Lilongwe, September 12: President Professor Peter Mutharika has declared that time for confrontation between Civil Society Organizations-CSOs and government is over, stating it is now time for cooperation and consensus building towards the country’s development.
Speaking Friday Morning in Lilongwe on the occasion of the Non-Governmental Organisations-NGO display day and launch of the NGO Governance Charter, Professor Mutharika said his Government considers CSOs as partners in development, as such, engagement and dialogue were effective means for achieving Malawi’s development goals.
President Mutharika pledged that his government will always protect and respect the rights of CSO leaders as well as promoting and protecting the rights of all Malawians.
Declared Mutharika, “Time for confrontation between CSOs and Government is no longer here. I believe in cooperation and consensus building, and my government will always protect and respect the rights of CSO leaders and also promote and protect the rights of all Malawians.”
“Civil society organizations are important players in promoting policies and practices that are intended to uplift communities from poverty to prosperity. My government will always work hard and guarantee adequate space for civil society work,” President Mutharika pledged.
He also described the pavilions and displays that the Council for Non-Governmental Organisations-CONGOMA had lined up as a clear to notice that NGOs and Government have a common interest in developing the country as well as improving the state of the economy for the betterment of the citizenry.
“I and my Government are humbled by the pro-activeness of NGOs in organizing this display day to show how the public benefits from services that NGOs provide. We have projects that NGOs are implementing in complementing Government and as we collectively are serving the people of Malawi in rural and urban areas,” he said.
President Mutharika then expressed his pleasure with CONGOMA’s decision to developed an NGO Corporate Governance Charter as a self regulatory framework of NGOs in Malawi.
On his part, CONGOMA outgoing chairperson, Voice Mhone, applauded President Mutharika for being part of the launch of a charter which he said has set benchmarks and governance structures for all NGOs in Malawi.
Mhone hoped that the current cordial relationship between Capitol Hill and NGOs will continue so that the citizenry are served by a unified force.
“Our relationship with government is cordial, and I hope that continues. It has been a trend that the relationship starts well, but ends up ruined. NGO’s and the State have had a stint of a cat and mouse affair to the displeasure of the people we both serve. I hope this will not happen; We from the civil society are ready to work with government, ” Mhone pledged.
The theme for the display day and launch of the NGO Governance Charter is ‘NGOs: Complementing Government efforts in Development.’