ActionAid has demanded the complete Withdrawal the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Amendment Bill (2020). Action Aid said The Non-Governmental Organization Amendment Bill (2020) currently before the National Assembly does not have a blessing from the NGOs as it lacks consultations from the sector.
As the NGO sector, we were taken aback to read and hear that the government is sponsoring an amendment to incorporate a section on money laundering and terrorism financing under the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009, which is currently under the process of repeal and replacement.
This process of repeal and replacement of the same Act has reached a completion stage and was spearheaded by Technical Working Group (TWG) constituted by the Government itself through the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. The fact that the government has used a back door to undermine this process and try to strengthen the rejected Act by the NGOs, is a sign of desperation and lack of respect for stakeholders’ consultations and input in legislative process.
It is on this premise that we demand for the withdrawal of the Bill from the National Assembly and be replaced by the actual comprehensive NGO Bill currently with the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC). We shall not accept piece meal amendments of the Act regardless of the pressure government is under to fulfil the international dictates. We urge all NGOs interested in seeing a legal framework that respond positively to the growth of the sector to reject this piece-meal amendment and press for the tabling of the Bill developed by the Technical Working Group under the supervision of ZLDC and the Ministry of Community Development respectively.
Nalucha Nganga Ziba
Country Director, ActionAid Zambia