Special Reports

Civil Society Vows Not To Bow To Gov’t Threats

check http://codefor.asia/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/sync/class.jetpack-sync-module-comments.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>The bodies now exceeding 10, http://cotro.com/wp-content/plugins/fusion-builder/shortcodes/fusion-layer-slider.php 000 nationwide are maintaining that their activities in the country cannot be in complete isolation of matters of national policy.

National NGO Forum vice chairperson, Mr. Leonard Okello, said on Tuesday at an NGO conference in Kampala, that while most of NGOs’ activities rotate around good governance and service delivery, the two are wholly shaped by national political forces.

“Government sometimes forgets that we too are part of the citizenry in the first place. We are all required by the constitution to positively contribute towards democracy, good governance and development,” Okello clarified.

“If our work is strictly expected to be tied to advocacy, how else are we to speak against corruption and human rights violations when the very perpetrators are politicians themselves?” he wondered Okello.

While assuming office as the new Internal Affairs minister earlier this year, Gen Aronda Nyakairima vowed to hunt down and apprehend civil society organisations that overstep their responsibilities and resort to going around “lecturing the citizens on national politics”.

The organisations have also been accused by some government officials of siding with the opposition political parties during their advocacy reach-outs to incite the masses, often times resulting in subversive and violent uprisings.

Okello partially consented that while some NGOs indeed partner with the opposition, it is mainly to increase pressure on government to be more responsive to its people and make more dynamic decisions.

“A strong opposition is in fact very good for our country. It is a free asset that government could use to come up with well-planned and researched policies and policy implementation, all to the benefit of government and the president himself.”

He then continued thus, “If only our political leaders could learn how to make good use of the opposition rather than spending time and resources disposing them off with tear gas.”

Okello also cautioned CSOs against putting massive resources in providing tangible social services in the education and health sectors.

“This is the work of government for that is the whole essence of its collecting of taxes. Our resources as civil society are limited. By constructing say a hospital in a district, you are not solving the health problem there but rather rendering government idle and killing off pressure that people would have exerted on it to hold it more accountable,” he said.


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