By Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - The head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Uganda Kristian Schmidt has appealed to the internal affairs minister, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, to ensure that new non-governmental organization (NGO) bill is user-friendly.
The NGOs have recently been criticized for getting funds from donors and using it in a way that endangers the security of the country.
“I appeal to Aronda, when the new NGO bill is tabled before Parliament, he should ensure that government works together with NGOs,” said Schmidt.
He was addressing members of civil society organisations and government officials during the closure of the 10th Democratic Governance and Accountability Programme (DGAP) at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Friday.
The project has been in operation for three years.
NGOs across the country compliment government’s efforts in service delivery in various sectors such as human rights, health, education and water and sanitation and others.
Schmidt pointed out that NGOs are essential partners in development and therefore, government should not sever the relations.
He urged MPs to view NGOs as partners who are helpful in policy-making processes.
“MPs should look at members of civil society organisations as partners when it comes to designing better policies for the country,” he said.
On accountability, the EU official said reports from the Auditor General are important in tackling corruption.
While he said democracy and accountability are sensitive issues worldwide, he hailed government for making significant strides in those areas.
“EU is proud to make democracy and accountability inclusive in Uganda.”
Schmidt also lauded the civil society fraternity and government agencies for making the DGAP a success story, and he went on to pledge that the EU will analyze the just concluded programme and come up with another one to help the citizens of Uganda.
Martin Muwereza, the programme manager of DGAP appealed to the EU to continue supporting the good initiatives that have improved the lives of Ugandans.
“Trainings conducted in democratic principles and practices have contributed towards building a culture of tolerance and dialogue in the face of divergent opinions and views among local leaders,” he underlined.
The EU funded the programme to improve democracy and accountability sector in the country.
The implementers have been the Office of the Prime Minister, internal affairs ministry and civil society organizations.
For the success of the project, government agencies and CSOs were awarded a certificate of gratitude and certificate of merit respectively.
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EU boss advises on new NGO bill