Some Lilongwe-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have raised concern over the manner the consultative process for the development of the NGO Policy is being done.
They accuse the NGO Board and government of plotting to have the NGOs rubber-stamp a policy that could hamper NGO operations.
Through a letter read to journalists yesterday in Lilongwe, the NGOs have since asked government to halt the process to address the concerns raised.
In the letter, the NGOs accuse the NGO Board and government of acting secretively about a document which they seek input from the NGOs.
Reads the letter in part: “Participants waited for the promised presentation from NGO Board, but it did not come through until May 20 when an e-mail came from the board with a letter from the PS [Principal Secretary] for Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare advising Lilongwe NGOs that they were not sharing the policy documents. This is totally shocking.
“It is outlandish that the entire NGO Board could host a consultative meeting and yet refuse to share the presentation with the audience and yet expect feedback from the same audience.”
But NGO Board chairperson Abigail Dzimadzi has since denied allegations that the board already has a draft policy which it wants the NGOs to endorse and not critique.
She said the concerns raised by the Lilongwe-based NGOs would be given a thought and see how best they can be addressed.
Said Dzimadzi: “The intention is truly consultation and since this is a process we value the concerns which have been raised by the Lilongwe NGOs. We are going to treat that as feedback which is going to help improve the process.”
The letter has been signed by Gift Trapence of the Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Timothy Mtambo and McDonald Sembereka of Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR), Amon Lukwele of Outreach Scout Foundation, Richard Yohane of Rights Institute for Social Empowerment, Peter John from Cyama.
Mzuzu Central Hospital cleaner found with drug boxes
A discovery of a carton of malaria drugs and antibiotics at a bus stop in Mzuzu has led to the recovery of a multimillion kwacha consignment of medicines and hospital equipment suspected to have been stolen from Mzuzu Central Hospital (MCH).
Kondwani Kanthenga, 37, who works as a laboratory attendant at MCH, the largest referral hospital in the Northern Region, was about to board an Axa bus to Lilongwe with a box of the drugs when undercover police officers intercepted the illicit cargo.
The police later staged a nocturnal raid on his home in Masasa Township where they recovered 12 cartons of drugs and diagnostic equipment.
Regional police spokesperson Peter Kalaya said: “Our detectives were working on a tip-off when they intercepted the suspect with a carton as he was about to jump onto the bus. However, we discovered assorted medical items thought to have been stolen from the public hospital when we raided his home on Saturday night.”
The country’s health care system is grappling with the shortage of essential drugs.
Drug theft costs the country about K5 billion ($57.3 million) every year, the leakage that has pushed some donors, including the United States (US) Government, to threaten to terminate their support to the country’s healthcare donor-dependent system.
The Mzuzu case comes barely two weeks after Chiradzulu district health officer Gift Chinomba became the highest Ministry of Health official to be suspended for allegedly diverting a drug consignment estimated at K10 million ($13 986).