Despite recent reforms in the existing law, Uganda continues to be at high-risk to terrorism financing shows the 2017 national risk assessment report from the Finance Intelligence Authority (FIA).
According to the executive director of the Financial Intelligence Authority Sydney Asubo, it is high time government works tooth and nail to see that all businesses formalize since risk being financed by terrorists.
A report from Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicates that 67% of businesses in Uganda are informal. According to Sydeny Asubo, informal businesses are a threat to the country’s security since they aren’t registered which it makes it easy for terrorists to finance them.
Asubo advises government to put an end to the song of formalizing businesses which they have failed attain for years now.
“The current stringent laws on both money laundering and terrorism financing have put terrorist on a rock and now trying very hard to make of use of any gaps to finance their movements, informal sectors provide the best ground to send dirty money that can’t be detected,” noted Sydney Asubo the FIA ED.
He further requests to advocate for more of a cashless economy and reduction of money in circulation to make it easy to fast track each cent that comes into the economy. Asubo notes that all civil society operations relay on funding from outsiders and some don’t have clear information on the people funding them which currently is a must for all CSOs.
“It will be very hard if the country decided to take the harder decision that was taken by both Eritrea and Ethiopia of banning funding that goes beyond 20% of the organization budget. These CSOs can’t operate even for a day if funding is cut “adds Sydney Asubo the FIA ED
Together with the Defenders Protection Initiative, FIA has met with all civil society organizations to help them understand how best they can detect dirty money that comes inform of financial support.
Yona Wanjala the executive Director of Defenders Protection Initiative notes civil society have for long argued about that they need to understand how terrorists infiltrate their systems through financing instead of government just cracking down on them.
‘We don’t want them to end up like Action Aid that fell in the trap of terrorist which led them into trouble and their accounts were frozen,” he added.