The Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (CNGOs) in Zambia, whose mandate include to develop, adopt and administer the Code of Conduct for NGOs and facilitate and coordinate the work of NGOs operating in Zambia, would like to express its gratitude at the favourable gesture by the Cabinet of approving in principle the Repeal and Replacement of the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009.
As a statutory body created by an Act of Parliament – the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009, the Council of NGOs in Zambia would like to appreciate the levels of engagement and cooperation between itself with individual NGOs on one hand and the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the department of NGOs Registration at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services on the other hand in the process of repeal and replacement of the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009.
Since the launch of the National Policy on the NGOs in Zambia and the election of the new CNGOs in October 2018 with the subsequent appointment of the 20 member diversely selected and Civil Society led Technical Working Group (TWG), a lot of ground (though not at a pace the Council would have loved) towards reaching the goal of having a repealed and replaced NGO Law.
The CNGOs understands too well the healthy but also critical collaboration amongst the members of the TWG and commends the strides made this far that include Drafting of the Layman’s NGO Bill through one of its members – the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) and the national wide consultations for comments and input from stakeholders. The CNGOs would like to note that it also conducted, in 2019, a comprehensive NGO Policy sensitization through its NGO Provincial Forums across the country, an activity that was inevitable to precede the consultations on the Draft Bill.
Whereas the CNGOs in Zambia applauds the approval to go ahead with the repeal and replacement of the NGO Act No. 16 of 2009 by Government, it would further like to make a passionate appeal to Government through Cabinet should accept the Draft NGO Bill as would be from the NGOs and stakeholders themselves without alterations as the document would not only be a reflection of the aspirations of the sector but that the Government generally and the citizens particularly stand to benefit greatly from a robust NGO regime.
The CNGOs further takes this opportunity to pay tribute to all Cooperating Partners that have come forth through provision of the much needed resources. The CNGOs is grateful to the Cooperating Partners that include the Germany Technical Corporation (GIZ), the European Union (EU), SIDA and Action Aid Zambia among many for coming on board in these endevours.
Furthermore, the CNGOs would like to make an earnest appeal and a clarion call on all NGOs (local and international) to take this process as golden and factor some activities, in their programming, to make submissions/input to the Draft NGO Bill, 2019. The CNGOs would endevour to ensure and see that NGO(s) singularly or collectively is left behind and/or out.
It is the CNGOs’ considered view that the final product will be owned by all stakeholders and will be a beacon of admiration and best practice in the region, the continent and the world as a whole.
Yours in Service
For and on behalf of the CNGOs