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Luweero NGO Forum piles pressure on gov’t to unfreeze NGO accounts

L-R, Dan Ssenku, John Ssegujja and Steven Sewava leaders of Luweero NGO Forum speaking to media. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Luweero Non-government organizations have condemned the government’s action of freezing organizations’ accounts saying the decision was ill-advised.

Last week, the Financial Intelligence Authority of Uganda froze the National NGO Forum and UWONET accounts on allegation of funding terrorism activities.

The act has not gone well with the two organizations and entire humanitarian organizations who have condemned the move.

Luweero NGO Forum comprising of 47 NGOs and Civil Society Organisations have joined others to call for immediate unfreezing of the accounts.

Steven Sewava, the chairperson of Luweero NGO Forum says that the freezing of the accounts will not affect only planned activities but set a bad precedent and affect future funding of other NGO activities.

Sewava adds that the two organizations have a credible record and it was rushed to freeze their accounts without clear investigations on alleged terrorist activities.

John Ssegujja a member of the forum and the Executive Director of Community Development and Child Welfare Initiatives (CODI) says that NGOs have played a great job in improving social, economic welfare and human rights of the citizens through supporting other Civil Society Organizations.

He added that the NRM government has been a beneficiary of the NGOs because they create awareness of electoral processes, demand for accountabilities and improve service delivery of its voters.

Ssegujja says that it’s unfortunate for the government to take a rushed decision to freeze their accounts without any evidence presented to support the action.

Ssegujja added that the act is an attack on all NGOs and this will affect other operations, especially in an electoral period.

He however reminisced days during the 1981-1986 National Resistance Army War when he was also branded of being aided by guerrilla fighters only to find later it was a false and rushed decision.

Dan Ssenku, the secretary-general of Luweero NGO Forum says that freezing accounts of NGOs doesn’t affect only administrators but citizens who were intended to benefit their activities.

Ssenku asked the government to revisit the decision and unfreeze the accounts of NGOs to enable execute the planned activities within the laws.

Luweero NGO Forum comprises of 47 Non-government organizations and Civil Society Organizations of which some get support from National NGO Forum to execute their humanitarian activities

On Friday, members of Civil Society Organizations in West Nile also condemned the government’s action of freezing NGOs accounts and demanded the unconditional reversal of the decision.

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