Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Board of Malawi has embarked on NGO mapping exercise at Traditional Authority (TA) level, a move which it believes will save a lot of money from being syphoned.
The board’s Chief Executive Officer, Voice Mhone, told Mzimba District Executive committee on Thursday that the exercise has started with Dowa District where 33 NGOs with an annual budget of K3.7 billion have been registered.
He said following the syphoning of huge sums of government money infamously known as ‘cash gate’ scandal a few years ago, most donors resorted to channeling their money into the country through NGOs.
“From the figures we have, NGOs are [collectively] handling not less than K500 billion in a year,” he said.
Mhone said the mapping exercise will promote transparency in the operations of NGOs.
“Our core mandate is to establish a database of NGOs in terms of what they are doing, how much they have, where they are working and where they are getting the money,” he said.
“It is worrisome that there has been no proper mechanism to monitor their expenditures. NGOs handle a lot of money, more especially now that donors are funding NGOs instead of government,” he added.
Mhone said every year NGOs will be required to submit audit and technical reports to the board.
He explained that if this exercise is not done, the danger is that the people and the government of Malawi will be working with NGOs in a suspicious manner.
“You know transparency promotes confidence. The danger is that the trust of Malawians can be diluted if NGOs are not accountable,” he said.
He added it was not right for NGOs to call for government to be accountable while they themselves are failing to be the same.
Mhone further said the exercise will also play a vital role in promotion of access to information as the board will be mandated to provide profile of any NGO upon request by any citizen for free.
In addition, he said the mapping will enable the board to trace concentration of NGOs in a district and give proper advice to new entrants.
“For instance, TA Mponela in Dowa has 13 NGOs, yet it is a smaller area. You will find that most NGOs, maybe, preferred that area because it is closer to the road.
“So there are a lot of important aspects that the mapping exercise will take on board,” he said.
Mzimba District Director of Planning and Development Precious Katsitsi commended the board for the development.
He said NGOs play a vital role in development and it was important that their operations be transparent.
The mapping exercise is expected to be completed by end of April in Mzimba, Mangochi and Chikwawa while by June 2018 countrywideFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :