Miria Matembe Resigns as CCEDU Chairperson

In August 2021, the NGO Bureau, a body that regulates operations of Non Government Organisations- NGOs in Uganda suspended activities of CCEDU and 53 other organisations for breach of several regulations governing NGOs in Uganda.

The Chairperson of the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda -CCEDU Miria Matembe has resigned, accusing the government of frustrating operations of the organisation because of her political standing.

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. 

Now, in a letter dated 25th January 2022 addressed to the Secretary of the Board of the Organisation, Robert Ssempala, Matembe says that since the suspension in August, CCEDU under her 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. 

That despite responding to all the compliance queries as raised by the NGO Bureau, CCEDU's suspension has not been lifted. She thinks that CCEDU's continued suspension is not and was never about the alleged compliance issues as stipulated in the correspondence with the NGO Bureau.

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.

"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," wrote Matembe.

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.

Robert Ssempala, the Board Secretary confirmed the letter was authentic but added that Matembe is still with them until they have had discussions over the matter and come to an understanding. Ssempala says the Board can't sit when the organisation is suspended but said they will discuss the matter as soon as they possibly can.

Ssempala also said that CCEDU is still engaging government to lift the ban on the organisation. Although he didn't divulge details, Ssempala says they are making strides with their discussions with government.

Matembe is an outspoken critic of the regime she once served as the ethics and Integrity Minister before falling out with the establishment.

CCEDU was established on 19th August 2009 as a broad coalition that brings together over 800 like-minded civil society organizations and over eight thousand individuals to advocate for electoral democracy in Uganda. The overriding agenda of this coalition is to advocate and promote integrity, transparency and active citizen participation in Uganda’s electoral process.