Threats to Civil Society Organizations Operating Space – Increasing reports of NGO Office Thefts

Published By UNNGOF |  November 4, 2013

Monday, 4th November, 2013

For immediate release


Over the past two years Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Uganda have experienced rampant thefts at their offices by purported burglars taking away assets ranging from computers, monies and other key documents. The latest theft was experienced at Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda, (ACCU) and others in the recent past were Women and Girl Child Development Association, African Youth Development Link, Action Aid International Uganda, Foundation
For Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), EASSI, Lira NGO Forum to mention but a few.

However we note that in all these cases there is inadequate or no follow up by the police and other Justice Law and Order Sector agencies. For example in one case through analysis of the CCTV Images all the culprits were eventually arrested, including the ring leader, but one year down the road there is little progress in the resolution of the cases. In this particular case the organization has appeared in court over ten times but each time for one reason or the other there
is an adjournment.

We are therefore concerned that the rampant break-ins at NGO offices are linked with state interference in the operations of these NGOs. Coupled with the NGO office thefts are threats from other government agencies and other security organizations across the country. On several occasions the Minister of Internal Affairs has been quoted as vowing to crack his whip on NGOs citing those operating in oil producing areas and those championing governance initiatives.

As Civil Society Organizations leaders and representatives are deeply concerned about the increasingly dangerous and unstable environment in which we are operating and enjoin the Government as follows:

  1. That the government should improve on its performance of protection and preservation of its citizens and their property by providing adequate security for all;
  2. That the state should be careful to ensure that a culture of impunity is not created by failing to adequately investigate and prosecute crimes;
  3. That the Justice Law and Order Sector should expedite investigations and prosecutions of the reported cases to their logical conclusion;
  4. That as CSOs we call upon the Ministry of Internal Affairs and related agencies to engage constructively with NGOs to address any challenges that arise;

For more information, please contact: Tel: +256 312 260 373; +256 414 510 272 and Email: