State to review NGO Act


GOVERNMENT says it is in the process of reviewing the controversial Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Act of 2009 to enhance civil society organisations (CSOs)’ participation in public affairs.
Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Minister Harry Kalaba said yesterday that Government was doing everything possible to ensure that laws that promoted freedom were enacted or repealed if they did not meet the aspirations of citizens.
“In the last two years, my Government has initiated and revised a number of policies such as the Decentralisation Policy and Youth Policy, and we are in the process of reviewing the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009 to make it more enabling for civil society organisations’ participation,” he said in a speech read for him by Environment and Natural Resources director Godwin Gondwe.
This was during the launch of a report on a public participation study in Zambia held in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Kalaba said the Patriotic Front Government valued people’s rights to take part in national issues.
He said Government was committed to protecting the rights of citizens in the country to enable them participate in public affairs.
Mr Kalaba said public participation was one way of allowing people to express their opinions and disagreements on issues of national development.
Zambia Council for Social Development director, Lewis Mwape complained that Government was taking long to repeal the NGO Act to allow CSOs to fully take part in public affairs.
Mr Mwape said some of the Acts such as the Decentralisation Act only gave rights to Government personnel to participate in public affairs.


SOURCE: Times of Zambia