Tuesday May 20 2014

Thugs break into another NGO office

Uganda Land Alliance communications officer

Uganda Land Alliance communications officer Proscovia Namulondo shows how thugs cut through a window to access the offices . PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA  


Unknown people broke into offices of Uganda Land Alliance in Kamwokya, a city suburb, last Saturday night and made off with office equipment.
Uganda Land Alliance executive director Edmond Malilo Owor said the thugs took away documents, computers and cameras.

“They entered through the bathroom window on the ground floor. The guard who was on duty alleges that he was unconscious when the thugs broke into the office,” Mr Owor said.

The guard is suspected to have been sedated before the break in.
However, Mr Owor said, their important data was recovered from backup gadgets.

“We are saddened by the incident and appeal to Uganda Police Force to investigate the matter to its logical conclusion. Our operations have been derailed but we are hopeful that we shall recover soon and continue to deliver land rights services to the people of Uganda,” he said.

The latest incident follows a spate of break-ins in offices of several civil society organisations. Offices belonging to Action Aid, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative and the Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda have been victims.

Efforts to get a comment from the Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson, Mr Patrick Onyango, about the investigations were futile as he said he was busy attending a meeting.

Uganda Land Alliance is a consortium of more than 60 civil society organisations advocating for fair land laws and policies. It contributed to the process of formulating the National Land Policy and sits on different committees which are reviewing land related laws.

When contacted, Uganda National NGO Forum executive director Richard Ssewakiryanga said members of the civil society recently met the Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen Aronda Nyakairima, who promised to institute a probe committee to investigate the burglary.

The thugs target computers, documents and money that the NGOs’ managers often leave in the safes.
Efforts to speak to Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson Pamela Ankunda were futile as calls to her phone went unanswered.