Chakwera assents to NGO bill


President Lazarus Chakwera has assented to 15 bills, including the Non-Governmental Organisation – NGO (Amendment) Bill which critics say is aimed at weakening civil society organisations and killing active citizenship.

State House Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda has said in a statement today that Chakwera has given his nod to the bill which was passed by Parliament during the fifth meeting of its 49th session.

The president, in passing the bill, has ignored calls by NGOs and rights groupings which asked him not to assent to the bill.

NGOs protested against the provision of mandatatory registration for NGOs with rights activists saying this would kill active citizenship as some youths may not afford registration fees.

Charles Kajoloweka who leads the Youth and Society said last month that the bill needed to be reviewed.

However, Chairperson of Council for Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGOMA) Kossam Munthali said recently that the bill would bring sanity in the NGO sector.

Other bills which Chakwera has signed include five land bills and two loan authorization bills.

He has also signed Peace and Unity Bill, Public Private Partnership Bill, Malawi Revenue Authority (amendment) bill and National Children’s Commission (amendment) bill.

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