By; Vincent Gunde
Council for Non – Governmental Organizations [CONGOMA], has publicly acknowledged President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera for sparing time to meet them amid many equally important events and duties that he would have attended to instead.
CONGOMA says the free, empowering, inspiring and feel at home atmosphere at State House that NGOs have longed for a long time and made them feel they are at a servant place and not a Masters.
The organization claims to have brought two main issues to the attention of President, Dr. Chakwera; Restrictive Amendment bill 2018 and unlawful NGO fees hike of 2017 by 1,900 percent from K250,000 to K2 million.
This is contained in a statement signed by Dr. Peter Chinoko, chairperson, Board of Trustees and Mrs. Kate Harawa, Acting chairperson, Governing Council dated 16th September, 2020 on public appreciation after audience with President Dr. Chakwera.
In the statement, CONGOMA says it got an injunction from Zomba High Court staying the implementation of the new fees regime in April, 2018, the DPP led Government applied for lifting the injunction in June, 2018 and judgement on the matter is yet to be delivered.
CONGOMA says Government has been disobeying this court injunction to this day and new fees continue to be enforced on NGOs saying they are being forced to pay these high fees just to continue operating.
The statement says CONGOMA proposed to President Dr. Chakwera to withdraw the NGO Amendment bill of 2018/20, Government to honor the court order of 2018 stopping the implementation of the fees hike, CONGOMA to be maintained in the Act as coordinating and representative body of all NGOs and there should be more inclusivity and more involvement of NGOs on public sector reforms.
It says President Dr. Chakwera provided words of wisdom to them; CONGOMA to help in addressing the issue of NGOs concentration in one locality and need for regular engagement between NGOs and the presidency or between NGOs and Government to ensure that Malawi is built inclusively.
…..’’CONGOMA appeals to the presidency to keep up their style of leadership and servant leadership that puts Malawi, first. As Council, CONGOMA commits to embrace the counsel from the Head of State and will take immediate action to address NGO concentration and NGO impact,’’….reads part of the statement.
The statement finally says CONGOMA commits to uphold NGO accountability and transparency in Malawi, calling upon all Malawians to support Government development initiatives meant to uplift the livelihoods of the people.