KAMPALA– The government is probing a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for allegedly sponsoring political violence, protests led by opposition groups and activities aimed at undermining the government.
According to Esther Mbayo, the Minister for the Presidency, government has obtained intelligence information indicating that some NGOs fund opposition projects that the government believes are intended to cause unrest in the country.
Speaking during a retreat of Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) at Hotel Brovad in Masaka, while discussing the progress on the implementation of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) manifesto, the minister said the State will crackdown such activities.
Mbayo said “People Power”, the political pressure group led by the Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popular known as Bobi Wine, as one of the groups that silently benefit from the anti-government support from overseas.
She said that such organizations are mainly targeting the urban youths adding that the government has already identified them and will take action in due course.
Security Minister Gen. Elly Tumwine in a press conference on Tuesday said the ‘People Power’ movement is a terrorist group, adding that the government has taken note of Ugandans in the diaspora who are taking advantage of the current situation to seek political asylum by staging protests to avoid being held as illegal immigrants.
Last year, detectives from CID raided ActionAid Uganda and GLISS on the same allegations.
The offices of the two CSOs were searched and financial documents and mobile phones of the workers seized by detectives. Another CSO, Solidarity Uganda in Lira District, was raided and its workers arrested.
However, all affected organisations deny allegations that they are funding projects to destabilise the country. Since the raids, police have not got back to the NGO managers on the offences they committed.
The affected NGOs are still open, but their operations have been constrained since their financial departments were disrupted by the detectives.
Human Rights Defender under the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda has since condemned the police action, which they described as a ploy to muzzle civil society.
Also, President Yoweri Museveni in a letter to Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, last week lashed out to NGO’s in the name of human rights defenders saying most of them are being used to achieve imperialists’ interests by reporting that Uganda is in bad light.
“It is clear that these so-called human rights defenders are enjoying our good roads and staying in nice and brand new hotels in Arua and Gulu built during the NRM government filing malicious stories against Uganda using our first class internet backbone,” said Museveni.