Government of Uganda has proposed a new NGO Bill 2015 that would grant the internal affairs minister and the National Board for Non-governmental Organisations broad powers to supervise, approve, inspect, and dissolve all nongovernmental organizations and community based organizations, and would impose severe criminal penalties for violations. Among several troubling, broad, and vaguely worded provisions, one article would require all organizations to not engage in any activity which is government demees contrary to the dignity of the people of Uganda.
If this bill is passed in its current form, it will obstruct the ability of all Ugandans to work collectively through local and international organizations on any research or advocacy that may be deemed critical of the government.
Even before the proposed NGO bill is passed into law, government of Uganda has started cracking the thrash on Civil Society Organizations that are critical of government. the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Aronda Nyakayirima has threatened to close The Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS).
Often times, host communities loose out when development project come into their communities. Issues dispossession of land, natural heritage and livelihoods arise. These are the challenges that residents of Hoima district confront since government of Uganda started developing oil projects after the discovery of commercially viable crude oil deposits in their area.
Hoima residents whose properties were affected by the construction of a 92 KM Hoima-Kaiso Tonya road in the Oil region lost their compensation money to ghost property owners. The road construction project affected more than 2000 residents; however, not all affected residents have been compensated.
The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) joined other Civil Society Organizations in Uganda to criticize the New NGO Bill 2015 proposed by the Uganda’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima. The proposed bill was tabled on the floor of Parliament last month for discussions. While meeting with the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and internal Affair, civil society organizations said that overall, the proposed bill is a reversal of the spirit of complimentary and collaboration that the NGO board, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other departments of government, have been championing with the NGOs. The New NGO Bill expressly seeks to grant the NGO Board sweeping powers to restrict, obstruct and criminalize the legitimate work of NGOs.
PRESS STATEMENT ON KAVERA BAN (POLYTHENE BAGS): As you may recall, NEMA on 15th April 2015 banned the use of polythene bags commonly known as Kavera. This decision was arrived at based on the dangers associated with it on environment and all its habitats. These among others include the following;
As NAPE joins the rest of the world to celebrate the world environmental day whose theme is ‘Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care‘. We are going to sue business entities that have deliberately refused to comply with the ban on Kavera, which was effected on 15th April 2015 by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA). Seven billion dreams can only be realized if the planetary resources are managed/consumed/ planned for rationally to meet the needs of the current generation without comprising the ability of the future generation to meet theirs.
Government of Uganda with approval of parliament, some time back in 2009 banned the importation, manufacture and use of polythene bag, popularly known as kavera of gauge below 30 microns.
The ban was based on the effects the Kavera has on the environment namely:-