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Attorney General Says Some NGOs Are ‘Enemies of Uganda’

Uganda’s  Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka (pictured) has defended the alleged shrinking civic space, warning Ugandans from being hoodwinked by Civil Society groups saying they are a threat to stability of Uganda.

He made the remarks while appearing before Parliament’s Human Rights Committee to respond to a number of allegations of torture, forced disappearances and violent arrest of Ugandans by security forces.

Responding to allegations of shrinking civic space in Uganda, Kiryowa warned NGOs against dictating to Government the rules and guidelines NGOs should operate within, saying those who don’t want can go and operate in other nations if they don’t want to abide by laws in Uganda.

“It is Uganda you can’t tell us that what is happening in Uganda should happen elsewhere, why don’t you go and operate there? Since you are NGOs, you can leave Uganda and go operate there if you think the laws in Uganda aren’t favourable to your activities but we must be mindful that not all these NGOs are friendly, some of them are doing things that aren’t friendly to the country and we can’t sit and say because you are NGO, you are untouchable, that can’t happen.”

This prompted Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju County) to explain  the friendly and unfriendly NGOs in Uganda because some of the work civil society does put them at loggerheads with the State.

“Why are NGOs supposed to be friendly because some NGOs are looking at corruption; some state agencies may not want to be told they are corrupt. I am sure such NGOs will be called unfriendly. So I want to know what you mean friendly and unfriendly NGOs,” Mwijukye said.

In response, Kiryowa  warned Ugandans to deal with caution when interacting with NGOs, saying that anyone who comes to you to help you is either your father, mother, brother or sister; everyone else wants something from you.

“From the executive side, some NGOs are unfriendly, they are unfriendly to the extent of wanting the collapse of the state. They are unfriendly to the extent that they want to impose certain morals which we don’t want,” said Kiryowa.

The Attorney General was backed by Charity Bainabona (UPDF Representative) who said even the Army has been accused of harassing NGOs yet these civil society groups carry foreign policies from their mother nations that they want to impose on Uganda.

In January 2021, President Museveni banned DGF’s operations in Uganda, and ordered Inspector General of Government (IGG), police and State House Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate how Ministry of Finance irregularly and unilaterally” licensed DGF to operate in Uganda by financing non-governmental organisations without any Government oversight.

DGF is financed by: Denmark, Ireland, Austria, UK, Sweden, Norway, and the European Union to facilitate equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long term stability.

In Uganda, the facility was funding over 70 Non-Government Organisations to a tune of Shs500Bn and a number of government bodies were recipients to the funding including Inspectorate of Government, Judiciary, Police, Prisons, UHRC among others.

 

The latest NGOs to suffer the wrath of Government is Chapter Four Uganda whose Executive Director Nicholas Opiyo was arrested and charged with money laundering.

 

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