Zambian civil society fears the imminent introduction of legislation designed to regulate NGOs that may compromise their independence and even result in a clampdown on their operations. The 2009 NGO Bill, passed by parliament last week and now awaiting the signature of President Rupiah Banda to become law, calls for "the registration and co-ordination of NGOs, to regulate the work, and the area of work, of NGOs operating in Zambia." If the bill becomes law, a 16-member board will be established by the community development minister, consisting of not less than eight government officials and a minimum of two representatives from civil society, to "receive, discuss and approve the code of conduct [of NGOs], and … provide policy guidelines to NGOs for harmonizing their activities to the national development plan of Zambia." (IRIN)

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