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Uganda freezes bank accounts of another NGO, staff

By Timothy Sibasi, timothy.sibasi@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – The Ugandan government through the Financial Intelligence Authority has ordered for the freezing of all bank accounts held by Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS), including those of all its staffers, All East Africa has learnt.

The independent think tank on public policy held its accounts in Bank of Africa, according to Godber Tumushabe, the Associate Director at GLISS.

This directive is in connection with an ongoing CID investigation by Police into GLISS over alleged money laundering and conspiracy to commit felony. Police have accused the think tank and Action Aid Uganda, another NGO for illegally sourcing funds to support opposition political activities tied to the ongoing Age Limit amendment debate.

Subsequently, police raided and searched offices of GLISS situated at Ministers’ Village, Ntinda in Kampala, and seized equipment and financial documents to aid its investigations.

Godber Tumushabe was briefly arrested and interrogated on funding anti-government protests, charges he denied.

He has previously said that his organisation’s programmes are well known to police, and all the funding they receive is directed to doing those programmes.

On Thursday, Godber posted on the organization’s Facebook page; “I am just getting information that Bank of Uganda has issued instructions to have GLISS accounts and for all our staff frozen.”

“As a start up, most of our staff are young people just at the start of their careers. I can’t understand how their personal accounts can become an issue for the regime. This level of panic is a matter of grave concern,” he added.

He confirmed to All East Africa, that the accounts have indeed been closed temporarily but criticized the decision to freeze individual accounts including his.

“I have just confirmed that all my personal accounts in Housing Finance are also frozen,” he said.
It is unclear why the investigation has expanded its focus to all employees and how long this is likely to last given the implications it could have.

“I confirmed the accounts at Bank of Africa were frozen on the instructions of the Financial Intelligence Authority. They must have also gotten a no objection from Bank of Uganda (BOU),” Tumushabe said.

While the offices were reopened since the September raid, Tumushabe told us; “The offices are open, but they literary took everything that we need to operate normally. After a full month, they have not returned anything even after requesting them for some of the materials that we need.”
A credible source revealed to Tumushabe that when ActionAid wrote to the Central Bank challenging the freezing of the account, BOU withdrew the order only for a similar order to be issued by Financial Intelligence Authority.
Set up in 2014, the Financial Intelligence Authority is mandated by the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2013 to prohibit and prevent money laundering.

The Authority has powers “to make orders in relation to proceeds of crime and properties of offenders” and “to provide for international cooperation in investigations, prosecution and other legal processes of prohibiting and preventing money laundering”

A week ago, bank accounts held by Action Aid Uganda another NGO were frozen on the orders of Bank of Uganda over a similar investigation.

Similar scrutiny is likely to extend to several other NGOs operating in Uganda as government recently asked 25 other not-for-profit organisations to provide financial information to the NGO Bureau which regulates them.

According to the State Minister for Internal Affairs Obiga Kania, there is no cause for anxiety since the law provides that every year, NGOs must disclose their source of funding and what they spend it on.

Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo is on record to have once said that “the disruptions being organized by the opposition led by Besigye and funded by Action Aid and GLISS among other civil society organizations will fail.”

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1 comment

rezen Oct 21, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Subjects:
a) Uganda freezes bank accounts of another NGO, staff By Timothy Sibasi, Oct 21, 2017
b) South Sudan forces assault UN commander By Tom Mugisha, Oct 21, 2017
c) Rwanda arrests four over electronic billing scam by Alleastafrica.com, Oct 21, 2017, and
d) Uganda expels North Korea military experts over UN sanctions by Associated Press, Oct 21, 2017

Commentary, 21 Oct 2017
So, the story of strings of the so-called FREE, LIBERATED and INDEPENDENT East African Countries becomes a glaring light of dysfunction of members of the UNDEREVELOPED World. And Africa keeps on marching along with its demeaning image around the Globe. Even the wretched white skin, down trodden beggar, has a demeaning attitude toward an African dignitary. [There is an old story (a remark) made by a white official about a black representative of a very powerful country at the united nations. But that is for another time.]

The old colonial masters are still the driving force behind the curtain, in various elasticity of forms and shapes, and in conformity with Time. This Time around, the colonial masters, shrewd and conniving as ever, see the change of Time – hence the need to cooperate with corrupted indigenous, hungry for money and power i.e. African Dictators. They are fifty-one of them (51 being magnanimous figure) out of fifty-four in the “Dark” Continent of Africa. They milk Africa out of its bones!!!

That is not the end of the African Story. It is estimated that that there are over thirty-thousand (30, 000) African Intellectuals in various fields of endeavour, specifically with Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (Ph D) from Ivy league Universities [or from sham schools, in desperation!] around the Globe. What do they do to liberate the African people? NOTHING, in practical term. On the contrary, it is not farfetched to say that they are itching to get their hands on the Money and Power of free-for-all Africa.

Now, let us go the notorious African Leaders. Africa has been under external colonial forces for seemingly time immemorial and still continues – this time, with the active participation of indigenous African Leaders who have been SALIVATING for Money and Power, while being under the boots of their old masters. They are on ‘marauding’ mode. They learned it from their masters. They are replicating it now on their mothers and fathers, on their brothers and sisters, on their entire African Race. NO trace of shame. There seems to be no end to their savagery – exactly like their colonial masters.

And so THE AFRICAN TRAGEDY goes on —and on –and on …..and the African people, from the RICHEST Continent, are the poorest creatures crawling on the surface of the earth, searching for pieces of bread to sustain them just for the day

CRY, MY BELOVED AFRICA, even if you are devoid of natural tears. THE END

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