BREAKING: Gov’t indefinitely closes Chapter Four, CCEDU NGOs

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The Ministry of Internal Affairs has indefinitely closed lawyer Nicholas Opiyo’s Chapter Four and Miria Matembe’s CCEDU non government organisations (NGOs).

According to the ministry, the two human rights and election monitoring NGOs did not file their annual returns and audited books of accounts, which is why they are now being closed.

Opiyo confirmed in a tweet that they have received a notification from the National Bureau for NGOs about this indefinite suspension.

He however noted that the they are working with relevant authorities to clarify the issues because they believe it is just a ‘misunderstanding.’

“The National Bureau for NGOs has notified us of the indefinite suspension of the permit of @chapterfourug for what they term failure to file returns & disclosing our sources of funding. We are working with the authorities to clarify what we believe is a misunderstanding,” Opiyo tweeted.

In a follow up tweet, Opiyo indicates that Chapter Four filed its returns in January 2021 and they were received by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In December 2020, Nicholas Opiyo was arrested by plain cloths wearing operatives who were later revealed to be a joint task force of security and financial intelligence officers.

Police later said human rights lawyer Nicholas Opiyo was arrested and detained over charges related to money laundering.

He was arrested on a Tuesday afternoon from Lamaro restaurant located in Kamwokya.

Many commentators including former Forum for Democratic Change president Dr Kizza Besigye condemned Opiyo's arrest. Besigye charged that the arrest of human rights lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo was part of President Museveni’s plan to rig the 2021 election.

After a week in jail, Justice Jane Okuo Kajuga rejected the case and granted him bail, bonded shs 100m not cash.

The Financial Intelligence Authority had also earlier on in December revealed that bank accounts of two NGOs, Uganda National NGO Forum and Uganda Women’s Network, that Opiyo represents were involved in moving money to finance terrorism activities.

The NGOs had their accounts frozen by government.

On Feb, 03, 2021,  President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni ordered the Ministry of Finance to suspend all activities of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) for financing subversive activities in Uganda.

DGF was launched in 2011 by Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the European Union as a five-year program to support government and non-governmental groups working to promote human rights, deepen democracy and improve accountability.

DGF's suspension affected many NGOs, some of which have never resumed operations.

We are updating the story

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