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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Affected NGO boss fires back at Museveni: Why did it take you almost 10 years to discover DGF’s ‘sins’ despite security intelligence?

President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s decision to suspend operations of hugest NGO funder Democratic Governance Facilty (DGF) has continued to draw condemnation from the civil society industry, with many complaining of shrinking civic space.

One of the organisations is the African Centre for Media Excellence (Acme).

DGF has been injecting hundreds of millions in Acme’s Enhanced Media Reporting For Civic Engagement and Accountability (EMERCEA) Project.

The EMERCEA project aims at promoting “standards within media and for media practitioners, as well as media monitoring of elections.”

The project’s major goal is to “contribute towards the realisation of a vibrant and reliable media that consistently produces quality public affairs journalism that empowers citizens to engage in democratic processes.”

Now, Acme co-founder and executive director Peter G Mwesige has expressed his suspicion on the justification for Museveni’s suspension of DGF.

Mwesige wonders why it took almost 10 years for Museveni to realize that DGF was doing whatever he suspects it of doing, yet the president has severally boasted of the state’s security intelligence.

“The Dear Leader often reminds us about the reliable intelligence he receives from his security agencies,” tweeted Mwesige.

“But somehow the operation of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), which started in 2011, has just come to his attention! This is not about sovereignty.”

DGF started its operations in Uganda in July 2011 after eight Development Partners (DPs) — Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union — came together to manage funds under one pool.

Its first five-year governance programme “aimed at providing harmonised, coherent and well-coordinated support to state and non-state entities to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda” ended in June 2016.

An 18-month-long transitional period programme ran from July 2016 through December 2017.

The second five-year phase started in January 2018 and was expected to end in December 2022 as seven development partners seek ” to build on the achievements of the first phase, address the continuing democratic deficits, and consolidate peace and stability in the country.”

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