TIZ urges cancellation of NGO registration

Goodwell Lungu
Goodwell Lungu

Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) has called upon the Ministry of Community Development to completely cancel the ongoing registration of NGOs under the NGO Act.
TIZ Executive Director Goodwell Lungu reiterates TIZ’s position not to register under the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Act of 2009.
Mr Lungu in a statement issued to QFM has advised the PF government that the rate at which it’s moving to implement the NGO Act has the potential to dent Zambia’s reputation internationally especially that the Patriotic Front (PF) in their manifesto, promised to review the NGO Act noting that it is a bad law.
He points out that on page 49 of the PF manifesto, the Party clearly states that they would review the NGO Act to, among other things, enhance the role of the civil society.
He also strongly dismissed as malicious and false wrong assertions being peddled that the mere fact that NGOs are refusing to register means they are scared of being scrutinized and held accountable.
Mr Lungu says the fact that the same PF government in their manifesto rightly pointed out the inadequacies of the NGO Act and confirmed that it needs to be revised, is clear evidence that there is something wrong with the Act and the PF rightly condemned this Act and have just made a U-turn now that they are in power.
He also cautioned the Minister of Community Development to desist from projecting a picture that NGOs have not been engaging in dialog with his office over the matter.
He states that the NGO Act in its current form is in violation of fundamental civil and political rights to freedom of association and expression including the right to receive and impart information, as provided in Articles 20 and 21 of the Republican Constitution, and international legal instruments to which Zambia has been ratified.
Mr Lungu assures Zambians that even at the moment; NGOs are very accountable under existing laws and are required to submit annual accounts to Government which TIZ is fully complying with.
He says TIZ agrees with all progressive NGOs in Zambia that the Patriotic Front government will do well to completely cancel the current NGO registration exercise and to immediately initiate a process to review the NGO Act of 2009 as provided for in their Manifesto.