12 September 2017

Malawi: Parliamentary Committee Nods to New NGO Act That Promotes Accountability

The parliamentary committee on Social and Community Affairs has backed the proposed me Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Act that will ensure that local organizations should make full disclosure of their financial sources and use as one way of being accountable to the communities they serve.

The committee's Chairperson Richard Chimwendo-Banda said that the new Act will not only help the country stop leakage of resources buy also that financial disclosure will protect the citizenry from abuse of some NGOs.

He said the NGOs need to be regulated to protect the public.

"We need to know how money is being spent. This is accountability and there is no threat," he said.

Some NGOs have raised their concern of the new proposed Act that once passed into law, government will use it to interfere with there work and cripple NGOs that are deemed critical of the government.

However, Chimwendo-Banda said they are convinced that the new law offers enough protection to NGOs from such interference.

NGO Board Chairperson Abigail Dzimadzi said as much as they are working hard to make sure that the Act is tables in Parliament, there is also need for the committee to engage the Principal Secretary for Gender on the proposals which are in their custody.

The proposed laws will put stringent mechanism to enforce reporting to the NGO Board and that NGOs that fail to adhere to the law could be shut down or suspended by the regulatory body.

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