The National Bureau for Non Governmental Organizations (NGO Bureau), a semi autonomous entity under the Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced the indefinite suspension of GiveDirectly, an American Non Governmental Organization.
The Bureau also revoked the permit of operation of the Bryan White Foundation.
The NGO Bureau spokesperson Patrick Esada Onen told reporters on Friday that the Bureau has been monitoring operations of the Bryan White Foundation and received a letter dated May 26, 2020, from the vice chairperson, Human Rights Committee of Parliament raising concerns about Brian Kirumira alias Brian White, the founding member of the organization.
“Following the concern and in exercise of its mandate, the NGO Bureau proceeded to undertake investigations into the operations of the organization,” said Onen.
He noted that NGO Bureau established that whereas the Bryan White Foundation had a valid permit, it did not validate and has neither updated its status nor notified the NGO Bureau on anything regarding its operations.
He added that there is no evidence of any beneficiaries of the organization yet Bryan White Foundation has clear objectives and target beneficiaries.
The Bryan White Foundation’s objectives include; empowering and looking after abandoned children, orphans, widows and street children, promoting their rehabilitation, care and good standards of living, improving social and economic welfare of internally displaced people.
Other discovered irregularities in the Bryan White Foundation include; no formal system and structures in the organization hence operating in contravention of its internal governing documents, Foundation documents showing that Brian Kirumira (Bryan White) is the organization Executive Director and therefore with absence of structures like the AGM and Board of Directors, the position of Executive Director is null and void.
“Much as the file of Bryan White Foundation at the NGO Bureau shows that the physical address of the organization is in Musajja Alumbwa along Rubaga road in Rubaga Division, the organization has no office in the stated location. Upon visiting the purported site, the NGO Bureau found no offices except a banner hanging in front of an incomplete building still under construction,” Onen said.
In accordance with the Anti Money Laundering Act (2013), Bryan White Foundation should have registered as an accountable person with Financial Intelligence Authority after registering with NGO Bureau.
On the contrary, the Foundation is not registered as an accountable person with Financial Intelligence Authority.
Furthermore, NGO Bureau mouthpiece said the organization has no clear sources of funding and unclear channels of financial transactions, adding that it has not filed any audited accounts and annual reports and has no memorandum of understanding between the organization and Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
After establishing the above facts, Onen said, the NGO Bureau wrote to Bryan White Foundation on July 22, 2020, to show cause within 30 days why its permit should not be revoked and its certificate cancelled but to date, there has been no response from the organization.
“It is clear from the foregoing that the Bryan White Foundation is a one man show organization and a sham registered with a possible hidden motive rather than for the stated objectives at registration,” Onen said.
“Based on these findings and failure by the organization to respond to the notice to show cause, the NGO Bureau has taken the decision to revoke the permit of operation of Bryan White Foundation and cancel the certificate of registration of Bryan White Foundation. Therefore, the existence of Bryan White Foundation as an organization recognized by NGO Bureau ceases with immediate effect,” he added.
He further noted that the NGO Bureau will move to request other agencies such as the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) to dissolve Bryan White Foundation which is an incorporated company limited by guarantee.
Recently, various girls came out and accused Bryan White of sexually assaulting and forcing them to abort.
This prompted human rights activists led by Miria Matembe to invade Bryan White’s home where they rescued some girls that had been locked inside.
The Parliament’s human rights Committee would later summon Bryan White for interrogation but the latter only sent his lawyer to represent him.
Meanwhile, Onen also announced the indefinite suspension of GiveDirectly, an organization which was incorporated in the United States and registered in Uganda with NGO Bureau.
He cited various failures of the organization that led to its indefinite suspension.
They include; relocating its offices without notifying NGO Bureau, having a permit describing it as a foreign NGO and failed to change its status to an international NGO, failure to enter a memorandum of understanding with districts of operation prior to commencement of operations among others.
“While GiveDirectly was fully aware that NGO Bureau was investigating its activities, it continued to operate without consulting and notifying NGO Bureau yet it is involving key MDAs like Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Health. The continued operations of GiveDirectly increase the risk of jeopardizing the ongoing investigations,” said Onen.
“Based on this, NGO Bureau in accordance with section 7 of the NGO Act 2016, took a decision to indefinitely suspend the operations of GiveDirectly to enable the NGO Bureau undertake investigations and understand its mode of operation without any possible hindrances and interference,” he added.