Home #StopThePVOBill Govt Threatens Democratic Space With PVO Bill

Govt Threatens Democratic Space With PVO Bill

by Bustop TV News

By Lloyd Takawira

The Zimbabwean government is set to tighten the noose on private voluntary organizations with a new bill that seeks to amend the Private Voluntary Organisations Act [Chapter 17:05] .

The Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) Amendment Bill which was gazetted on 5 November 2021 will amend the PVO Act chapter 17:05.

The government claims the new PVO act will make the private voluntary organisations comply with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and  facilitate the easier registration and operation of PV0s.

However, among it’s more draconian clauses is the attempt by the bill to prevent PVOs from engaging in political activities.

The bill also attempts to sniff into the financial records of PVOs rendering them incapable of properly discharging their duties as the government will be overstepping its oversight role .

According to a circular from PVOs , the FATF clause in the bill will be used to deregister them by the government under the guise of thwarting terrorism.

“The suggested amendments will restrict the work of all PVOs, not just those at risk of ML/TF. They do not advance FATF measures. They violate important human rights and affect communities that depend on the work of PVOs. The Bill seeks to legalise attacks on those who do not agree with the government or those who may be seen as opponents of the government. It limits the ability of citizens to access health, legal, humanitarian and other support that is offered by PVOs,” the circular reads.

Since taking over power from the late Robert Mugabe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has been condemned by critics for making draconian amendments to the constitution.

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This article was produced with financial support of the Content Creators Network ZW.

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