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Non-Governmental Organizations Registration Act

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Arrangement of Sections

1. Interpretation
2. Registration with the board
3. Application for regist ration with the board
4. Establishment and composition of the board
5. Common seal of the board
6. Secretariat
7. Functions of the board
8. Powers of the board
9. Appeal
10. Grounds for revocation of cer tificate of registration
11. Meetings of the board
12. Minister’s powers
13. Regulations

Commencement: 29 September, 1989

An act to provide for the registration of no n-governmental organizations, to establish a
board for that purpose and for other matters connected therewith.

1. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the c ontext otherwise requires –
(a) “board” means the National Board of Nongovernmental Organisations;
(b) “chairperson” means the chairperson of the board;
(c) “Minister” means the Minister re sponsible for internal affairs;
(d) “organization” means a nongovernmental organization established to provide
voluntary services, including religious, educational, literary, scientific, social or
charitable services to the co mmunity or any part of it.

2. Registration with the board.

(1) No organization shall operate in Uganda unless it has been duly registered with
the board established under section 4.

(2) Upon registration, the board shall issue a certificate of re gistration to the
organization, subject to such conditions or directions generally as it may think
fit to insert in the certificate, and particularly relating to –

(a) the operation of the organization;
(b) where the organization may carry out its activities; and
(c) staffing of the organization.

(3) No organization shall be incorporated or register any document under the
Companies Act or the Trustees Incorpor ation Act before that organization is
registered with the board.

(4) An organization that contravenes this s ection commits an offence and is liable
on conviction to a fine of not less than ten thousand shillings and not exceeding
two hundred thousand shillings or in de fault an officer concerned in the
management of the organization is lia ble to a term of imprisonment not
exceeding twelve months.

3. Application for registration with the board.

(1) An organization shall apply for registration unde r this Act to the secretary to the

(2) An application made under subsection (1) shall be –
(a) accompanied by the prescribed fee;
(b) in such form and supported by such evidence of statements made in the
application as the Minist er may prescribe; and
(c) accompanied by a copy of the organisation’s constitution.

(3) The Minister may, in any emergency situation, exempt an organization from any
of the provisions of this Act.

4. Establishment and composition of the board.

(1) There shall be a board to be known as the National Board for Nongovernmental

(2) The board shall consist of two members from the public and one member from
each of the following Ministries or departments –

(a) the Ministry responsible for internal affairs;
(b) the Ministry responsible for just ice and constitutional affairs;
(c) the Ministry responsible for lands and surveys;
(d) the Ministry responsible for finan ce, planning and economic development;
(e) the Ministry responsible for foreign affairs;
(f) the Ministry responsible for local government;
(g) the Office of the Minister of State for Women in Development in the
President’s Office;
(h) the Office of the Prime Minister;
(i) the Internal Security Organisation; and
(j) the External Security Organisation.

all of whom shall be appointed by the Mi nister in consultation with the Minister
responsible for the respectiv e Ministry or department.

(3) The Minister shall appoint the chairperson and vice chairperson of the board from
the members appointed under subsection (2).

(4) A member of the board shall hold office for a period of three years and shall be
eligible for reappointment.

(5) A member of the board may resign his or her office by writing under his or her
hand addressed to the Minist er or may be removed from office by the Minister for
failure or inability to discharge th e functions of his or her office.

(6) Where a member of the board dies, resigns or for any reason ceases to be
employed in the Ministry or department from which he or she was appointed, the
Minister may appoint another person from th e same Ministry or department to take
the place of that member, and the person so appointed shall hold office until the
expiration of the term of the member in whose place he or she was appointed.

5. Common seal of the board.

(1) The board shall have a common seal which shall be kept in the custody of the

(2) The affixing of the common seal of th e board shall be authenticated by the
signatures of the chairperson and two other members of the board.

(3) Every document purporting to be an instrument issued by the board and to be
sealed with the seal of the board, whic h authenticated in the manner provided by
this section, shall be received and deemed to be su ch an instrument without
further proof unless th e contrary is shown.

6. Secretariat.

(1) The board shall have a secretariat in the Mi nistry responsible for internal affairs
which shall be headed by a Secretary whose office shall be a public office within
that Ministry.

(2) The Secretary, who shall not be a member of the board, shall be appointed by the

(3) The secretary shall –
(a) take minutes of the meetings of the board and any of its committees;
(b) keep records of all the tran sactions of the board; and
(c) perform any other function as may be assigned to him or her by the board.

7. Functions of the board.

The functions of the board shall be to –
(a) consider applications for registration by organisations;

(b) keep a register of registered organisations;
(c) guide and monitor organisations in carrying out their services;
(d) make recommendations to the releva nt authorities in regard to
employment of noncitizens by an organisation, or whether an organisation
may be exempted from taxes and duties or be accorded any other
privileges or immunities;
(e) advise the Minister on the general policy relating to the operations of

8. Powers of the board

The board shall have power to –
(a) approve or reject applic ations for registration;
(b) grant or revoke certificat es of registration; or
(c) do all things as are incidental or conduciv e to the proper carrying out of its functions.

9. Appeal.

A person aggrieved by the decision of the board made under section 8 may within one month
of the date he or she is notified of the decision appeal to the Minister.

10. Grounds for revocation of certificate of registration.

The board may revoke a certificate of re gistration of an organization if –

(a) the organisation does not operate in accordance with its constitution;
(b) the organisation contravenes any of the c onditions or directions inserted in the
certificate; or
(c) in the opinion of the board, it is in the public interest to do so.

11. Meetings of the board

(1) The board shall meet for the discharge of its functions at least once in every
month at such place and time as the chairperson may appoint.

(2) The chairperson shall preside over any m eeting of the board, and in his or her
absence the vice chairperson shall preside.

(3) The quorum at any meeting of the board shall be five.

(4) Questions proposed at a meeting of the boa rd shall be determined by a simple
majority of the members present and voting; an in the case of an equality of votes,
the person presiding at the meeti ng shall have a casting vote.

(5) The proceedings of the board shall not be invalidated by failure to appoint or any
defect in the appointment of any member of the board.

(6) Subject to subsections 1 to 5, the bo ard may regulate its own procedure.

12. Minister’s powers.

The Minister may, subject to this Act, give to the board written directions of a general or
specific nature relating to its functions to which it shall be bound to comply.

13. Regulations.

The Minister may, after consultation with the board, make regulations –
(a) prescribing the form of application;
(b) prescribing the fees to be paid by an organisation on registering with the board;
(c) generally for better carrying out the provisions of this Act.