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.
Before the last General Election in 2016. The authorities raided several of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) headquarters in Kampala. Today, the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) has frozen two organizations accounts. Claiming these two are financing “terrorism”. However, there is no evidence of this and only the theatrics of the state ahead of the polls.
These two organizations are doing important works where the state is failing to support and help NGOs out. If the state had filled the vacuum and served the needs of the communities. It wouldn’t have need for these too be there and do its work.
Because before dismissing it totally as the political hit-job it is. Let’s look at what the Wougnet and NGO Forum does. The ones FIA is claiming that is working or financing “terrorism”. The terror here … is the attack on these organizations and intimidate them ahead of the polls. That is the ironic thing about this move and isn’t a new trick.
“The Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) is a non-governmental organisation initiated in May 2000 by several women’s organisations in Uganda to develop the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) among women as tools to share information and address issues collectively. WOUGNET’s vision is a society in which women are empowered through the use of ICTs for sustainable development” (APC – Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET))
“The Uganda National NGO Forum (UNNGOF) is an independent and inclusive national platform for NGOs in Uganda. Its primary constituency and owners are NGOs in their diversity and configurations. UNNGOF is however open to other interest groups within a broadly defined civil society” (Uganda Networks – NGO Forum)
If feel with certainty that both organisations aren’t supporting or financing terrorism. As they are not connected or have the mission to support these sort of activities. That Wougnet whose working for empowerment and gender equality is supposed to trade guns to war-zones or militias somewhere. That’s nonsense at best.
The NGO Forum on the other hand is a supporting organizations for other NGOs. To help out and be a supportive organizations for smaller and local NGOs. That isn’t terrorism, but actually doing an important task. As they are helping NGOs across the Republic. As its mission is to “influence governance” and “development processes” which doesn’t sound like terrorism either. Unless, it is a terror for a civil servant or government official to actually do their job. They are supposed be transparent, accountable and deliver government services. However, that is clearly not worthy of this state and it’s deemed “illegal”.
It seems like a political hit-job hitting these two organizations. WOUGNET and UNNGOF seems like unlikely partners or even participating in terrorism anywhere. Unless, it is terror to wish Gender Equality and better Governance. That seems ridiculous… bonkers and foolish. Peace.
“Corruption is first and foremost ideological. This is because the corrupt don’t know how to be prosperous sustainably. They don’t look for prosperity sustainably. They want to be rich at the expense of society. They are parasites” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (05.08.2020)
When the State House and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launches “Expose Corruption Campaign” the man is initially exposing himself. All tides and waters goes to the shores of the State House. The deals, kickbacks and envelopes have an origin of the “high above”. There is no major corruption scandal without some touches from the head of state.
Ministers can run big schemes, Gen. Salim Selah can do whatever, businessmen can launch their businesses as long as there some sort of arrangement. That is what is happening. Everyone knows it, but the President can act like its not a big deal.
While the biggest corruption scandals has gone down without any proper litigation and arrests. This being Ministers who has made fake tenders and waste public funds. That has made roads expensive, medicine vanish and made procurement of cars into national corruption scandals. While, the Prime Ministers, Ministers and associates are all involved in it.
That is why this “expose corruption” is a farce. The President is doing this as a publicity stunt ahead of the polls and the campaign season. However, he has started numerous of organizations and entities to beat corruption. Nevertheless, there is always some shillings who disappear and goes missing.
Just think about this, he calls himself a insect and a bloodsucker too. A leach and a parasite … that is not a way you should describe fellow human beings. However, Museveni have done this plenty of times. Because, he cannot help himself.
President Museveni have used all tricks of the trade. Made dozens of laws, government institutions, but they are all pointless as they are never aiming at the big-fish. The biggest fish being himself. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) will never target itself, but blame others for it.
That is just his common tactic. He has used this trick before and this campaign will not change anything. It is a publicity stunt… and will not change a thing. Peace.
“I call upon all ministers and public servants to desist from engaging in any form of corruption. Corruption by any government officials is a great betrayal to Ugandans who are desperately yearning for service delivery. I implore the general public to embrace this fight and report the crooked officials with evidence, as opposed to rumours and we will take action” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 13.01.2020).
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President since 1986, whose now richer than God, but came into power with little or nothing. Therefore, he knows what he did to get there. He knows the implicated scandals, the grand corruption and often noticed missing funds in the headlines in the Republic.
That is why these sorts of desisting from corruption Telling the Ministers and the Public from stopping it. Meaning it should stop and get all evidence on plenty of high ranking officials in this government. Get the evidence of state owned enterprises and authorities. There are plenty of officials who would easily be implicated and connected with government tenders and whatnot.
There is enough ghosts, over-inflated state contracts and some-what. Therefore, days like today. Feels futile. The state has created a lot of mechanisms, a lot of organizations fighting corruption. Still, the big-men, the men sanctioned by the State House and the secretive investment deals are overshadowing the supposed battle against corruption.
When there is lack of transparency from the top. There will be less from the bottom too. There is no reason for changes, when everyone is eating and the ones with influence of the State House. They got an ability to get kickbacks, suits, graft and so-on. This is not news, but a reality.
The NRA historicals can steal land, take property and easily, therefore have other perks too. The NRM knows this and let them go. If your big enough and has the blessing, you can eat UNRA funds, eat NSSF funds and GAVI Funds with no costs or damages. You get to build a mansion and own business, on stolen funds.
