On Thursday, 11th February 2021, DPI (Defenders Protection Initiative) in partnership with the Financial Intelligence Authority held an engagement to facilitate the Implementation of Anti-money laundering/Countering Financing of terrorism measures while safeguarding Civic Space in Uganda.
DPI is a non-profit organization registered by the National NGO board under the Uganda statutory requirements. DPI aims at contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance, rule of law, peace, and democracy by strengthening the capacity of human rights defenders (HRDs) to mainstream security, safety, and protection management in their work.
The engagement was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala and had in attendance various actors from the civic space as well as the Executive Director of the Financial Intelligence Authority, Mr. Sydney Asubo who addressed the gathering on the role of citizens and civic organizations in fighting money laundering and terrorism financing in Uganda.
The Executive Director also dismissed claims that there has been selective & arbitrary implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act stating that, “Apart from the banking sector where we have taken a hardline stance, we are taking an approach to educating first for the rest of the other sectors. There is a misconception that we are trigger happy to freeze/halt accounts and this is simply not true. Under the AML Act, we have the power to halt transactions. There is no timeframe indicated in the act for how long this halt should be.” The ED further enlightened the gathering of the role of the FIA in undertaking a National Risk Assessment to determine the risk profile of the various accountable persons in the economy which is a requirement from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The meeting was closed by Ms. Margaret Ssekaggya with a request to the Financial Intelligence Authority to publicize where the CSO’s are performing well and a notification for where they need to improve.