NGOCC board chairperson Sara Longwe says it is good that the PF government is hurt by the united criticism from the covil society movement, saying that is s sign that they will reform and start doing the right thing.
Kampyongo said at a media briefing on Wednesday that government would start sorting out NGOs and political parties that were spreading falsehoods and promoting anarchy in the country.
He warned that unlawful conduct in the name of politics would be dealt with decisively in accordance with the law.
But in an interview with News Diggers! Thursday, Longwe said Civil Society Organisations were following the Constitution which gave them their fundamental rights of freedom of expression and association.
She said it was not a crime to speak out, and as civil society, they would not keep quiet when government was wasting money.
“The fact that they are lumping everyone in one place, that means we hit the jackpot. It hurts, and that’s what we want. It should hurt them, it should make them feel guilty and do proper things. Not accusing other people like what they are doing. We want to see a change in those things that the civil society pointed out. That’s the response we are looking for from a government we elected which is responsive to its citizenry,” Longwe said.
“As women’s movement we are really annoyed to see that women are giving birth in the street and unattended to. And they still have to carry buckets full of things that the medical facilities where they are going to give birth to, should provide. Our own bucket, gloves, disinfectant, scissors, whatever. Then what is the money which was allocated to the Ministry of Health for? Is it just for salaries? No. It includes equipment [and] supplies. So as civil society organisations speaking out on behalf of the women, we can’t keep quiet when someone is buying useless things, embezzling the money as indicated by the Auditor General,” said Longwe.
She said NGOCC would not be intimidate and further challenged the minister to name the NGOs which were promoting anarchy in the country.
“The government can say whatever they want and I think they are aiming that at those who have been lawless in their action. But us as the civil society are following the Constitution which gives us the fundamental rights for freedom of expression, association and movement. Through the freedom of expression we say what we are saying peacefully and correctly. If they are making reference to the Oasis Forum, that press conference we had, that was peacefully done and we followed the law of this country. So we don’t think its aimed at us. If there are any civil society that are being lawless then those are the ones that they are aiming at and they better name them,” she said.
She said it was unfair for the minister to make collective condemnation.
“They should not be doing a collective condemnation. They have to mention them, why? Because for them to say that, it means they know who those lawless civil society are. So they should name. Like at our press conference, we named areas where there was corruption, areas where there was mis-governance of our resources, which they (government) get from us through tax. Everyone is being taxed, anyone who owns any property, it could be a TV, is being taxed, electricity is being taxed, water is being taxed. So we were talking about those resources, that they must be used prudently and for things that were contracted,” said Longwe.
“Those are the things that us as real patriots of this country must point out because in the end they will be saying ‘you didn’t tell us’. So we are just pointing out to the evidence which is there before us, ordinary citizens who can see it. Women are going hungry, they are waking up early in the morning to make ends meet. We can’t keep quiet while they are wasting money, having huge entourages whenever there is a chance to go anywhere. Its not a crime to speak out.”