Civil Society Organisations cry for extension of annual return payments

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 Three Civil Society Organisations on the Copperbelt have appealed to the Registrar of Societies to extend the payment of annual returns for Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and churches by  two weeks.

Vulnerable Children Advocacy Project Manager JOHN DAKA said this in an interview with ZANIS in Ndola today on behalf of Samaritan Strategy Foundation of Zambia and Hossana Mapalo Orphans and Widows Care Centre.

Mr DAKA said the office of the registrar of societies in Kitwe did not have receipts and that NGOs such as the church were making their payments for annual returns at the Ndola office.

Mr Daka said civil society organisations and churches were aware that the deadline for payment of annual returns was March 31 every year but that this year the deadline was on a long weekend which made it difficult for many to pay.

He explained that Civil Society Organisations and Churches are non profit making organisations whose main role was to deal with the grassroots adding that deregistering them would impact mainly on the people they represented.

He added that Civil Society Organisations and Churches are there to support the government of the day and that a number of them are worried because of the threat of being deregistered for not paying annual returns.

Mr Daka said NGOs and churches also help to provide checks and balances for the government of the day and that the threats to deregister those that failed to pay by 31 March was not in good faith.

He said both NGOs and churches pay KR100.00 per year and that those that did not comply with the  deadline are fined KR5000.00 .

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced last week that organizations that failed to remit their annual returns by 31 March, 2013 would be de-registered.