The High Court in Kampala has rendered its decision on the indefinite suspension of Chapter Four Uganda by the National Bureau for Non Governmental Organisations (NGO Bureau).
In his ruling on Monday, High Court Judge, Justice Musa Ssekaana said that the decision was irregular.
“I find some merit in this application to the extent that the decision to indefinitely suspend the applicant was irregular because of its indefinite nature…” Justice Ssekaana ruled on Monday.
The High Court in its judgement also ordered that the NGO Bureau sits and hears the applicant within a period of one month.
In a statement that has been released by Chapter Four, the civil organisation has welcomed the decision from court, and said that they are looking forward to engaging with the NGO Bureau with a view of resuming their operations as soon as possible.
“We reiterate our commitment to being a principled non-partisan defender of fundamental rights and freedoms for all,” Chapter Four said in a statement.
It said that it hopes to carry on with its mandate in accordance with the law and the constitution of Uganda.
Chapter Four was among the 54 NGOs that were suspended by government in August last year over unclear reasons.
Following its closure, Chapter Four dragged government to court challenging the decision contained in an August 18, 2021 letter that accused the NGO Bureau of operating in non-compliance with the law.
Chapter Four argued in its petition that the decision by government to indefinitely stop their operations was high handed, illegal and violated the Non-Governmental Organisations Act.
They said that the actions of the NGO Bureau are without factual basis on grounds that prior to the closure, they were filing their annual returns with the latest being in January and that they were fully compliant with the law.
In its defence, the NGO Bureau had told court that Chapter Four had failed to file annual returns for the previous year 2020 which led to suspension of their activities.