By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has rubbished the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Amendment Bill which will stifle operations of the civil society organisations.
If enacted into law, the bill will create room for government to clamp down on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
CSOs have been commended for playing a critical role in the country including advocating for human rights, providing educational support and supporting the girl child.
In a letter addressed to the Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, CiZC expressed its concern over the move and rubbished the gazetted bill.
The PVO amendment bill was gazetted earlier in November.
Part of the letter reads: “Kindly note our dismay and concern at the processes around the formulation as well as the contents and the spirit of the Bill. We are surprised to notice that your Ministry and Government look eager to disregard both the intended and unintended consequences of enacting the amended PVO Act.
“As a Coalition, we want to draw your attention to the broader consequences, beyond the legal implications on constitutionally prescribed rights and freedoms if the Bill is going to be fast tracked into law:
The Bill seems oblivious to the broader impact of the closure or banning of private voluntary activities or actors. The Bill seems not to foresee the potential humanitarian impact of its implementation given the support that our national budget receives from private voluntary actors.”
CiZC went on to implore the government to respect Section 58 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, in particular, which states that ‘every citizen has a right to freedom of assembly and association’.
CiZC added, “Respect the Zimbabwean constitution, especially Section 58. The government seems to be concerned with power retention rather than preserving the gains of our hard-won liberation and independence, and the sacrosanctity of our locally developed progressive constitution”.
The PVO Bill has faced a lot of criticism from various sectors ranging from the local CSOs organisation and international community.
This article was produced with financial support of the Content Creators Network ZW.