Tuesday 3rd November 2015, has been concluded today, Wednesday, 4th November 2015, and the following have been successfully nominated as candidates
|No||Nominated candidate||Political party/Organisation||Symbol|
|1.||Yoweri Museveni Kaguta||National Resistance Movement||Party Symbol|
|4||Besigye Kizza Kifefe||Forum for Democratic Change||Party Symbol|
|5||Abed Bwanika||Peoples’ Development Party||Party Symbol|
|7||Maureen Faith Kyalya Waluube||Independent||Pot|
|8||Biraaro Buta Benon||Farmers Party of Uganda||Party Symbol|
One of the presidential aspirants, Mr. Bbaale Charles Lwanga (Ecological Party of Uganda) presented himself to the Electoral Commission but did not satisfy the requirements for nomination as a candidate for the Presidential Elections, 2016.
Another Presidential aspirant, Hajji Nasser Ntege Sebagala, who had picked nomination papers, complied with the provisions of Section 10(1)(b) and (3), of the Presidential Elections Act 2005 (as amended) on supporters for the nomination, and booked nomination date and time did not turn up for nomination as required by the law.
The Commission congratulates all those candidates who have been successfully nominated and wishes them the best as they go out to campaign and solicit for votes from the electorate.
The Electoral Commission wishes to emphasise the following:
The Electoral Commission has appointed the period 4th – 9th November 2015 as the period for inspection of nomination papers for candidates contesting for Presidential Elections 2016.
The inspection of nomination papers will be held at the Office of the Chairperson, Electoral Commission, who is the Returning Officer for the Presidential Elections, during office hours.
During this period, any person will be free to raise objection, to the qualification of a nominated candidate, to the Chairperson, Electoral Commission/Returning Officer, at the Electoral Commission Headquarters in Kampala.
No complaints shall be accepted after the expiry of the appointed dates.
Meeting for Harmonisation of Campaign Programme
The Electoral Commission will hold a meeting with all the nominated candidates and/or their agents on Thursday 5th – Sunday 8th November 2015, at the Electoral Commission Boardroom, at 10:00am, to harmonise the campaign programme.
After harmonisation of the campaign programme, candidates will be expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), calling for compliance with the campaign guidelines and programme, to achieve peaceful campaigns and elections.
The Commission wishes to appreciate the following who have made the nomination exercise a success:
Finally, the Commission announces the Polling day for Presidential/Parliamentary elections being Thursday, 18th February, 2016.
Eng. Dr. Badru M. Kiggundu
Chairperson, Electoral Commission/Returning Officer, Presidential Elections