Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Karonga say government can go to hell with its newly proposed non-governmental organization (NGO) policy, saying there a battalion of aspects that have to be looked at.
The CSOs, among others, are conservative on making government’s NGO board to be CSOs regulator whose powers, if passed into law, will equip the Board with powers to deregister CSOs that breach certain rules as well as ensuring that CSOs dispose of their assets to government once their projects elapse.
At a meeting organized by the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), members from various CSOs in Karonga district demanded that government should not rush with the implementation of the policy.
Chairperson for the CSOs who is also Public Affairs Committee (PAC) district chairperson, Father Wesley Mtekateka, said the policy aims at muting government critics.
He said CSOs “will not and does not” recognize the NGO Board but rather the Council of Non-governmental organizations (CONGOMA) which is their mother body.
“The NGO Board is working as government tool to deal with critical CSOs hence the policy. The Board is government’s plan to crucify us,” said Mtekateka.
Karonga Youth for Justice and Development executive director, Steve Simusokwe, attacked presidential aide on CSOs Mabvuto Bamusi for being behind the development.
“Bamusi should remember where he is coming from,” said Simusokwe without explaining.
Bamusi was a fierce critic of the first term of late President Bingu wa Mutharika before he was roped in to work in a government position.
CHRR communications and advocacy coordinator, Fletcher Simwaka, told members of the CSOs that he would convey their message to government.
“We have been to various districts and the concerns are the same. We will come up with a position that is representative of all CSOs soon,” said Simwaka.