CSO’s call for review of  Malawi NGO Policy

Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) in Malawi have asked government to review the draft NGO Policy in a deliberative and consultative manner in order to reflect their views.

Activists Timothy Mtambo of CHRR, Trapence and Rev Macdonald Sembereka call for NGO policy review 

Speaking to reporters  in Lilongwe, Centre for Human Right and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Executive Director, Timothy Mtambo said due to lack of enough consultations there are several areas which the CSO’s have noticed and would want government through Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare to totally remove them.

“These provisions if left in the policy would paralyse the CSO’s in the country because they are not going to operate independently,” he said.

In his remarks, Centre for Development of the People (Cedep) Executive Director, Gift Trapence said the provisions which include mandatory registration and membership of CSO’s to Council of Non Governmental Organisations (CONGOMA)  and NGO Board violates freedom of association.

“The requirement to have these provisions in the policy needs to be removed because they infringe on both our local and international instruments,” he said.

Government also wants the organisations to disclose the source of their funds but the organizations argued the funds are not state or public therefore there is no need for any disclosure.

He said the funds pass through the banks and they verify the sources.

Any suspicious activity the banks report to relevant authorities for action like Financial Intelligence Unit.

On disposal of assets, government wanted upon completion of the project, all assets like cars, computers and others to be surrendered to the districts councils.

Trapence said the most favourable approach for organisations to dispose their assets after project wind-up is to transfer them to another local organisation with similar purpose.

He therefore said the organizations are following with keen interest to the review process and urged government to consider removing the concerned areas.

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chaione wawo
6 years ago

Personally I agree with the CSOs that they do not need to be comelled to register with CONGOMA or NGO board. they also do not have to disclose their donors. On disposal of assets at end of project, I think the government has a point. let them be handed over to the district council with proper documentation.

6 years ago

Transfer the assets to another local ngo? Mr Trapence, though ur argument is practically better looking at beurocracy and corruption which is affecting the services delivery in many councils but transfering the assets to another NGO is not a better idea as well. Besides illiteracy among community members and both ngos and councils do not provide rooms for communities to monitor how resources are being utilized. I hope many NGOs’ objectives are to empower communities either socially or economically, such objectives are inline with local municipalities. And many municipals have no capacity to implement projects for instance, majority rely on… Read more »

6 years ago

What is the intention of our govt over CSOs? Certainly it is meant to suffocate operation of non state actors.
These are examples of bad laws brought by DPP 2.

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