The Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) Board of Malawi has issued fresh threats to NGOs that are not submitting their annual returns, audit and technical reports to the board, warning that such NGOs risk encountering the fate that has befallen their counterparts in Uganda.
About 12 089 NGOs have just been closed in Uganda in what is seen as probably the biggest crackdown on defiant NGOs.
The Daily Monitor newspaper in the country reports that the Ugandan Government, through its NGO Bureau, has ordered the NGOs to stop operating until they are verified and validated.
The paper says by August 7, 2019, 3,810 NGOs in Uganda had valid permits, while 10,397 did not have permits.
It adds that the government then gave all the NGOs without valid permits an ultimatum of a month to renew their permits or be de-registered.
However, by September 7 (deadline for registration), only 2,118 NGOs had been verified and validated, prompting government and the NGO Bureau to close the others.
Commenting on the development, NGO Board of Malawi Chief Executive Officer, Voice Mhone, warned that a similar scenario will shortly manifest itself in the country.
“What has happened in Uganda would relate to what may occur here in view of many NGOs reluctance to report to the board as prescribed by the law. Beginning January, 2020, we will stop issuing annual operating licenses to non compliant NGOs so that they find it hard to operate,” Mhone told Nyasa Times.
There are about 670 registered NGOs in Malawi seemingly “helping” the government with their multi-million dollar interventions in areas such as education, health, agriculture, human rights and good governance.
However, according to the NGO Board of Malawi, only 184 out of these NGOs submitted their annual reports in the period covering June 2017 to June 2018.
The NGO Act compels NGOs in Malawi to submit their annual reports to the NGO Board in order to ensure that the NGOs are accountable to government, citizens and development partners through the board.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :