Some civil society organizations in the country have vowed not to register under the NGO ACT in its current form which they say is draconian meant to stifle the work of the NGO fraternity.
Dr. Ng’oma says there is no way the civil society can defy registration under the NGO ACT as it is now part of the country’s laws, adding that the civil society cannot pick and choose which laws to obey and not to obey.
Dr. Ng’oma has told Qfm in an interview that the best approach for the civil society would be to first register and later lobby for the repealing or revision of the ACT in order to align it in the manner that does not stifle their operations.
He adds that the civil society can also take a leaf from the approaches of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) by litigating on matters that are of concerns to them.
And Dr. Ng’oma has also encouraged civil society organizations that have indicated their willingness to register under the new law not to be discouraged.
As a member of an accredited NGO which re-registered last year, I learnt from our director that registration applications are now checked more rigorously. This can only be good as we have seen exmaples in the past where the NGO status was misused by organisations. If you can demonstrate through your actions and transparent accounts that you are truly assisting the community you are working with, there should be every opportunity to get registration. If there is no transparency and no constistent activity there is no reason for the state to grant the status and associated advatages to such an organisation.