EU Dismiss Accusations of Funding NGOs To “Distablise” Uganda

3313 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Besides government, Tiedemann said development partners equally fund private sector and civil society organizations. He pointed out that European Union Mission in Uganda is supporting implementation of the national development plan but it doesnt mean its the plan is serving foreign interests.

 The head of Governance and Human Rights at the European Union Delegation to Uganda, Thomas Tiedemann, has dismissed accusations from various government officials that foreign powers are funding Non-Governmental Organisations to destabilize the country.   

 
This follows a recent revelation by the Presidency Minister, Esther Mbayo that government is investigating some NGOs suspected of funding and coordinating the post Arua election protests condemning the alleged torture of legislators and demanding their conditional release.
 

 
President, Yoweri Museveni also made several claims in his statement about the Arua incident indicating that there are NGOs in the country serving imperialists motives.
 


"As for the cacophony of the so called human rights defenders, in reality agents of imperialists' interests and their local lackeys, I would advise them to stop wasting their time in Uganda," reads part of Museveni's response to the speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga in reference to incessant criticism from NGOs over the Arua chaos. 
 

In another statement, referring to NGOs, Museveni said; "pseudo democrats, be informed that the game of trying to hijack our democracy by fascists and foreign agents is over. We shall not tolerate any threats by words or by actions."
 

But Tiedemann told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Thursday that EU as well as other development partners are funding multi-million government projects yet that has not be construed to mean that they have captured government. 


 
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Besides government, Tiedemann said development partners equally fund private sector and civil society organizations. He pointed out that European Union Mission in Uganda is supporting implementation of the national development plan but it doesn't mean it's the plan is serving foreign interests. 
 

There is no development partner, he argued, implanting ideas in Uganda's civil society. 

 
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Tiedemann spoke to Uganda Radio Network on the sidelines of a regional conference on advancing civic space and democratic accountability in a shrinking environment in East Africa.
 


The two day conference themed "civil society's role in pushing back shrinking civic space in East Africa," kicked off this morning at Metropole Hotel, Kampala.

 
He called for engagement between government and civil society to close gaps on their misunderstandings.
 


"I wish that today dialogue is carried out in a constructive way with concrete proposals for a better engagement between state and non-state actors. I would like to ensure that the EU values your work and will stand by civil society in furthering development of your respective countries," he said. 

 

About the author

Blanshe Musinguzi
Musinguzi Blanshe is a politics-cum-business journalist. He joined Uganda Radio Network in February 2017. Previously, he worked at Daily Monitor and Red Pepper Publications Limited. He is keenly interested in data journalism.