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Uganda: ‘It will only get worse’, NGOs fear as government crackdown continues

By Musinguzi Blanshe
Posted on Wednesday, 8 September 2021 13:34

Elections posters of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni are seen on a street in Kampala, Uganda January 12, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

After a lull of eight months following Uganda’s election season that ended with a presidential election in January 2021, many civil society and NGO sector actors were hopeful that they would regain the breathing space that the government had stifled and access funds that had been withdrawn. Instead, it's only gotten worse. 

Hopes for respite were seemingly dashed when NGO Bureau – a government agency set up five years ago to licence and oversee operations of non-profits in the country – ordered 54 organisations to shut down on 20 August 2021 for reasons such as failure to submit annual returns, operating without a licence and operating with expired licence. Those ordered to close down their operations include: