SIGH OF RELIEF! Museveni Lifts suspension on DGF Activities

President Museveni meets Danish government delegation at State House. (PPU PHOTO)

Kampala – Uganda’s President Museveni has, on Wednesday lifted the suspension on the activities of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) in Uganda lifted.

This development follows a directive issued by Museveni, at the height of Presidential Elections, calling for the suspension of the activities of DGF, the largest pool of donor funding to non-governmental organisations in Uganda which is financed by Denmark, Ireland, Austria, the UK, Sweden, Norway, and the European Union to facilitate equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long-term stability in the country.

The suspension sent a shock wave of uncertainty and panic to over 74 civil society organisations of the DGF funding

However, following back and forth meetings between government and development partners, Museveni accepted to have the suspension lifted.

“We met with the president today, presented our case and he has directed for the lifting of the suspension. It is a very good day for us and for DGF. We are back,” the source told this website.

Museveni has since confirmed the development.

“Today, I hosted the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation. We discussed a number of bilateral issues. I also agreed to lift the ban on Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), to run till December 2022, with Government represented in the decision-making structures,” Museveni said in a tweet.

Background of DGF’s woes

In a letter dated Jan.02 Museveni said: “The foreign mission and its co-founders have been given free rein by the Ministry of Finance to choose which activity, entities and amounts to finance without the knowledge or consent of the Government. A big percentage of these funds have been used to finance activities and organisations designed to subvert Government under the guise of improving governance”.

In the letter, Museveni asserted the Ministry of Finance under the hand of the Permanent Secretary, irregularly and unilaterally authorized a £100 million fund, known as the Democratic Governance Facility, to be operated exclusively by a foreign mission in Uganda.

“Unlike prior grant arrangements like the Democratic Governance and Accountability project in which there was transparency and representations the Government of “Uganda has no say or oversight on how the Democratic Governance Facility is administered in Uganda,” Museveni said.

He tasked the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija, to explain how and why the Permanent Secretary, Keith Muhakanizi, authorized the operations of DGF without the involvement of the cabinet and tasked the Inspectorate of Government, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and the Statehouse Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate Muhakanizi and other government officials over possible subversion, corruption and or criminal negligence.

“I have also established that last year, the Ministry of Finance made a belated and feeble attempt to get a Government Representative on the Board of this fund which would have been of little consequence anyway. However, you were quickly and arrogantly rebuffed by the foreign mission because apparently as you were reminded by that foreign mission, the exclusive management of the fund lies with them and oversight is by the foreign co-founders, exclusively,” Museveni said.

“I am therefore directing you to immediately, suspend the activities of this fund until the cabinet has fully reviewed this matter and a new governance structure in which the elected representatives of the people of Uganda have appropriate oversight, has been put in place and approved by me,” he added.

On January 2, 2021, President Museveni ordered the suspension of DGF activities, stating that its funds were “used to finance activities and organizations designed to subvert Government under the guise of improving governance.”

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