By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Yesterday former Ethics Minister Miria Matembe stepped down from Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), an election observer organization where she was serving as chairperson.
Matembe said in a letter dated 25th January, addressed to the board secretary Robert Ssempala, that she it’s intended to give the organization chance to clear its status queries raised by the regulatory body, the NGO Bureau.
You should remember that in August 2021, the NGO Bureau, a body that oversees operations of Non-Government Organisations-NGOs in Uganda suspended activities of CCEDU and other 53 organizations for breach of several regulations governing NGOs in Uganda.
Matembe argues that she could be the target in the organization because of her continued blatant criticism of the government of key issues relating to democratization.
“Since the suspension in August, CCEDU under my leadership has taken various practical steps to respond to the issues as raised with the hope that government would lift the said suspension but in vail,” partially reads Matembe’s letter.
Matembe, who assumed this office in August 2019 added that CCEDU’s continued suspension was a result of her personal political beliefs. She now says she has useful information to the effect that the nonconclusive response from both the NGO Bureau and the Electoral Commission is because of her political standing in the midst of the current political environment.
She adds, “Therefore, rather than a whole Citizen’s Coalition with over 1,000 members and other organisations being indefinitely suspended because of my individual political thoughts, and for the good and interest of these Ugandans, it is rather prudent that I step down from the position of the chairperson of CCEDU in order to give the organisation a second chance to live.”
She says since she assumed that office, it has been clear that the government has found it difficult to collaborate with the Coalition to the extent that CCEDU was even denied the accreditation to observe the 2021 general elections, an activity that is central to the organization’s mandate.
“In line with Article 20(a) of CCEDU’s Constitution, I therefore tender my resignation from the position of chairperson with immediate effect. It is my hope that this will possibly pave way for a re-opening of the organisation,” wrote Matembe.
Miria Rukoza Koburunga Matembe, LL.D (born 28 August 1953) is a former member of the Pan-African Parliament from Uganda. While serving there, she was chairperson of the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline a permanent committee of the parliament.
In June 2006, she became a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy.