Malawi to ban ‘noisy’ NGOs: ‘They must register their operations’

The Malawi government through the NGO Board has warned again to shut down non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating “without following proper procedures”, mostly those that are critical to the administration.

Kaliati (left) and Kwataine- Illegal NGOs to be shut down, they must registrer

Kaliati (left) and Kwataine- Illegal NGOs to be shut down, they must registrer

Those targeted include Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with Aids (Manelera) led by Reverend MacDonald Sembereka, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) whose Executive Director is the vocal activist Martha Kwataine, Centre for Development of People (Cedep) under the leadership of another vocal activist Gift Trapence and Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) led by Dalitso Kubalasa.

They are amongst 320 NGOs that risk closure for failing to register with the NGO Board.

Gender Minister Patricia Kaliati said rattled the sabres of banning the operations of NGOs during a Gender Links summit.

“These are the same NGOs that are very rude,” said outspoken Kaliati.

“We will give them 30 days to register [with NGO board] failing which they will have their organisations closed,” said the influential minister.

Kaliati warned that government would close ‘noisy’ NGOs.

She said her office was consulting with the Council of Non-Governmental Organization and other stakeholders before shutting down the ‘noisy’ NGOs.

In line with section of 20 of the NGO Act, every organisation that wishes to operate or is operating in Malawi as an NGO must register with NGO Board.

NGO Board chairperson Emily Banda said all the NGOs are aware of the NGO law that they are required to register with the board failing which they will be operating in the country illegally.

She said after the organisations are registered either under the Company Act and Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma) they are also supposed to register with the Board.

“Most of the NGOS are running away from submitting their returns. Some donors lack knowledge on the existence of the law, hence they just provide funding,” Banda said, adding, “we have already written letters to all the NGOs on the matter and the board will also write them new letters to inform them on the decision which the board has made.”

Commentators say the Peter Mutharika government wanted to copy the Robert Mugabe strategy which banned all NGOs operations in Zimbabwe on June 4, 2008. But Kaliati denied the fears.

Meanwhile, Trapence whose Cedep is one of the targeted NGO for shut down because of being critical to government on human rights issues and campaigning for homosexual rights, said the NGO law is very vague and unclear.

“The NGO Act requires an NGO to be registered five times; under registrar general, under NGO board, under Congoma, under Ministry of Gender, under NGO Board, and under additional ministry for purposes of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“For example, Congoma is a membership organisation and is not part of government but it is mentioned in the NGO Act. Secondly, registration and NGO Act is on annual basis, was that the intention of law that NGOs have to re register every year? What is the role of two government ministries? Cedep wanted clarification on this,” he said in Daily Times.

Trapence also claimed that his organisation engaged NGO Board on the matter and they admitted that the law was rushed through in parliament. He, however, said Cedep is waiting for further instructions from the NGO Board.

Kwataine has said Mehn is in the process of registering with the board.


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kaliati is a headless minister and she must be fired forthwith for try to tarnish the image of our beloved DPP led government.

Why can she present an illegally bound issue in that bullish manner?
She could atleast better have said that Govt to ban illegal NGOs and not Govt to ban noisy/rude NGOs.
Shame on you Kaliati.

king solomon

We told you already that DPP administration is not logical at all but still people voted for it look now? Why should they run away from valid criticisms? Leave them, i can see that their days are numbered.


If the law requires legislation, just do so, otherwise challenge it in a court of law. Lets not promote lawlessness.


Do you want to barn them because they are noisy or they are not registered?

edda mwalweni

Chonde find better way of disciplining police officers to save us not every day you hear an officer involved in robbery, killing innocent malawians, rape, etc mukulimbana ndi .za mziii .Kaliati wachepa ministry yakukulira.

memory chanza

Mhen kwataine failing to follow a simple law no wonder you talk things with no evidence…small ngos are able to follow…am so ashamed I thought u were smarter but mmmmm nothing to show so sad a country z bigger than individual zakuvutanitu apa


Za zi
Mmalo mobweretsa CHITETEZO mdziko muno, mukulimbana ndi ngo, mxieuww

toxic loan boy

1) too many ngos in malawi
2) too many churches in malawi
3) too many prophets in malawi
4) too many prostitutes in malawi
5) too many bars in malawi
6) too many thieves in malawi
7) too many satchets in malawi
8) too many drunks in malawi
9) too many anthu opanda chochita in malawi
10) too many foreighners in malawi

mulhomwe wakwa Goliyati
mulhomwe wakwa Goliyati

Kwataine, Trapence,Kubalasa,Sembereka never be intimidated by this nonsense, uncivilised, stupid hule wa kwa Nkando the so called Kaliyati,iyeyu wadziwa lero zimenezo?????

Nchembere Zandondo

Five authorities, for what?

Tell us the functions of all those five authoroties and lets if there is no duplication of duties. Why can’t it be according to categories. eg orphanage, Education, Marriage, police and robbery.

How much is the registration fee? Don’t pay to all of them.Pay to relevant authority.

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