Government has responded to concerns and demands which civil society organizations CSO’s presented through a petition on 27th April, 2018.
In the ten point petition the CSO’s gave government a 90 day ultimatum to respond.
The issues that needed government attention included the 4 billion kwacha which was shared among MPs, completion of investigation on the murder of Issa Njauju, Robert Chasowa and the July 20 2011 demonstrators, 263 billion kwacha cash-gate, electricity blackouts, fees in public universities, Lilongwe Salima Water project and protection of people with albinism among others.
In its response government says will remain committed to dialogue and upholding democratic principles on which the constitutional order is founded.
It says fundamental pillars such as good governance, rule of law, transparency and accountability are collective responsibility issues requiring civil society to equally be held accountable.
“Government is aware that civil society in Malawi is receiving huge sums of money in the name of Malawians and complementing government towards development of this country,” the statement reads
It says most CSO’s are doing a good job in developing Malawi but there are few civil society organizations that are contravening the law by failing to submit financial reports to NGO Board.
Government says is aware that out of about 680 NGO’s in the country 40 international NGO’s spend in excess of 262 billion kwacha which implies that the total budget for the sector is 1 trillion kwacha which is unaccounted for in terms of tangible interventions.
It also observes with concern the selective nature with which civil society addresses certain concerns.
Responding Coalition of human rights defenders that presented the petition says government’s response in an insult.
Speaking in an interview with Radio Islam, the coalition’s chairperson Timothy Mtambo said government’s late response symbolizes lack of commitment towards ending the sufferings that Malawians are going through.
“Government has failed to halt some of the concerns that were raised in the petition like, the appointment of new inspector general of police, disbursement of the controversial 4 billion kwacha, rampant corruption which government, protection of people with albinism, blackouts, Salima-Lilongwe water project,” Mtambo stated
Therefore he has asked government to stop taking Malawians for granted.
Meanwhile, one of the social economic analysts in the country, Humphreys Mvula has said the way government has responded to CSO’S concerns lacks seriousness and commitment towards ending the problems Malawians are facing.
He said government should have called the CSO’S and some Malawians to a round table discussion before responding to their concerns.