By APN Reporter
The National Bureau for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO Bureau) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs has halted the operations of Sexual Minorities Uganda.
According to the bureau executive director Okello Stephen, the decision was taken on the 3rd day of August 2022.
Okello says that the NGO Bureau held engagements with SMUG on the 2nd and 27th of June 2022 to understand the legal status of the entity after a number of concerns were raised regarding the operations of SMUG.
The raised concerns are that SMUG continues to carry out its operations although it is neither incorporated with Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) nor registered with the NGO Bureau.
It however emerged that SMUG had made an attempt to reserve its name with URSB in 2012 for incorporation purposes however the name was rejected on grounds of being undesirable;
It was also observed that SMUG operates in its own capacity and has partnerships with some Government institutions such as the Ministry of Health, Uganda Human Rights Commission, and Uganda Police;
Another concern was that
the main objective of SMUG is to fight against discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) persons in Uganda; and there was no reliable record of the actual physical location of SMUG and the representatives of SMUG were reluctant to disclose the same.
Okello adds that the NGO Bureau also engaged a number of stakeholders that SMUG was partnering with and established that the partners were not aware that SMUG was operating illegally.
He revealed that it is against this background that the NGO Bureau has taken the decision to halt the operations of SMUG with immediate effect and called upon the general public and all its stakeholders to take note of this decision.
He further revealed that all NGOs operating in the country do so within the ambit of the law by ensuring that they are fully incorporated, registered, and operating with a valid NGO permit from the NGO Bureau.