Home #StopThePVOBill Cries From Chimanimani As PVOs Existence Is Threatened

Cries From Chimanimani As PVOs Existence Is Threatened

by Bustop TV News

By Lloyd Takawira

When Jess Parker* wanted to source for donations and set up a private voluntary organization in 2019 after the ravaging Cyclone Idai she had no knowledge that one-day, the state will through draconian amendments go after private voluntary organizations under the guise of thwarting terrorism.

“Over the years l have been living in Australia. When l heard about Cyclone Idai.  My heart was touched . I quickly set up a go-fund and rushed to Zimbabwe . We set up a team, sourced for donations and just like anyone, we offered a helping hand to the victims.

“Soon after Cyclone Idai l decided to set up a private voluntary organization with the primary objective to help those in need Zimbabwe.”

When she heard about the new PVO bill what distressed her the most was the clause on Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

“The suggested amendments, especially on the Financial Action Task Force, will restrict our work as PVOs, They violate important human rights and affect communities that depend on the work of PVOs. For example 90% of our funding comes from outside. Now that the government is a liberty to brand us under the money laundering tag and ban us . However it affects those whom we have been helping.” 

For Jessica, the suggested amendments are intended to silence dissenting voices.

“The suggested amendments have nothing to do with FATF. The idea to regulate money laundering is disguised. The target is to silence non governmental organizations who are deemed critical of the state.”

The 42-year-old lawyer who is on the verge of packing up and returning to her base in Australia said she hoped that the people she had sworn to help will definitely get help.

“I feel for the most disadvantaged commoners in the peripheries of this country . Places like Chimanimani who are still grappling with a disaster,”

Jessica’s partner, Anderson Parker who has been helping with her charity works said Zimbabwean authorities need non-state actors to complement their efforts in ending poverty.

“My brief stay in Zimbabwe doing humanitarian work has exposed that the Zimbabwe government needs massive help in taking care of the vulnerable communities,” Anderson told Bustop TV News .

“Simply ‘leaving’ doesn’t just mean giving up my choice to help the needful in communities. Seeing most people in rural areas struggling , my life gets ripped in half and it feels indefinitely suspended , because of my passion for helping the needful.”

Speaking to this reporter on the phone, Menus Dandare village head of ward 14 Chimanimani said they would love to have private voluntary organizations chipping in to help government.

“Our case is still dire. We have had so many promises from the government . Since Cyclone Idai, we are yet to settle properly. However, non governmental organizations have been helping.” 

The country is already grappling with a chronic economy which has been in an abyss for the last decades resulting in government failing to offer enough support to the most vulnerable communities.

The government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa insists that the PVO Bill which was gazetted on November 5 seeks to compel PVOs to comply with the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

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*pseudonym has been used

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

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