By Mphatso M’bang’ombe
Leaders of almost 25 Civil Society Organizations in Dowa have asked President Lazarus Chakwera not to assent to the recently passed NGO Amendment bill.
The CSOs reflected on the NGO Amendment bill in Mponela on Friday with a view of strengthening and enhancing collaboration among CSOs working in the district with support from Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency, CSAT.
George Kaunda of Mponela Aids Information and Counselling Centre MAICC presented the NGO Amendment bill by Parliament which was recently passed by Parliament.
Kaunda said the bill has some provisions that will infringe on CSO operations in the country thereby reducing checks and balance in different government and non-state actor’s projects.
Chairperson for Civil society Organisations Network in the district Fr. Elias Chizule urged political leaders not to take CSOs as their enemies in development but partners who supplement government agendas such as the 2063 agenda and efforts in combating corrupt practices.
He also asked for unity of purpose among the CSOs when implementing social accountability projects in the district.
The CSO leaders agreed that there is need to review the bill to remove problematic provisions which are limiting civic spaces which is freedom of association.