By Bustop TV
MASVINGO residents associations have urged their members of parliament to reject the PVO Bill saying its enactment will create problems for NGOs in the country.
Parliament is currently conducting public hearings across the country for the repressive bill which was gazetted on November 5 2021.
The proposed bill has been slammed by local and international bodies which state that it will lead to gross human rights violations and leave vulnerable communities exposed.
In a letter dated February 24 Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (GURRA) addressed to Gutu district legislators the residents association said NGOs have been playing a huge role in providing aid in communities and if the bill is passed their work will be affected.
“If passed, the Bill would affect the work of all non-profits making organisations working in Zimbabwe including those providing life-saving assistance like sanitary ware drives, community feeding centres, burial societies, religious charities, educational services, food aid, water and sanitation assistance, care for vulnerable children and more.”
GURRA added that provisions of the bill are repressive and will trample on citizens rights.
“It limits rights like freedom of association, right to privacy and political rights, which are provided for in Zimbabwe’s Constitution. It is also unnecessary as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations which this Bill claims to have already been addressed in other laws and policies. In light of the above we are engaging your honorable office to protect the freedom and independence of NGOs as this preserves their development work and development of communities.”
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA Information Officer, Godfrey Mtimba said the bill is targeted at civic society which plays a watchdog role in Zimbabwe and its enactment will threaten the democratic space.
“We are against this draconian Bill which seeks to shut down the operations of civic society in the country. If the Bill is successful it will spell disaster. Most NGOs will be closed because the Minister of Public Service is going to be given power to close organizations they deem are criticizing the government and no one will hold the government accountable or perform the watchdog and whistleblowing role. It’s a dangerous, anti-democratic and unconstitutional Bill that resembles diabolic and satanic intentions from the government.”