Salima CSOs punch holes in draft NGO Policy and amendments Bill

Malawi Parliament

Members of Salima civil society network have asked government to re-work the draft NGO Policy to be in line with domestic and international human rights standards.

The CSOs made the recommendations over the weekend during the draft NGO Policy consultative meeting organized by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR)

The CSOs fear controversial provisions such as handing over of assets to government at the winding up of the project will weaken a number of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who need such assets for their own sustainability and resource mobilization.

The CSOs also say the removal of the consultative role of Council of Non-Governmental Organisation in Malawi (CONGOMA) in the appointment of NGO-Board members in amendments to the NGO Act (2001) will limit representation of the NGOs’ interests in the implementation of the NGO law

“As CSOs, we have always regarded CONGOMA as our mother body on the matters affecting us. Limiting its role in the amendments to the NGO Act brings a lot of fears and questions among us as regards whether we will be operating in the conducive environment as purported by the draft NGO Policy,” said one of the delegates at the meeting, Thomas Mwangupiri, who heads Salima Governance Network.

At the meeting, delegates also asked government through the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare to look into the registration issue, arguing most NGOs, especially community based organisations are struggling to raise a fee.

CHRR Advocacy Coordinator Fletcher Simwaka promised members at the meeting that his organization will take up recommendations to government for consideration.