Home #StopThePVOBill PVO Bill; A Bitter Pill For Zimbabwean Democracy

PVO Bill; A Bitter Pill For Zimbabwean Democracy

by Bustop TV News

By Lloyd Takawira

This year has not been a rollercoaster ride for Zimbabwean democracy — from the promises of by President Mnangagwa’ administration to the rise of new draconian laws such as the Patriotic bill and Private Voluntary Organization amendment bill. 

Proponents of democracy like Dzikamai Bere of ZimRights,  Betty Makoni of Zimbabwe Peace Project and the Zimbabwe lawyers for human rights (ZLHR) to mention a few have been tirelessly campaigning, challenging the enactment of the PVO bill.

2021, Private Voluntary Organizations were taken by surprise by the government’s desire to repressively amend the private voluntary act under the guise of thwarting terrorism.

Before COVID-19 hit, Zimbabwe had already been experiencing a wave against democratic space a  crisis that is continuing from the previous Mugabe regime.

Speaking to Bustop TV News ,  Youth Against Corruption (YAC) director Owen Tsaurai deplored what he termed a worrying trend by the ruling Zanu PF government as it seeks to consolidate power.

“Young people have to raise up against an entrenching dictatorship that is in motion. If we don’t speak out we risk being sanctioned in our own country. Private Voluntary Organizations are non state actors whose presence complement government efforts,” he said.

For NAYO,a Zimbabwean youth oriented organization , actions – signing petitions, emailing and tweeting , and sharing information with the Zimbabwean family became the order of the day .

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches, also waded in arguing that, “prohibition against political lobbying was unconstitutional”  

The good news about the Zimbabwe debacles with regards to draconian bills such as the PVO bill  is that the UN special Rapporteurs stepped up and made record statements thanks to activists for  sending hundreds of postcards and red flags  to the international community.

While global partnership and solidarity might seem unperturbing to the regime , solidarity as the hallmark of any society is important.

Un Special Rapporteur Clement Voule criticized the Zimbabwean government for it’s desire to curtail the operations of NGOs. He argued that the PVO bill will gravely impact civic space.

“Zimbabwe together with colleagues I’m deeply concerned over the PVO Amendment Bill that could gravely impact civic space. I urge the govt to ensure that counter-terrorism laws provide safeguards to protect the rights to association & review the amendments to comply with the international standards,” wrote Voule.

Sadly, as we approach the end of the year 2021, for Zimbabweans there is no end in sight. With an ever soaring unemployment rate, food insecurity, and health systems pushed to the brink of collapse. The draconian laws such as the PVO bill will push more and more people into poverty and further expose the vulnerable groups.

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

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