MZUZU--The silence of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Malawi at a time people are experiencing hardship is worrisome, says Father Constantine Kaswaya, former chairperson of the Public Affairs Committee.
Kaswaya says the silence of CSOs, who were vocal when Bingu wa Mutharika was in power, could give people the impression that they've been bought by the current regime.
“Prices of commodities and services have skyrocketed and ordinary Malawians are feeling the pinch since their economic status has not changed. Is this not worth an issue to be looked into by the Civil Society Organizations? Scrupulous Civil Society Organizations stand for Malawians in any difficulty situation regardless of the political landscape,” says Kaswaya.
Kaswaya isn't alone with that view. A concerned citizen in Mzuzu said CSOs don't care about people's welfare.
“They made a lot of noise during the late Bingu Wa Mutharika regime because they were assured of financial support from the donor countries which were also against the government," the person who didn't want his name used said. "Now, the current regime is praised highly by the donors hence any noise from the Civil Society Organizations can't have a blessing from the donors."
Reacting, Voice Mhone, chairperson of the Council for Non Governmental Organizations in Malawi (CONGOMA), says they seem to be silent because the current administration provides room for contact and dialogue.
There was bad blood between CSOs and the Mutharika administration. SCOs went as far as petitioning donors to cut off aid to Malawi as Mutharika increasingly became autocratic. Mutharika died in April while still in office and was succeeded by Joyce Banda who was the country's vice president.
(c) The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited