NGO Regulatory Authority (NGORA) has extended an olive branch to some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which are in disagreement with the newly amended NGO Act.
The NGOs which include the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Youth And Society boycotted a meeting NGORA organised in Lilongwe today aimed at orienting the NGOs on the new law.
CHRR Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa said the gathering had no bearing since the bill was already assented to law by President Lazarus Chakwera.
“We feel the meeting is ill-timed since the bill was already passed into law and we are also waiting for a response from the Attorney General,” Kaiyatsa said.
But NGORA vice-chairperson Nina Ng’ambi said it was unfortunate that some NGOs boycotted the meeting.
“It’s unfortunate that some Non-Governmental Organisations boycotted this meeting. The meeting was convened to brief the NGOs on the processes of the new law and its implications and to ensure that NGOs are on the same page. This could have been the right forum for them to share their inputs” said Ng’ambi.
She said the Authority will still have to engage the NGOs to map the way forward.
Vice Chairperson for Council for Non-Governmental Organizations (Congoma) Dalitso Kubalasa said the meeting was critical as the NGOs are now working on the new law’s regulations.
He said Congoma was ready to engage the NGOs which are against the law as they have valid reasons.
“No law is perfect, but we are looking at the way forward. We have to look at the good and grey areas” said Kubalasa.
Among other concerns, the New NGO Act gives a K5 million penalty to an NGO and its directors that breach the Act.