Ugandan authorities on Friday suspended at least 54 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for allegedly failing to comply with government regulations.
Stephen Okello, the executive director of the National Bureau of NGOs, said the authority has taken action against 54 NGOs under the NGO Act 2016 for failing to follow government regulations.
They have been told to stop working immediately, Okello said at a news conference in Kampala, Uganda's capital.
Human rights, women's and children's rights organizations are among the NGOs that have been suspended.
When contacted by Anadolu Agency, John Kasozi, the director of Uganda Youth Rights, stated that what has been done is an "abuse to Uganda's democracy."
Dickens Kamugisha, the head of Africa Institute for Energy Governance group, was quoted by local media as saying: "It is unfortunate that this has happened."
“This is all part of the political harassment of citizens and NGOs,” Uganda Vanguard daily reported.
Nicholas Opiyo, the executive director of Chapter Four Uganda, a civil rights organization dedicated to defending civil liberties, described the situation as "serious."
However, Daniel Mugasha, a senior leader of the ruling National Resistance Movement party, said: “What the government has done is right. Although NGOs play a big role in democratization, they must abide by the country’s laws and guidelines.”