Criticism of the Act

Criticism of the Act

  1. Immunities of the Directors, officers and employees of the Bureau.

Section 42 of the Act bestows immunity from liability upon the directors, officers and employees of the Bureau against liability arising out of any acts or omissions done in good faith in the exercise of the functions of the Bureau. This will give wide range of powers to officers and employees of the Bureau from the top up to the sub county level, including inspectors that they may abuse or misuse under this umbrella to curtail the operations of NGO assured that they cannot be held responsible for their actions because of the protection guaranteed under this provision.

  1. Ambiguity in respect to special obligations of NGOs.

Section 44 of the Act imposes special obligations on NGOs. It bars these organizations from doing anything that would be deemed prejudicial to the security of Ugandans and; the interests of Uganda; and the dignity of Ugandans. Contravention of the above amounts to a criminal offence under s.40 (1) (d) attracts penal sanctions under s. 40 (2). This provision has been criticized as being vague for it does not meet the constitutional standard that requires every criminal offence to be well defined. It is not clear what acts may be deemed prejudicial to the security of Ugandans and; the interests of Uganda; and the dignity of Ugandans.

Critics have noted that security reasons has been commonly used as an excuse to clamp down on organizations and has been viewed as one that will achieve the same purpose which the Anti-Homosexuality Act was untended to achieve. It has in fact been viewed as one way of re-introducing the Anti-Homosexuality Act.