Non-governmental organisations based in Lilongwe on Saturday literally walked out of a meeting in protest against government refusal to give them a synopsis of an NGO Board policy.
NGO Policy Steering Committee chairperson Mary Shaba, who is also Gender ministry principal secretary flatly refused to give the Capital City NGOs hints on the drafted policy.
“We have been to 10 districts so far seeking input on the new NGO Board policy. Your friends have not asked us to tell them what is in the draft policy so why should we do it to you? We are not telling you,” said Shaba.
The protracted war of words between the NGOs and the government side took a while before the meeting was abruptly cancelled.
The government, through the committee is soliciting views from NGOs to be incorporated in the policy.
Shaba maintained the process would be consultative and transparent.
But the NGOs have given the committee up to Tuesday, May 30 to let them know what is in the draft policy.
Gift Trapence, executive director of Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) said what the NGOs want is a transparent process.
“We want to participate fully in this process but we can only do that fully if we are given the background information which the government is refusing to give us,” he said.
He said the government committee on the policy is being selective on which NGOs to consult and said this process is wrong and flawed.