By Ruth Anderah
High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana has ruled that the indefinite suspension of Chapter Four Uganda by the National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations was irregular.
Judge Ssekaana said their suspension was irregular because of its indefinite nature and yet it was intended to allow comprehensive investigations into their operations and has thus ordered the bureau to hear the applicants within one month.
The applicant petitioned the Kampala High Court seeking to quash the government directive to indefinitely suspend its activities in Uganda.
The case arises from a decision by the NGO Bureau on August 18th 2021 ordering Chapter Four Uganda to cease operations with immediate effect to enable the Bureau conduct a comprehensive investigation into their operations.
According to Stephen Okello the Executive Director of NGO Bureau, Chapter Four Uganda was closed together with 53 other Non-Governmental Organizations for alleged failure to comply with the legislation covering their operations.
Being dissatisfied, Chapter Four Uganda through its lawyers of AF Mpanga and Company Advocates filed an application before the High Court Civil Division seeking to quash the aforementioned decision.
They argued that the Uganda Police Force has since implemented the NGO Bureau’s decision as a revocation of its permit and subsequently their bank accounts have equally been frozen.
Chapter Four Uganda sought court orders quashing the decision by the NGO Bureau, a permanent injunction prohibiting the government and its agents from relying on or implementing the aforementioned decision.
They also wanted the court to order the NGO Bureau to receive their application for renewal of a permit to operate as an NGO and to consider the application for renewal of permit in accordance with the provisions of the law.