Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Government, NGO clash over new Public Benefit Bill

The government has urged over 7,000 Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs in the country to demand services from their council elected earlier this year to realize the full potential of the sector which contributed over 130 billion in the economy.

Wanainchi should also be vocal in auditing the NGO whose budget should be 80% help to the community and 2o% on their budget.

“Both stake holders including citizens should report rogue ‘flash disk’ NGOs fleecing donors and communities to the NGO co-ordination board” Amb. Peter Ole Nkuraiya, the executive director of the board told over 100 NGOs in south Nyanza during a workshop in a hotel in Migori town.

Amb. Nkuraiya said the board which was established in 1990 is providing check and balance on credibility of best practices to build confidence and aid impact of the sector in positively helping humanity.

“The government is currently reviewing the Public Benefit Act consisting of three bills in zero draft that would go ahead to seal loopholes in the sector and offer more transparency” the ambassador said.

“The new bill yet to be tabled in the parliament will merger community and  faith based organizations with NGOs under one regulator” he added.

The act seeks to set a tribunal of stake holders which will by pass the minister of national Heritage and culture in charge of the industry as the last arbiter in conflicts. The seek to ease stringent control set by KANU government that feared NGOs were used by Western states in multiparty clamor of 19900s warranting their control.

“As the last resort the minister who is often busy will give the tribunal power to self regulate as an industry” he said adding that it was high time the current NGO Act to be reviewed.

But in a twist of events, National Council of NGOs says it wasn’t consulted in the drafting of the bill which won’t augur well in forging the sector forward.

“Although the NGO Act should be reviewed, the new law seeks to disband us by merging us with Community and Faith Based Organisations. This content is bad and we will lobby MPs to shoot it down if not changed” Kevinnah Loyatum, CEO of NGO National Council said.

Ms. Loyatum says the content of Public Benefit Bill is bad while they are not aware of the other two bills in the new law.

“We don’t know of the other bills which are purported to regulate our industry” Ms Loyatum said insisting that negotiations should go on before tabling the law in parliament.

The workshop also advised NGOs to form county secretariats in overseeing their issues since the new constitution has done away with district level.

“The new constitution may lock out organizations not complaint with it making it mandatory for NGOs to register with the board through new counties: George Obondo, the Nyanza representative for national councils of NGO said.

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