GOVERNMENT to undertake a review of the NGO Act of 2009


GOVERNMENT will undertake a review process of the Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Act of 2009 while it is being implemented, Government spokesperson Mwansa Kapeya has said.
Mr Kapeya, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said in a statement yesterday that Government was aware of the concerns that have been raised by some NGOs regarding some legal impediments within the new NGO Act that needed to be addressed.
He said since the NGO Act was already a law which needed to be adhered to in its current form, Government had commenced the registration process of the NGOs as a way of operationalising the Act while the review process would follow.
“Government wishes to make its position clear on the registration of NGOs under the NGO Act No 16 of 2009. This is in the wake of concerns raised by some NGOs over the operationalisation of the Act.
“First and foremost, Government wishes to amplify the commitment it attaches to NGOs as partners supplementing its efforts in development,” Mr Kapeya said.
He said it was the duty of the Courts to interpret whether the law in question was bad and at  the moment, Government was of the view that the sentiments being made on the NGO Act by some stakeholders were mere speculation as no one has been injured by the said law so far.
Mr Kapeya said Government was committed to reviewing the NGO Act as stated in its manifesto and this issue was scheduled to be tabled before Cabinet.
Consultations with stakeholders, including the Council of NGOs, on the review of the NGO Act were on course and a road map has since been developed to commence the process.
Mr Kapeya said 420 NGOs had paid and collected the registration forms out of which 149 have been issued with certificates of registration.
From this and other figures captured so far, he said, it was clear that majority of NGOs have complied with the law by commencing the registration process under the NGO Act.
The second extension of NGO registration expired on February 3, this year and currently, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health was taking into consideration all relevant concerns from stakeholders.