BY SHARON BUWERIMWE
POLITICAL observers have said the controversial Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill currently undergoing public hearings throughout the country has nothing to do with money-laundering contrary to government claims.
Instead, the amendment is meant to curtail the operations of non-governmental organisation (NGOs) perceived to be anti-government, they claimed.
Government gazetted the PVO Amendment Bill in 2021 saying it was meant to bring the existing PVO Act into line with Financial Action Task Force recommendations against money-laundering and terrorist financing.
Information secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana yesterday said there was nothing wrong with the Bill “that curtails money-laundering”.
“Mangwana’s statement betrays insincerity. These are statements that pretend to be ignorant of the government’s real intention, which is to bring CSOs (civil society organisations) under undue and excessive governmental control,” Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika said.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson (CiCZ) Obert Masaraure said there was no need to introduce money-laundering laws when the country had many statutes criminalising the vice.
“To begin with, we don’t have known CSOs that have been involved in money laundering. We also have sufficient laws to deal with money laundering,” Masaraure said.
Commentator Rashweat Mukundu said: “The PVO Bill has nothing to do with money-laundering and has nothing to do with interference in politics by civil societies or NGOs. Money-laundering laws can be developed without restricting the functions of voluntary organisations.”
Residents Associations Coalition for Electoral Reforms spokesperson Marvelous Khumalo said: “We have seen senior government officials and businesspeople who are connected to the ruling party laundering huge sums of money and surely this is not contained in the PVO Bill.”