That is why statements like today is worthless. Not believable. He has the Public Procurement And Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Inspectorate of Government (IGG) and Auditor General (AG). Nevertheless, the big-fish is not getting caught. You have the Police Force and the Judiciary too. Still, all of these cooks cannot make a decent meal. Its a bland mix of watery soup, not even a good broth.
That is why President Museveni. We have to see you fight yourself. Not walk, not talk, but battle your own shadow and that’s not happening. Because, your not a cartoon character, but a self-styled President for Life. Peace.
Today, the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Jeje Odongo dropped an list of certified and verified NON-Governmental Organizations in the Republic of Uganda. The whole list was dropped together with the Press Release. Also, a moment of presser, which addressed the same numbers and information.
Clearly, this is important, as there are plenty of folks now, who has to deliver, register and quickly get verified. If not, if the state take them to court and punish them for organizing illegal activity through an non-registered entity. They might get high fines, be incarcerated or if they continue to violate the law. The NGO and the felon will be fined with a huge sum every single day until it ceases to operate.
“However, upon verification of the 14,207 registered NGOs since 1989, as at 7th August 2019, it was noted that only 3,810 NGOs (27%) had valid permits while 10,397 (73%) had invalid permits” (Odongo, 13.11.2019).
“All NGOs which do not appear on the validated register should not operate. Stakeholders especially the District and Sub-county NGO Monitoring Committees, Financial Intelligence Authority, Uganda Police Force, Banks, Hotels and other actors should cross check the status of any NGO with the register on the website or with the NGO Bureau to ensure that such NGOs do not operate in any part of the country or transact with their institutions” (Odongo, 13.11.2019).
NGO Act (2016) 40 Offence and Penalties:
“(1) An organisation or a person commits an offence who-
(a) on being required to do so, fails or refuses to produce to the Bureau a certificate, permit, constitution, charter or other relevant document or information for the purpose of this act;
(b) knowingly gives false or incomplete information for the purpose of obtaining a permit or other requirement;
(c) operates contrary to the conditions or directions specified in its permit; or
(d) engages in activity that is prohibited by this ACT.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding seventy two currency points or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both, and in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding fifteen currency points for each day during which the offence continues after conviction” (NGO Act, 2016).
This means the convicted fellow, who operates without lawful certification from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) could face fines up to 1,4m Shillings or USD$378, or 72 Currency Points (20,000 shillings). A daily fine could be 400k shillings or USD$108, which is a staggering amount of money.
Well, with that in mind. The NGO Bureau better expect that the Executive Directors or the General Secretaries of various of NGOs has to deliver more documentation and get the ability to get verified. To ensure the down-time and the suspension of activity won’t last to long. If not, they have to become local CBOs, which has other regulations and laws, where the local district and officials there verify and certify any organization. This is something the NGOs whose now illegally operating have to consider.
We can see by the list of organizations verified. It was plenty of national, lots of internationally bound and whose supported from the international community. The NGOs whose big enough and have the capacity was able to be verified by the NGO Bureau. The others whose too small or far from the capital have struggled to secure the certification to do so. The NGO Bureau should also ensure the education of the society and the civil society, which this entails. This is stopping the operation of possible 10,000 organizations. Who now have to do the whole ordeal to be legally operational. Because, if they follow the advice of the honourable minister, then they will cease to operate. But what they should do, if they are viable and working organizations. They would go out there tomorrow and seek documentation, follow the guidelines and work towards getting certified by the NGO Bureau.
That is it folks, but certainly many has maybe just few pieces missing. Others has more work to do. To prove and following the NGO Act of 2016. Whatever it might be, but it got to be something. Peace.
Irene Mulyagonja, the fourth Inspector General of General (IGG), who was appointed to this position in 2012. Are now six years later appointed to Courts of Appeals as a judge. A position she used to have since 2008, when she appointed as a High Court judge back-then. Therefore, she’s returning to her field of work after 7 years in “absence”.
What is clear is that the IGG has lost the mantle, haven’t been as focused or had the pivotal role as it could have had. However, that is not her fault. The state has established a new Anti-Corruption Unit in the State House. The IGG, had already competition with the Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) and the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA). Combined with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), the Judiciary and the law-enforcement in general. Therefore, in the field of anti-corruption, there is a bit many chefs to compete with.
So, as an IGG she’s become more of a ghost. But that is because, well, the state has funded and created the State House initiative, which have put the others on the back-burner. Not like they have any prominence or reckoning of late. I cannot even remember a substantial report from either of the authorities in ages. That revealed something substantial or even investigated state owned enterprises nor the government tenders. Its been so little or nothing.
With this in mind, maybe it was a gift from the President to appoint her to the Courts of Appeals. So, she can use her skills, her experience and her knowledge to good use. Since it was wasted at the IGG.
We can hope this is greener pastures, maybe even a relief. Since, the hopelessness and the diverted fight against corruption must be boring. When the ones and cases are directed to the State House and not to the other authorities. Even if their mandate, their mission and their government position is more bearing in law and in print, than the one suddenly created last year.
Well, good luck at a new venture Irene Mulyagonja. We have to see who will be the fifth IGG and who will be the ghost in the machine. Because the role of the IGG has diminished with time. We can just wonder, why they bother even having it at this point and time? Peace.