Chapter Four Uganda has resumed its operations following a nine months suspension.
In August 2021, the National Bureau of Non Government Organisations (NGO Bureau) suspended the activities of Chapter Four, Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) and 52 others for failure to file annual returns and audited books of accounts.
According to the Executive Director of the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO Bureau) Okello Stephen, 23 NGOs were operating with expired permits contrary to section 31(1) and 32(1) of the NGO Act 2016.
Chapter Four Uganda however challenged the NGO Bureau’s decision in Court. Justice Musa Ssekaana ruled that the NGO Bureau must hear Chapter Four Uganda within one month and this pathed the way for the new permit and the reopening.
“On June 8, 2022, Chapter Four Uganda received its new permit of operations issued by the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO Bureau). We are delighted to officially announce to our clients, partners and the people of Uganda that the office is now open, we have resumed operations and all staff have returned to work,” remarked Dr Zahara Nampewo, Board Chair, Chapter Four Uganda as she welcomed staff back to the office.
“We renew our commitment to defend legal rights and reclaim respect for civic spaces and freedoms in Uganda. All services are fully operational, including emails and social media accounts. We thank all partners and stakeholders for their kind support and solidarity during the suspension period and throughout the five month court process,” she said.
She said Chapter Four Uganda resumes its vital work of promoting human rights and protecting victims of violations and abuse in Uganda. “We remain deeply concerned about the increasingly hostile and unsafe environment for civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations and human rights defenders in Uganda.”
As a principled defender of rights, the organization vowed to continue its work to pursue compliance with human rights law as guaranteed under the Constitution of Uganda and the applicable international and regional human rights instruments.