12 June 2015

Malawi: Disagreements Emerge Between 'Unregistered' NGOs and Government

Battle has ensued between Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the Ministry of Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare amid reports that about 320 organisations are not registered with the NGO Board as required.

Having learnt of the news at Malawi Gender SADC Protocol 2015 Summit whih was held last week at Sunbird Hotel in Blantyre, Minister Gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, in her speech told the delegates that government would 'shut' down all unregistered NGOs while wondering why most of the unregistered ones are those that are very vocal.

Government has since threatened the organisations that are operating without any recognition, are to face this music for failing to register with the NGO board.

"We have given them just 30 days to register with the mother body (NGO board) or be closed. Its worrisome that most of the unregistered NGOs are those that are very rude" said Kaliati.

Kaliati said her office will be consulting with the Council of Non Governmental Organizations (CONGOMA) and other stake holders, inline with section 20 of NGO act.

NGO board chairperson Emily Banda argued that all NGOs that are operating illegally, run away in submitting their returns because donors do not know their existence they just get funding.

But a vocal activist for Centre for Development of People(CEDEP) Gift Trapence whose organisation is one of the targeted of being critical to the government on human rights issues and campaign for homosexuality said the NGO law is vague and unclear.

Martha Kwataine the vocal activist for Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) said 'they are in processing of registering with the NGO board'.

However, Malawi24 understands that some of the NGOs maintain they will not be dragged around to registered in the process they believe is very scanty.

"Why do we have to register with five institutions, the Ministry, NGO Board, CONGOMA and special offices in the government" wondered one NGO.

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