Civil Society actors in the country have raised concerns about the shrinking civic space orchestrated by both state and non-state actors like poor legal regime and security brutality.
These argue that incidents of violent arrests especially witnessed in the January polls and unlawful detention deter people’s freedom of speech and lessen their influence on the political and social structures of their country.
Ruth Asiimwe, the technical advisor for Youth Line Forum, an NGO based in Uganda, noted that during this critical lockdown period, they are using the existing laws to assist over 200 Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to get validated as provided for under the NGO Act.
“As Civil Society actors, we remain committed to the fair provisions of the laws of Uganda. We remain committed to the Citizens of Uganda in ensuring that they have a well projected voice in causing accountability where it is required,” she said.
Asiimwe challenged Government actors to do their part of the bargain in ensuring a leveled ground and performing towards a free and fair civic space.
“We demand that all political prisoners be released, that the NGO Bureau revokes the unfair ban and clampdown on the Civil Society Organizations without fail. Secondly, the NGO Act should be revised as soon as possible with consultation from all Civil Society actors,” she said.
During the January elections, activities of numerous CSOs were interrupted and others suspended over accusations of subversion and breach of regulations governing them.