Government has repeated its threats to deregister “noisy” non-governmental organisations that are operating without following proper procedures such as registering with the NGO Board.
Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati commenting in the National Assembly on the budget for the NGOs responding to a question from Boniface Kadzamira and independent MP for Ntchisi North.
“When we were working on the budget, where they looked at K120 million, then we came up to a consensus of giving them K80 million, which they are going to use in supervising and monitoring what is happening.
“We came up with this budget because we have seen that our friends across the borders are able to monitor the NGOs and close those NGOs that are not even transparent in their programmes and how they use the money,” said Kaliati.
She continued: The problem which we have is that we do not support each other. We are the very same people who make noise and yet, the moneys are not trickling down to the villages. We part them on their back and work together with them, and yet, we know that, our donors are supporting them very much. Millions and billions of money is going to the NGOs.”
Kaliati said the NGOs should be monitored on what they are doing “on the ground and what our NGOs are doing than just making noise for the sake of making noise.”
The Minister accused the NGOs of not being transparent with their resources.
“These NGOs who are making noise, are the ones who are not even transparent with the money which they get,” pointed out Kaliati.
“They are taking a lot of money from government because we had options that if they are not giving the money to the Minister of Finance and government, then, they can go beyond and start rolling out in the villages with the programmes that they have. So if they are not doing that, we will be closing their NGOs and see how best they are to work,” said Kaliati attracting applause from government benches.
Kaliati said there are about 300 NGOs who are operating “without following proper procedures”, mostly those that are critical to the administration.
She said the NGOs which are not registered with the Board “are those that are just making noise and parading in the roads. They are asking government to be transparent but they are not transparent themselves, but we work together as we give them the monies.”
Those targeted for closure include Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with Aids (Manelera) led by Reverend MacDonald Sembereka, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) whose Executive Director is the vocal activist Martha Kwataine, Centre for Development of People (Cedep) under the leadership of another vocal activist Gift Trapence and Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) led by Dalitso Kubalasa.
In line with section of 20 of the NGO Act, every organisation that wishes to operate or is operating in Malawi as an NGO must register with NGO Board.
NGO Board chairperson Emily Banda said all the NGOs are aware of the NGO law that they are required to register with the board failing which they will be operating in the country illegally.
She said after the organisations are registered either under the Company Act and Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma) they are also supposed to register with the Board.
Commentators say the Peter Mutharika government wanted to copy the Robert Mugabe strategy which banned all NGOs operations in Zimbabwe on June 4, 2008. But Kaliati denied the fears.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :