Is gov’t bothered about the vulnerable who can’t access justice due to suspension of some NGOs
By Male Deogratius In August this year, the Ugandan government through its entity the National NGO forum announced the suspension of the activities of over 54 non-governmental organizations, on allegations of failing to comply with legislation covering their activities, including operating with expired permits, failing to file accounts or failing to register with the authorities
Despite some proving that they had just renewed their permits, government still insists on their closure with most of them being in line with advocacy to easy access to legal justice.
Civil society are development partners helping in policy formulation and setting the national agenda. Most of the affected organizations had tremendously improved access to judicial services for the disadvantaged communities and individual members of the public.
Some emphasized matters to do with Land grabbing, Helping victims of land grabbing or those at risk especially the most vulnerable who include widows and the elderly who have suffered most at the hands of those in positions of power, taking advantage of their positions to grab land from the helpless poor.
These marginalized less advantaged Ugandans can only access judicial services with the help of civil society as this is the only way they can afford the entire process, where they seek audience and seek refugee amidst all the confusion and lost hope.
The bigger question however is, how are those who seek justice being helped out now with their support and helping hand being chopped and stopped from reaching out to help salvage the situation. Some of these organizations already had pending cases not only in court but even at community levels where cases are settled out of court yet all these have since come to a halt due to the suspension of the operations of these organizations.
One of the victims a 60 year old Jane Nakigudde, a resident of Gwanika village in Mubende district says she has survived land grabbers due to the consistent help she has always received from such organizations.
“I had lost hope on salvaging my remaining small piece of land where my grandkids and I forge a livelihood, but now I fear that even this small piece I so tightly hold on to might be grabbed by these powerful men because I no longer have any one to help me fight on. I have lost hope.” Says the 60 year old.
Nakigudde and others facing the same predicament now glare in the face gross injustices helplessly.
Nakigudde and others facing the same difficulties are now crying out to government to re consider their decision and at least engage these organizations for an amicable way forward to help them receive the assistance they so desperately need given the many challenges they have had to ensure during both Covid Lock downs.
They insist that something needs to be done as soon as possible to help them fight such gross injustices inflicted on them yet with the highest levels of impunity of the fraudsters who have greater advantage over them.
The author Male Deogratius alias Omusawo Tintah is a journalist, entrainment radio presenter, passionate about the matters of human rights and keen on matters of national importance.