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CSOs questioning NGO Act queried

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Presidential Adviser on Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Martha Kwataine has questioned some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that are against the amended NGO law, saying they are lacking knowledge about the law.

According to Kwataine, it is surprising that the CSOs are against the law which among others promotes transparency in the way they manage donor money.

She made the remarks in Mzuzu today during an engagement on the NGO amended Act with NGO leaders from the Northern Region.

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She said it is sad that some NGOs do not want to be regulated, which is a cause for worry if the country is to achieve the 2063 developmental blueprint.

“You will not have a law-making process that is accepted by everybody. So, that is just standard practice. Those that are not for the law have their own reason but the wider majority is in support of the law.

“I am not surprised that some CSOs are not happy with the new amended law. People would not want to be regulated,” Kwataine said.

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NGO Regulatory Authority (Ngora) board member Sanister Nkhandwe agreed with Kwataine adding that the new law would help NGOs to serve Malawians in line with the government’s agenda.

Commenting on the same Council for Non-governmental Organisation (Congoma) Vice Chairperson Dalitso Kubalasa said the stand of some CSOs who are against the law cannot stop implementation of the law which aims at empowering organisations and ensuring they serve people efficiently.

“The law comes in to deal with the deviant behaviours of pocketing resources meant to benefit Malawians but never worked for the purpose. If all of us were naturally accountable then, the law would not be important but the fact remains we are humans and the legal frameworks come handy in that sense. We don’t need to be the first ones to resist a law that simply helps us to be efficient,” Kubalasa said.

Organisations such as Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation and Youth and Society boycotted a similar meeting which was held in Lilongwe on the basis that it had no bearing as the law was already assented to by President Lazarus Chakwera.

Among other concerns, the New NGO Act gives a K5 million penalty to an NGO and its directors that breach the Act.

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