Government has dismissed a United Nations (UN) proposal to allow some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to operate without registering with the NGO Board.
During the review of the NGO Board Act in Lilongwe on Wednesday, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident coordinator Mia Seppo called for consideration to allow NGOs that have not broken any law to work without requiring registration and that registration should not be compulsory.
Seppo said this would foster development, freedom of expression and assembly.
However, this did not go well with government, with Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati and her principal secretary Mary Shawa calling it lawlessness.
“There is no way each and every NGO can just do what it wants. Even international bodies such UN, Comesa [Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa] and Sadc [Southern African Development Community] require accreditation. Regulation and monitoring are essential to any law abiding society,” said Kaliati.
Local NGOs also want legal framework that will end monopolisation of top jobs in international NGOs by expatriates.
However, NGO Board chairperson Emily Banda expressed optimism in the review process despite contentious issues, among them, failure to build local NGO capacity by international NGOs.n