Civil society organisations (CSOs) fear arbitrary crackdowns on their finances and they are up in arms against certain clauses in the NGO draft policy which they feel if implemented would kill the CSOs.
Benedicto Kondowe, who is leading a consortium of CSOs says a clause that forbids CSOs from getting foreign funding is undemocratic as it can kill some CSOs which depend on foreign funding.
He also said it was unrealistic for the government to confine all CSOs work to advocacy only, saying this can not work.
Kondowe also questioned the wisdom of forcing CSOs surrender all their money and equipment after a project ends to the communities the project was serving, saying this would make NGOs perpetually broke and be constant beggars.
“Imagine, they are saying even project vehicles should be surrendered, this is unheard of, may be they don’t want well equipped NGOs and CSOs,” he said.
NGOs focused on democracy-building or human rights are the most affected.
Kondowe, however, agreed there should be more transparency and accountability in the work of the NGOs and CSOs.
This comes at a time when some CSOs are receiving funding from State House.
The restrictions on overseas donations sit alongside a thriving civil society and is vewed as some measures of the government restricting the action of NGOs.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :