By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Former Ethics minister Miria Matembe has resigned from the leadership of Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU), an election observer organization where she has been serving as chairperson.
In her letter dated 25th January to the board secretary Robert Ssempala, Matembe says her resignation is intended to give the organization chance to clear its status queries raised by the regulatory body, the NGO Bureau.
CCEDU is among the 50 civil society organizations whose operations were suspended by the bureau in August 2021.
Matembe noted that she cannot continue to jeopardize the organization’s work because of her continued blatant criticism of the government of key issues relating to democratization.
Read Matembe’s Full Letter
”As you are aware, since CCEDU’s indefinite suspension by the NGO Bureau in August 2021, CCEDU under my leadership as the Chairperson has taken various practical steps to respond to the issues as raised with the hope that Government would lift the said suspension.
Despite responding to all the compliance queries raised by the NGO Bureau, CCEDU’s suspension has not been lifted. Along the way, it appears that CCEDU’s continued suspension is not and was never about the alleged compliance issues as stipulated in the correspondence with the NGO Bureau.
In my own understanding, I realize that CCEDU’s indefinite suspension was and continues to be a result of my personal political beliefs. I have been seized with useful information to the effect that this non-conclusive response from both the NGO Bureau and the Electoral Commission our line partner institution is because of my political standing in the midst of the current political environment.
Therefore, rather than a whole Citizens’ Coalition with over 1,000 members and many other organizations 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 organization a second chance to live. Since my assumption of office as the Chairperson, it has been clear that 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 organization. Please communicate my resignation to the membership of the organization as required by our Constitution.
As I step down, I want to reiterate that, it has been an exceptional honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Uganda in the position of Chairperson, CCEDU with truth and integrity.
I am proud to have done so at a very politically challenging time, between 19th August 2019 to the date when my leadership was most profound.
I want to express my gratitude to the entire staff of CCEDU for its passionate commitment to the organization despite the challenges faced. My thanks also go to all those members that remained committed and supportive to the organization, to do their work even in the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Please accept my prayers for your success and that of the entire CCEDU membership going forward. As the word of God says, ‘God is not unjust, he will not forget our work — and he never fails’. I trust He will find a way out for our organization.
Hon. Dr. Miria R.K. Matembe