NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 11 – The prolonged acrimony between the Non-Governmental Organisations Coordination Board and the NGO sector may not last long as the new board seeks a reconciliatory and more inclusive approach over outstanding issues.
The newly appointed NGO Coordination Board Chairperson Gichira Kibara in an interview with Capital FM News revealed that the board is set to hold a major consultative meeting with all players, to ensure the operating environment is stable, for the sector to thrive.
Kibara, who has previously worked in the NGO sector and in senior government positions says Kenyans stand to benefit immensely if there is a seamless working relationship among all players, anchored on transparency and accountability.
“We want a proper environment for the NGOs which include following the law; in terms of being transparent, accountable and also to explain the services they are delivering to the public. That is already in the law, it is a matter of ensuring there is compliance,” he stated.
Other than their key role in education, housing and health sector, Kibara says NGOs have been critical in whistle blowing when public funds are misappropriated.
And with the ongoing crackdown on corruption, he says the board together with the NGO sector will work closely to support it and to ensure there is a timely intervention to prevent or stop any embezzlement of public funds.
“We believe the sector will continue to support the government to address the issue of corruption,” he said while noting that they also intend to streamline the rules governing the sector on how resources are received and used.
“It should be clear to everybody because the sector provides services and support to the public. They are entitled to know what kind of support is being given and how much is reaching them.”
The NGO Coordination Board has over the time been on spot for the delayed implementation of the 2013 Public Benefit Organisations Act, which will among other things improve accountability and streamline registration of NGOs.
Kibara who insists that the board has extended an olive branch to the NGO sector, one of the biggest employers in the country, says any contentious issues in the Act will be expeditiously addressed to ensure it is put to practice.
“Clearly, parts of the discussions we will be having is about the modernization of the law both the NGO Act and others that affect the sector. It is an area that has a lot of laws that affect it and we intend to look at all of them to see whether they are facilitative, if not, we are going to propose necessary amendments to the law,” he said.
Among the areas the government intends to engage the NGO sector is in the implementation of the Big Four agenda.
The Big Four agenda includes Universal Healthcare, Manufacturing, Affordable Housing and Food Security, areas where the NGO sector has invested heavily.