BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
HARARE provincial development co-ordinator (PDC) Tafadzwa Muguti has banned all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private voluntary organisations (PVOs) which defied a directive to report to him.
Muguti yesterday said government would unleash law enforcement officers on NGOs, PVOs and civic society organisations (CSOs) that continued operating despite the ban. Only 40 NGOs will remain operating in Harare following Muguti’s action.
Yesterday, Muguti published the names of the organisations that submitted their credentials to his office, giving them the greenlight to continue operating, but under his office’s regulation.
The organisations include ActionAid Zimbabwe, Plan International, Caritas Zimbabwe, Goal Zimbabwe, Youth Advocates and Helpline Zimbabwe among others. Several human rights organisations are not part of the list.
Muguti last month wrote to all NGOS, PVOs and CSOs ordering them to report to his office, a move viewed by NGOs as intended to clamp down on them.
In the letter, he ordered the NGOs to submit monthly work plans of their intended activities and summoned directors of the NGOs to his office.
Two weeks after Muguti’s order, his counterpart in Masvingo, Jefta Sakupwanya also summoned NGOs operating in the province and ordered them to report to him.
But NGO representatives yesterday insisted that they will not comply with Muguti’s directive, claiming that his office was established outside the dictates of the Constitution.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, ZimRights and youth organisations among others, told Muguti that they would not report to him because his directive was ultra vires the Constitution.
“The enlisted NGOs have been permitted to conduct their operations within Harare Metropolitan province subject to complying with the outline procedures,” Muguti said in a statement.
“Those that failed to comply with the request on June 30, 2021, shall with immediate effect be stopped by law enforcement from conducting any operations whatsoever until they fully comply with the policy, in particular obtaining a resolution from the provincial development committee and recognition by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.”
A coalition of 10 youth CSOs recently wrote to Local Government minister July Moyo imploring him to rein in his subordinates, vowing that it would not take orders from Muguti.
On several occasions, the Zanu PF regime has threatened to deregister NGOs accusing them of operating outside their mandates and/or propping up the opposition.
Zanu PF acting commissar Patrick Chinamasa last month accused CSOs of being sponsored by hostile Western powers to cause regime change in the country.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while giving a state of the nation address last year, said government would craft laws to regulate NGOs. He also accused them of straying from their core business for which they were registered.
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