Zanu PF youths disrupt PVO Bill hearings

Source: Zanu PF youths disrupt PVO Bill hearings –Newsday Zimbabwe

In Harare, police had to be called in after suspected ruling party youths disrupted the public hearing held at Ambassador Hotel.

ZANU PF youths yesterday disrupted public hearings on the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill in Gweru and Harare.

In Gweru, the meeting was  abandoned after the ruling party youths turned rowdy shouting at the officials led by Senator Sisasenkosi Ndebele who had to leave the venue in a huff.

In her welcome remarks Ndebele had said the meeting was non-political and participants were “free to air their views”.

After disrupting the meeting the youths started singing in support of President Emmerson Mnangagwa asking why “people hated him”.

During the meeting, Zanu PF youths would occasionally disrupt the proceedings when they booed other participants’ contributions as well as clapping when fellow party members were making their submissions.

In their support of the Bill, the youths unanimously said it would “curb terrorism” by monitoring the activities of non-profit organisations which they accused of allegedly harbouring a “regime change agenda” through support from “hostile Western countries”.

When other participants gave different thoughts against the Bill, the youths would occasionally boo them, interrupting proceedings.

In Harare, police had to be called in after suspected ruling party youths disrupted the public hearing held at Ambassador Hotel.

The hearing ended prematurely after participants largely from Zanu PF and some religious sects started singing  party songs.

This was after a young woman had criticised the Bill as giving the responsible minister overarching powers to interfere in the work of civic groups.

The woman was booed by alleged Zanu PF youths and she bolted out of the room fearing for her life.

The commotion left the committee leading the hearings with no choice, but to abandon the proceedings

Prior to the disruptions, participants expressed concerns that the Bill gave too much power to the line minister.

Civic society groups have condemned the Bill saying it undermines freedoms of expression and association and gives the government unjustifiable control over their operations.

The Bill allows the State to interfere with civil society organisations’ governance and activities

Penalties for breaching provisions of the Bill range from heavy fines to imprisonment.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa referred the Bill back to Parliament during the 9th Parliament for reconsideration and now returns when Zanu PF now has the two-thirds majority.