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Statement on concerns of NGOs in Malawi over the proposed NGO ACT Bill 2020 and increases in fees by NGO Board to NGOs

The government has tabled the Draft NGO Act 2020 before Parliament. At the Same time the government has announced new fees for registration and annual subscriptions effective May 2021, even before the Bill which proposes the fees has been debated and passed in Parliament. We feel that the proposed Bill contains many contentious issues that need to be resolved before it is debated in Parliament. We also feel that the proposed fees by the government are punitive and too high and should not be affected until further consultations have been made with NGOs.

We are petitioning the government to make more consultations with NGOs to address the contentious issues in the proposed Bill and also stop the implementation of the new fees structures until proper consultations have been made with the NGOs especially at the grassroots.

Our concerns include:

As a result of this, NGOs in Lilongwe, Nchisi, Domasi, Salima, Zomba and Mzuzu have signed separate petitions to the government – detailing specific concerns. Please also find attached the schedule of fees announced by the government, the proposed Bill 2020 and the earlier NGO ACT (Amended Bill 2018) which the proposed NGO Bill 2020 is set to replace so that you are able to understand the contentious issues which the proposed NGO Act 2020 entails.

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