Government shuts down 54 NGOs

Mr Nicholas Opiyo, Executive Director, Chapter Four and Dr Miria Matembe, Board Chairperson, CCEDU. (Courtesy photo)

Government, through the National Bureau of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Ministry of Internal Affairs has halted operations of 54 NGOs in Uganda, citing noncompliance with the NGO Act.

The closed include Mr Nicholas Opiyo’s Chapter Four – a press freedom campaigner and Dr Miria Matembe’s led the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU).

The Ministry of Internal affairs claims the human rights and election monitoring NGOs did not file annual returns and audited books of accounts.

Mr Opiyo has confirmed Chapter Four has been notified about the development and that they are working to solve the matter.

“The National Bureau for NGOs has notified us of the indefinite suspension of the permit of Chapter Four for what they term failure to file returns and disclosing our sources of funding. We are working with the authorities to clarify what we believe is a misunderstanding”, Mr Opiyo said.

Last year, Mr Opiyo spent a week in prison, charged with money laundering after officials queried a $340,000 transfer into a bank account held by the rights group he leads.

His lawyers said he was innocent, and his group, Chapter Four Uganda, called the charges frivolous.

Mr Opiyo has represented pro-democracy activists, opposition figures and minority groups.

Critics of the government insist Mr Opiyo is targeted because of his work tracking alleged rights abuses by security forces.

The NGO Bureau, the body mandated to register, regulate, monitor, inspect, coordinate and oversee all NGO operations in the country, announced the halting of activities of the affected NGOs on Friday morning saying they failed to comply with the laid down doctrines.

“As a result of monitoring and investigation functions the NGO Bureau has found that 54 NGOs are non-compliant with the NGO Act 2016,” said part of the statement.

The NGO Bureau said it has established that 23 NGOs are operating with expired permits, 15 NGOs have failed to file annual returns and audited books of accounts while 16 NGOs are operating without registering with the NGO Bureau.

The NGO Bureau has with the immediate effect halted the operations of these 23 NGOs for operating with expired permits:

  1. Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO)
  2. Westem Ankole Civil Society Forum (WACSOF)
  3. Citizens’ Concerns Africa
  4. Elohim Power Transforming Africa
  5. Orone Foundation
  6. Light Concepts
  7. Public Policy Institute
  8. Otubet Youth United Development Organization
  9. Support Girl Child Uganda
  10. Saints Preparation Ministries
  11. Adoradon Ministries
  12. Islamic Da-awah and Orphanage Foundation
  13. Jesus Shines Youth Ministries International
  14. La Bome Missionary Centre Uganda
  15. Wanyange Child Support Foundation
  16. St. Francis Foundation for the Poor
  17. Ray of Hope International Uganda
  18. Mindset Change Development Organization
  19. Liberty International Foundation
  20. Foundation for Women Empowerment for Sickler Aid
  21. Karambi Action for Life Improvement
  22. Tech Plus Love Foundation
  23. Centre for Justice Studies and Innovations

Independent NGOs that have allegedly failed to file annual returns and audited books of accounts include:

  1. Chapter Four Uganda 2016- 2020
  2. Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) 2019-2020
  3. Femrite Uganda Women Writers’ Association 2017- 2020
  4. African Humanitarian Action 2017 – 2020
  5. Safe Places Uganda Foundation (SPU) 2017- 2020
  6. Citizens Platform for Democracy and Accountability 2017- 2020
  7. Growth Networks Uganda 2017- 2020
  8. Pallisa Civil Society Organisation Networks 2017- 2020
  9. Citizens Election Watch-IT (CEw-1R1) 2017, 2019, 2020
  10. Youth Line Forum Uganda 2017-2020
  11. Arise Africa International 2018-2020
  12. Dotwa Africa 2018-2020
  13. Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence 2018-2020
  14. Centre for Conflict Resolution 2019 – 2020
  15. Youth Equality Centre 2019-2020

Activities of 16 NGOs halted for operating without registering with the Ngo Bureau are:

  1. Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS)
  2. Rural Acdon Community Based Organization
  3. Uganda Help Florida
  4. Centre for Sustainability Innovation and Research
  5. Environmental Governance Institute Uganda
  6. Graffen Organization, Buümba Uganda
  7. Kwataniza Women’s Organization
  8. Twimukye Women’s Organization
  9. Witness Radio Uganda
  10. Youth for Green Communities
  11. Self-worth Initiative
  12. VZW Eight
  13. Adept Pentecostal International Church Uganda Ltd
  14. Innovations for Democratic Engagement and Action (IDEA)
  15. Network for Active Citizens
  16. Leadership Square Africa
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