Uganda Passes Repressive Anti NGO Bill


Melanie Nathann | November 26, 2015.

We have received a report that the Ugandan Parliament, today,  passed the draconian Non-Governmental Organizations Bill of 2015,  restricting more freedoms for Ugandan citizens.  Uganda now joins other countries in East Africa attempting to use legislation to curb the operations of NGOs and civil society organizations.

This Bill was touted by Ugandan Parliamentarians as follows:

“The Non-Governmental Organisations Bill, 2015 has been developed with an object of repealing and replacing the Non-Governmental Organisations Act Cap. 113. The intended purpose is to provide for an enabling environment for NGOs and strengthen the capacity of the NGO Board to register, regulate, coordinate and monitor NGO activities. The Bill further proposes establishment of regional NGO Board offices from the district level to the sub-county levels and grants the NGO Board powers to dissolve NGOs.”

Ugandan ParliamentThe government of Uganda, demonizing  its NGO’s as agents of foreign governments,  has long feared and sought ways to silence what it perceives as outside influence from Western countries. Indeed foreign governmental  aid, foundations and donors provide funding for the operations and programs of NGO’s, thereby assisting in the issues that NGO’s pursue.

Accordingly the government believes that the sovereignty of Uganda is impacted by Western bidding, when causes, for example involving human rights, are pursued by such NGO’s.  A perfect example is the so called’ clash of cultures;’ while Uganda outlaws homosexual sex through its antiquated Penal Code, and seeks to further criminalize homosexuality and same-sex relations through new Anti-Homosexuality legislation, such as the ‘Kill the Gays Bill’, the West provides funding to human rights defenders operating through NGO’s, defending human sexuality rights and equality for LGBTI people. NGO’s defending human rights are not favored by the Parliamentarians in the country where over 85% of them are determined to further legislate harsh punitive measures against gays.  The less defense and influence to impact the derailing of such legislation, the better for their anti-gay cause.

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” Organizations involved with LGBT issues and human rights defenders will be especially hard hit as the onerous legislation will impinge upon basic  freedoms, democracy and human rights. Democracy weeps!” Melanie Nathan, Executive Director,  African Human Rights Coalition.

By Melanie Nathan, November 26, 2015.

We have received a report that the Ugandan Parliament, today,  passed the draconian Non-Governmental Organizations Bill of 2015,  restricting more freedoms for Ugandan citizens.  Uganda now joins other countries in East Africa attempting to use legislation to curb the operations of NGOs and civil society organizations.

This Bill was touted by Ugandan Parliamentarians as follows:

“The Non-Governmental Organisations Bill, 2015 has been developed with an object of repealing and replacing the Non-Governmental Organisations Act Cap. 113. The intended purpose is to provide for an enabling environment for NGOs and strengthen the capacity of the NGO Board to register, regulate, coordinate and monitor NGO activities. The Bill…

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