CSOs Speak Up Against Ongoing State Abuse of their Civic Rights

A number of CSOs inclusive of religious organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations ( NGOs), and  professionals bodies, came together on 24th October 2017, to castigate the state and other players for abusing the basic rights of Ugandans as well as hindrance of various organizations from carrying out their mandate without state interference.

In a press release, titled GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA MUST STOP CURERENT ONSLAUGHT ON CIVIC ORGANSIATIONS, they stated as thus, “ We immediately note that the enjoyment of our constitutionally protected rights and liberties as stipulated specially by Articles 1, 3,17. and 29 of the constitution has progressively been curtailed, unduly restricted, outlawed or altogether criminalized by unlawful orders, illegal detentions, and the disproportionate use of force. Today,the assault is at full throttle with organisation office premises being besieged, searches conducted and property confiscated for purported investigation. At the time of jointly preparing this statement, two non governmental organisations have had their bank accounts closed indefinitely basing on unfounded claims about unspecific suspicious transactions that are being used to fund anything from opposition to subversive activities.”

They also spoke up against the jusdiciary, Police , Bank of Uganda, Financial Intelligence Authority, Uganda Communications Commission,and the NGO bureau for  neglecting their mandates and instead descending into the arena of both partisan and non partisan political contestations.

In a press conference held at EASSI, the CSOs collectively spoke up against the recent actions of the uniformed forces against Action AID. They stated that such measures were unconstitutional and affected a large number of people who rely on the services of these organisations to seek justice or access other forms of services.

The CSOs jointly called out the responsible institutions which continue to participate in the construction of the civic and political space. They vowed to hold these accountable for their unlawful actions.

Also, the CSOs said they had taken a decision to engage their different constituents on the amendment of Article 102(b), a subject that has caused a lot of controversy not only in Parliament but in the country at large.