NGOs wrangle over law to rein in sector - Daily Nation

NGOs wrangle over law to rein in sector

Monday May 14 2012

Ken Wafula, Non-Governmental Organization Council Chairman. Photo/JARED NYATAYA

Ken Wafula, Non-Governmental Organization Council Chairman. Photo/JARED NYATAYA 

By SAMUEL SIRINGI [email protected] and NJERI RUGENE [email protected]

Local and international charities are bickering over a proposed law that aims to regulate the Sh130 billion sector.

Although the board that regulates NGOs has tabled the Non-Governmental Organisations Draft Bill 2012 for public debate, some charities are pushing for a different Bill.

Nominated MP Sofia Abdi plans to table the Public Benefit Organisation Bill, 2012.

The ODM MP, who is the chairperson of the Committee on Labour and Social Welfare, said on Monday the Bill would be tabled soon.

National Council of NGOs chairman Ken Wafula, who supports the government Bill, accused Ms Abdi of working with international NGOs to defeat a “good” Bill.

“We want Ms Abdi to withdraw her Bill in order for us to send to Parliament a document that has everyone’s consensus,” he said.

But Ms Abdi denied being pushed by international NGOs. “My background is in civil society, having founded a very successful NGO in Northern Kenya (Womankind Kenya) which I dream will go international,” she said, adding she welcomed input to her Bill.

“I will not fight local NGOs after being in the movement for 18 years,” she said.

The proposed law will compel charities to make public their financial dealings to address accusations of impropriety and money laundering activities against them.

NGOs Coordination Board official Henry Otieno said on Monday the planned law would increase transparency and align the activities of NGOs with the new Constitution.

He said charities were able to get away with offences because they were registered by different agencies which had no mechanism to follow-up on their activities.