Rise up to protect civic space under attack in Uganda – The Energizer

Following the suspension of 54 non- governmental organisations by the NGO Bureau on August 20, 2021, the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) is mobilising Ugandans to get out of their comfort zones and act to use every available opportunity to prevent civic space from narrowing further.

In its monthly newsletter – The Energizer for August 2021, the organisaiton dwells on its suspension along with a couple of its partner organisations announced by the NGO Bureau on 20last month.

AFIEGO states that by that action, the NGO Bureau violated key provisions of the 2016 NGO Act, a law, like several others, that has several provisions aimed at curtailing civic space.

The publication further criticises the bureau for what it calls over-extending its powers and trying to usurp the mandate of the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB).

AFIEGO compares time of the NGO Bureau’s action with the behaviours during the reign of President Idi Amin Dada who ruled the country with unlawful decrees for nine years.

The organisation also argues that the current legal framework is clear that URSB is the regulator of both profit and non-profit making companies under which AFIEGO and its partners belong.

The NGO Bureau has no legal basis over companies.

Rise up to protect civic space in Uganda 

AFIEGO adds that moreover, the NGO Bureau acted in violation of the key provisions under the 2016 NGO Act, including sections 6, 7, 9, 40 and 53 which require it to respect fundamental rights of individual organisations and companies.

The provisions include: fair hearing, putting in place a functioning board and adjudication committee and defining what constitutes an offence among others.

AFIEGO adds that the 2016 NGO Act does not give the NGO Bureau powers to halt the activities of an NGO.

You can get the details of the entire publication by opening the PDF file here.

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