There is uncertainty on when government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) will meet for a possible solution on the newly imposed registration and annual fees for NGOs in the country.
Effective January 1, government imposed a new fees structure through NGO Board for NGOs from K50,000 to K1 million both for registration and annual fees.
Human Rights Defenders Forum, a group representing 30 NGOs which was first to express dismay over the imposition, said yesterday that it has not yet received communication on a possible meeting with government.
Timothy Mtambo who represents the forum said they just read in the papers of the window for the dialogue but no one has consulted them.
“We have not been told of any meeting between us and other stakeholders, we just read that government is ready to meet us this week. We have not proposed any fee that would be justifiable but the new fees are just unrealistic. Anybody who was involved in crafting them had an ill intention to stifle our operations in the country. But one thing they are forgetting is that we support government’s efforts of national development,” he said.
Mtambo added that any reasonable fee would be ideal for them and they will be able to comply.
“Apparently, we are still asking NGOs not to comply with the exorbitant registration and annual fees that government through NGO Board imposed to NGOs,” he said.
NGO Board Vice Chairperson, Maziko Matemba said he has not received any communication on the meeting as he has been outside the country.
He, however, referred this reporter to NGO Board Chairperson Abigail Dzimadzi who could not be reached on her mobile number.
Congoma Board Chairperson, Steve Duwa, also said he had not received any official communication about the meeting.
Commenting on the matter, Presidential Advisor on NGOs, Mavuto Bamusi, said they are still working on dates to have the dialogue arguing some NGO Board key members are abroad.
“There is steady progress towards the mediation talks. We are working on the diaries especially of some key staff of NGO Board who are in Addis Ababa for other duties. Currently, there is a cordial environment set among the mediating parties in anticipation of the talks which will expeditiously generate the mutually desired win-win outcome,” he said.
The revision of the fees prompted resistance from the NGOs who are expressing unwillingness to abide by the new structure.
In reaction last week both government spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi and Bamusi said a proper way to handle the disagreement is through dialogue.
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