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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :