Adventist Relief Agency (ADRA) Executive Director Michael Usi has rendered his support on the need for Civil Society Organizations (SCOs) in the country to be transparent and accountable in their dealings by making their budgets and project spending public through the NGO Board.
“The public should know how these organizatios work. How much goes where? Where are they getting the money from? I think this is good governance. NGOs, CSO including myself, have been critical of government when it comes to issues of transparency and accountability. I think it is not fair for NGOs to be criticizing government when we are not transparent and even not accountable,” he said.
He added that “In fact, I can say they are more dangerous than government because in government they are using taxpayers’ money. Where NGOs get money from donors.”
“If the money is not used properly is the people that suffer and credibility of the country is compromised. So, I think NGOs should not resist the proposal. In fact, we should be clapping hands and saying, OK, we want to show you how to get this done than trying to resist,” he said.
On the fears that government might use the law to fight against organizations which are deemed to be critical of government, Ussi said it is difficult to do so saying If you are dealing with donors that trust you, they cannot listen to propaganda because government has to convince a donor not to fund an NGO
He said “I don’t know how will that be possible. I don’t think that government can sabotage the flow of aid to Adra Malawi. We have credible donors and for them to stop funding Adra Malawi, it will mean that they have been convinced with good reasons and have found us guilty of some kind of illegal business. But if there is nothing of that sort, there is no way government can stop donors from channeling funds to NGOs such as Adra.”
The proposed laws will pit stringent mechanism to enforce reporting to the NGO Board and that NGOs that fail to adhere to the law could be shut down or suspended by the regulatory body.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :