A group of civil society leaders have accused the state of intimidation days after bank accounts of Uganda NGO Forum and Uganda Women’s Network (Uwonet) were frozen over suspected terrorism financing.
On December 10, Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA) executive director Sydney Asubo wrote to director of public prosecutions Jane Frances Abodo informing her of the decision to freeze the accounts and “to bring this matter to your attention for further management.”
But on December 13, CSOs issued a joint statement condemning the freezing of the NGOs’ bank accounts.
Action Aid Country Director Xavier Ejoyi read the joint statement on behalf of the CSOs in Kampala.
The CSOs said they were “deeply troubled about the growing smear campaign engineered to undermine our credibility and deep commitment to improving the welfare of all Ugandans.”
“We strongly believe that nation building is a collective effort with each sector bringing their expertise and experience to the service of the nation,” said Ejoyi.
They swore no threats would make them give up their work.
They further accused government of working to keep the general public in the dark.
“We want to state that no amount of intimidation and false accusation will stop us from playing our civic responsibility,” vowed Ejoyi.
“We believe these attacks are intended to deny citizens access to information that is essential to enabling them make informed choices.”
Ejoyi and his colleagues have also petitioned the legislature to intervene in their matter.
“We call upon the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga and her deputy Jacob Oulanya and the religious leaders to step forward and speak up against the apparent excesses of the regime and all political actors.”