PRIVATE voluntary organisations (PVOs) and opposition political parties have criticised the PVOs amendment bill which sailed through the senate on Wednesday.
The bill now awaits President Mnangagwa’s assent to become law.
If approved, in its current form, the controversial Bill will amend the Private Voluntary Organizations Act.
An umbrella body of CSOs Crisis In Zimbabwe Coalition (CICZ) feel that the bill is meant to criminalize operations of organizations that are disliked by the ruling party.
“This is the lowest any modern state can get to, especially a state that was born through struggle for freedom, independence and democracy,” CICZ president Pater Mutasa told this publication.
Main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) deputy leader Tendai Biti also said that the nation must embrace unimaginable attacks on rights activists.
“The Senate has passed the PVO Bill and soon it will be passed into law. We expect an unprecedented attack on human rights defenders and all organizations that stand for citizen rights.
“That Zimbabwe post 2017 has descended into a fully fledged fascist tin pot can not be in dispute,” Biti said.
Independent Norton legislator Themba Mliswa also condemned the bill saying this was not in line with Zimbabwe’s re engagement efforts.
“Within the larger context of the re-engagement drive this PVO move is an ironic self-destructive move.
“It takes away from the body of work already done to get the country back into the global community. It’s a contradiction of a larger agenda,” Mliswa said.
Meanwhile about 18 000 people in Zimbabwe are employed by non-governmental organizations and are at the risk of losing their jobs.
Critics have said Zimbabwe stands to lose US$1 billion in development funding with devastating social and economic consequences.