Case on frozen Action Aid accounts for next year

Kenneth Kazibwe

Kenneth Kazibwe

, Featured

The Commercial court in Kampala has adjourned to 12th January 2018 the case in which Action Aid, an NGO seeks to have its accounts frozen by Bank of Uganda unfrozen.

The Central Bank in October froze all the bank accounts belonging to ActionAid Uganda, a Non-Governmental Organisation on allegations of money laundering.

In a letter dated October 3rd to the Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank, Louis Kasakende, the Deputy Governor BoU explained that the Criminal Investigation Directorate (CID) was investigating Action Aid for alleged conspiracy to commit a felony and money laundering.

Action Aid through its lawyers led by Muhammad Mbabazi and Robert Kirunda took to the Commercial Court in Kampala to have their accounts opened by the Financial Intelligence Authority.
On Wednesday, both parties were however told by Justice Monica Mugenyi that the case could not kick off because of a number of technical issues that ought to be sorted out before hearing commences.
The case was adjourned to January 12 2018.

In an interview with the Nile Post, Arthur Larok, the Action Aid country director said that freezing their accounts has had a devastating effect on lives of many people including over one hundred workers and other one million Ugandans who depend on the NGO’s activities.

“Many children all over the country that were being supported by Action Aid missed their end of year exams whereas many women who are victims of domestic violence that were being supported have no one to give them support,”Larok said.
He explained that Action Aid has a number of programs in districts including; Gulu,Katakwi and West Nile that have since the freezing of their accounts by government stalled.

Larok however noted that they have held a number of meetings with various stakeholders in a bid to negotiate about the issue but said these have yielded nothing.
The freezing of Action Aid accounts followed a raid by police on their offices in Kampala on September 19th and conducted a cordon and search operation where they accessed and searched computer accessories, mobile handsets, money transfer related documents and bank related transaction documents, taking away some of them.
Speaking about the matter, Police said Action Aid Uganda and Great Lakes Institute of Strategic Studies (GLISS) had received funding from foreign elements to facilitate the protests in the city against the age limit bill.
“We received intelligence that these organisations had received funding to destabilise the city and some parts of the country following the intended debate in parliament on age-limit,” the then police spokesperson AIGP Asan Kasingye said in a statement.

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