Government of Uganda has halted the activities of 54 non-governmental organisations, a major escalation of its efforts to tighten control over civil society.
One of the groups affected is the country’s most prominent rights organisation, Chapter Four.
The National Bureau for NGOs, part of the ministry of internal affairs, said in a statement the shutdown was ordered “with immediate effect”.
It said the decision was made because the groups had failed to comply with legislation covering their activities, including operating with expired permits, failing to file accounts or failing to register with the authorities.
“The Bureau has established that, 23 NGOs are operating with expired permits contrary to section 31(1) and 32(1) of the NGO Act 2016,” the Bureau Friday said in part.
The Bureau also noted that 15 other NGOs had failed to file annual returns and audited books of accounts to the Bureau as per the Act while 16 while others were operating with no license.
Some of the organisations ordered to close had taken part in an election monitoring operation on polling day in January which was raided by security forces and several of their leaders arrested.
The election saw President Yoweri Museveni returned for a sixth term in office after a violent campaign marked by the harassment and arrest of opposition figures, attacks on the media and the deaths of several dozen people.
Chapter Four executive director Nicholas Opiyo told AFP News Agency that his organization had indeed received the government’s order to close and described the situation as “serious”.
Halted the operations of the following NGOs operating with expired NGO
• Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO)
• Western Ankole Civil Society Forum (WACSOF)
• Citizens’ Concerns Africa
• Elohim Power Transforming Africa
• Light Concepts
•Public Policy Institute
• Otubet Youth United Development Organization
•Support Girl Child Uganda
•Saints Preparation Ministries
•Islamic Da-awah and Orphanage Foundation
•Jesus Shines Youth Ministries International
•La Borne Missionary Centre Uganda
•Wanyange Child Support Foundation
•St. Francis Foundation for the Poor
• Ray of Hope International Uganda
•Mindset Change Development Organisation
•Liberty International Foundation
•Foundation for Women Empowerment for Sickler Aid
• Karambi Action for Life Improvement
• Tech Plus Love Foundation
•Centre for Justice Studies and Innovations
Indefinitely suspended the following NGOs that have consistently failed to file annual returns and audited books of accounts and have other non- compliance issues.
•Chapter Four Uganda 2016- 2020
•Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) 2019-
•Femrite Uganda Women Writers’ Association 2017- 2020
• African Humanitarian Action 2017 – 2020
•Safe Places Uganda Foundation (SPU) 2017- 2020
• Citizens Platform for Democracy and Accountability 2017- 2020
• Growth Networks Uganda 2017- 2020
• Pallisa Civil Society Organisation Networks 2017- 2020
• Citizens Election Watch-IT (CEW-I1) 2017, 2019, 2020
•Youth Line Forum Uganda 2017- 2020
• Arise Africa International 2018-2020
•Dotwa Africa 2018-2020
•Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence 2018-2020
• Centre for Conflict Resolution 2019 – 2020
•Youth Equality Centre 2019-2020
Halted the activities ofNGOs operating without registering with the NGO
•Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS)
• Rural Action Community Based Organization
• Uganda Help Florida
• Centre for Sustainability Innovation and Research
•Environmental Governance Institute Uganda
•Graffen Organization, Butimba Uganda
• Kwataniza Women’s Organization
• Twimukye Women’s Organization
• Witness Radio Uganda
• Youth for Green Communities
•Adepr Pentecostal International Church Uganda Ltd
•Innovations for Democratic Engagement and Action (IDEA)
•Network for Active Citizens
•Leadership Square Africa.