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CSOs in Bukedi, Bugisu want gov’t to unfreeze NGO accounts

FIA froze bank accounts of the Uganda NGO Forum and UWONET on grounds that they were financing terrorism.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Civil Society Organizations in Bukedi and Bugisu have asked the government to unconditionally unfreeze the accounts of two Non-Governmental Organizations-NGOs.

Last week, the Financial Intelligence Authority froze bank accounts of the Uganda NGO Forum and the Uganda Women Network on grounds that they were financing terrorism activities in the country.

However, the organizations have since come out to deny the allegations saying that the government should adduce substantive evidence to prove their claims.

CSOs operating in Bukedi and Bugisu have also added their voice and asked the government to unfreeze their accounts. According to the CSOs, the government is stepping on their mandate of ensuring citizens get civic education especially during this crucial time of elections.

Paul Kosa, the coordinator of Pallisa Civil Society Organization Network said that the attack on NGOs is an attack on the rights of citizens.

He said that nation building is a collection of all sectors including the Civil Society and therefore the government should unconditionally open the accounts of the NGOs to allow them to do their work.

Kosa says that the allegations of financing terrorism are baseless and only aimed at blackmailing NGOs to make them look bad in the eyes of the citizens.

Badiru Kirya, the Director of Based Village Organization in Pallisa noted that the act of government to interfere in the activities of CSOs should not be a surprise.

He says that the government has in the past crippled the activities of the CSOs with impunity.

Padel Wamuseke, the Director of the Coalition against Gender-Based Violence in Bukedi region condemned attacks by government agencies on journalists saying this is aimed at curtailing citizen’s rights to information which enables them to make informed decisions.

Hamuza Wamono from the Bugisu NGO Forum tasked government to stop labeling CSOs as enemies of government but people who are part of the country’s development.

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