‘Government must not shrink CSO’s space’ warns CONGOMA

The outgoing Chairperson of the Council for Non-Governmental Organizations (CONGOMA) MacBain Mkandawire has condemned Government’s intention to remove the NGO think tank from the NGO Act.

Mkandawire has described the move as a measure to frustrate operations of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country.

“You are all ware that the NGO Act was passed in the Parliament in 2001, now 16 years has elapsed so am wondering how one could just wake up and say the law is contravening the constitution.”

“This law was made to ensure that NGOs are operating in a free environment but what we are seeing now is that we are getting back to political inference where NGOs can easily be disrupted,” said Mkandawire.

He pointed out that they will engage the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare as an overseer on the matter.

“I feel that some individuals are not being honest to the Ministry. They are lying that we all have agreed to have this law removed but this is not true,” he said.

Mkandawire advised government to tread carefully on the issue to avoid future implications.

“Putting CONGOMA in the law was a check and balance. We have experience of other countries where the same thing happened. We don’t want a repeat of the same here.”

Mkandawire asked Members of Parliament not to support the move whenever taken to Parliament for deliberation.

“My request to Members of Parliament is that they must look into this issue with all terms of seriousness,” he said

When asked on the issue, Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Dr. Jean Kalilani refused to comment on the issue.

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