The Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) has maintained that it will not register under the NGO ACT despite government stating that it will commence the process of de-registering NGOs that ignored the 5th May extension deadline for registering.
ZCSD Executive Secretary, Lewis Mwape, has told QFM News in an interview that there is need for President Michael Sata to come out in the open and tell NGOs his position over the Act.
Mr Mwape says NGO ACT is an archaic piece of legislation aimed at undermining the operations of NGOs.
Mr. Mwape states that the 248 organizations that have registered and the 246 that are in the process of registering are community based organizations and that no mainstream organization has registered under the Act.
And Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Executive Director Macdonald Chipenzi says the position of NGOs is as dictated by the resolutions of the 2012 congress of NGOs, not to register under the ACT in its current form.
Mr. Chipenzi has told QFM News in a separate interview that the position of the congress was that NGOs will only register when the law is repealed.
He has since urged government to expedite the repealing process of the Act.
And Open Society Foundation (OSF) Executive Director, Sunday Chanda, says the spirit of the NGO Act is to silence the voice of civil society in Zambia.
Mr. Chanda has called on NGOs in the country to defy what he has described as an outrageous law by not registering.
He says like other draconian laws such as the Public Order Act, the NGO Act is a mockery to Zambia’s democracy and freedom of expression.
Mr Chanda states that Government desires for an environment void of effective checks and balances.