A local NGO, African Institute for Energy Governance (Afiego) has threatened to drag government to court accusing it of intimidation and interfering with their work.
In a statement issued by the same following government’s ban on a number of NGOs and CSOs totaling to 54, the ‘defiant’ NGO said it; together with it’s partners, have resolved to take legal action against the artonney general.
“Legal options to end the targeted delegitimisation, defamation, public shaming and other tactics aimed at stopping CSOs such as Afiego and our partners from playing their work of holding government accountable are being assessed. In the interim, Afiego and its partners have resolved to file a court case against the artonney general to stop the intimidation and delegimisation of CSOs” the statement reads.
The NGO called on the public to work with CSOs to engage government and use available lawful options to end what it called intimidation of CSOs and the hostile civic space in which they operate.
the statement said.
“Afiego will legally continue to operate. Despite the atmosphere of intimidation in which CSOs operate, we continue to play our role because it is integral in protecting all Ugandans and our environmental resources”
According to the statement, the organization was incorporated in 2009 and has been fulfilling all it’s legal requirements including filing annual returns to URSB but it was surprised to see that the NGO bureau listed it among the 23 CSOs whose work had been halted. According to NGO bureau, these CSOs including Afiego have been operating with expired NGO permits. The bureau permanently halted the work of some NGOs while others have had their permits suspended including CCEDU headed by Maria Matembe and Chapter Four headed by city human rights lawyer Nicolas Opio.
Afiego claims that this action is not surprising because all along, they have been targeted and intimidated due to their role in human and environmental roles they play especially in the area of oil and gas sector. The NGO said many of its staff have been arrested and detained while on duty doing their field work in the oil region. Afiego said this is part of the intimidation so that they soften on checking government.