Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, has ordered the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Board of Malawi to close at least 124 unregistered NGOs in Blantyre, saying they are operating illegally and that their proprietors are benefiting at the expense of the residents.
Kaliati said this on Friday in Blantyre when she addressed chairpersons and secretaries drawn from 11 Area Development Committees (ADCs) in the district.
The ADC members had been brought together to be trained by the NGO Board of Malawi so that they are able to help the state agency in policing unscrupulous NGOs.
According to the board, there are about 356 NGOs in Blantyre but only about 232 are registered.
Kaliati fumed over the unregistered 124 organizations, vowing that she would not allow them to continue eluding government and duping unsuspecting residents.
“They must register or get closed. If they continue with their crookedness, I want them to stop operating by end of October,” she warned.
Kaliati said she is appalled that in Blantyre, especially in peri-urban and rural areas of the district–street kids, orphans, poverty, hunger, malnutrition and gender based violence are increasing yet there are NGOs claiming to be implementing interventions in these areas.
“NGOs, as it is generally expected, must complement government’s efforts in improving the lives of the people.
“But the case of increased unregistered organisations in Blantyre, shows otherwise. There is no doubt that we are in all these problems because some NGOs are just abusing the resources they earn from well-wishers in the name of Malawians.
“It is high time the NGOs become registered and began to account to government and residents for their resources, budgets and activities. They should not hold government to account when they themselves are in a mess,” said Kaliati.
She then urged the now empowered ADCs to start tracking NGOs in their communities and demand from them what they owe residents.
Kaliati also plegded that government will continue to support the NGO Board in its quest for an accountable and transparent NGO sector.
And in his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of the NGO Board of Malawi, Voice Mhone, expressed his gratitude to the minister for showing her political will to sanitize the NGO sector, saying the board will indeed ensure that all elusive organisations in Blantyre and across Malawi are duly registered.
“Registration of NGOs by the board is a requirement of the NGO Act. We are already doing a lot and we will enforce this thoroughly. Actually, the roping in of ADCs is helpful because these committees will go where we, as a board, cannot manage to visit,” Mhone said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :