KAMPALA – The European Union (EU) has dismissed claims they are funding some civil society organizations (CSOs) whose activities are intended to overthrow the government.
On Wednesday, Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo claimed government has obtained intelligence information indicating that some NGOs fund opposition projects that are intended to cause unrest in the country.
However, EU Head of Governance Thomas Tiedemann said the funds they give out are shared by both government and NGOs, with the sole aim of meeting Uganda’s development goals.
“I don’t understand why we should be criticised for bringing funds in to support CSOs or let’s say in support of the private sector,” said Mr Tiedemann.
“I fundamentally disagree with this, we do not do this, we do not drive our own agenda to these CSOs, we have interest in supporting all sectors of Uganda because they all have important roles to fulfill,” he added.
He was on Thursday speaking at a conference in Kampala that was organized by different civil societies from across the region which included Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
However, the minister of state for East African Affairs, Mr .Julius Maganda Wandera, who was the guest of honour, instead of that there are some NGOs that are funding protests in the country and at a later time, government will bring out the information after the investigations.
“There could be an abuse to the way NGOs behave and the government must come in, as you have heard there are some NGOs that were funding the protests which are investigating, and at a later stage we shall provide the information,” Mr. Maganda said.
However, Mr Tiedemann said that the civic space and democratic accountability is shrinking in east Africa, where he asked the government to step up and allow civil societies do their work well.
“Civil society organisations are close to the communities, they are an expression to the way people want to relate to each other and how to shape the society beyond public administration. They hold the government to account,” he said.