Friday, August 07, 2009

Muntanga speaks against regulating NGOs

Muntanga speaks against regulating NGOs
Written by George Chellah
Friday, August 07, 2009 2:48:02 PM

KALOMO UPND member of parliament Request Muntanga on Wednesday told the House that the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) bill appears to be targeting certain NGOs.
Debating the NGO bill on Wednesday, Muntanga said he did not accept the idea of regulating NGOs.

“This bill appears to be a bill that is targeting certain NGOs. A proper NGO does not need regulation. Yes, the majority of NGOs that are mushrooming are not NGOs,” Muntanga said. “We the same leaders must desist from forming NGOs. That's why you see NGOs come before and after elections. We in government must check ourselves first.”

He urged the government leaders to regulate themselves before embarking on the regulation of others.

“This bill is intended for those organisations that do not want to register and show what they are doing,” said Muntanga.

But works and supply minister Mike Mulongoti said there were NGOs comprising of family members only.

“If NGOs want to keep an eye on us we are also to keep an eye on them. That's the only way we can trust each other. We want NGOs to come forward and tell us how they are going to regulate “It’s also evident that some of our colleagues in these NGOs are quite wealthy. Where is that wealth coming from? Let us all be accountable.”

He said there were also NGOs that emerged seasonally.

“For instance, when we are going for elections Those that are NGOs we want to see them from January to December. In 2008, there was an NGO that came on the scene very malicious NGO, we will not allow that.”

He urged community development minister Michael Kaingu not to be distracted.

“If the law says enforce, it’s the law, you are just a servant of the people. Minister, I would like to encourage you. You are not targeting anybody,” he said.

Mulongoti said members of parliament and government leaders wanted their colleagues in the NGO world to be declaring assets just like they did.

And Matero PF member of parliament Faustina Sinyangwe said NGOs had always preached accountability.

“Now we must see them to be accountable and we must see it that we know the source of their income and we would like to know how much they get because our salaries are in the papers every day,” she said.

She said NGOs should conform to the local norms and culture.

“Since when has parading women naked been a culture in this country? I have seen NGOs parading women at court,” she said.

Sinyangwe said NGOs should be more active in areas where they were going to reduce poverty.

She said NGOs should help in governance and democratic issues.

“These NGOs have turned political. If they want let them go and form political parties. They must have constructive criticism,” she said.

Sinyangwe urged the NGOs to abide by their objectives.

And Luapula PF member of parliament Dr Peter Machungwa said he was glad that the bill had received support.

“They also must accept that they are human and can make mistakes. There are those like in the media for example who think that they are alpha and omega what they say if final,” said Machungwa. “There is nothing to fear and I’m glad that the bill is receiving full support.”

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