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Government's Proposed Amendments To The PVO Bill "Unconstitutional" - Veritas

Government's Proposed Amendments To The PVO Bill

Public Service minister Paul Mavima has proposed more amendments to the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) Amendment Bill in an apparent move to tighten the screws on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the country.

The new amendments will be submitted at the Committee Reading Stage of the PVOs Bill, which is currently in the Second Reading Stage in the National Assembly.

Fears abound that the Bill, already viewed as oppressive, is meant to stifle government critics and human rights defenders. 

Authorities say the Bill is meant to ensure that NGOs do not interfere in local politics.

In its latest Bill Watch online publication, legal think-tank Veritas said Mavima had proposed several new amendments which would give the minister powers to control every association, to give permits, to register PVOs and NGOs, and convene annual forums for PVOs to discuss issues of interest.

The Veritas publication seen by NewsDay said the new amendments left the “worst” clauses unchanged, but seek to consolidate the government’s powers over trusts.

It also says the new amendments were effected in violation of section 141 of the Constitution because they were smuggled in after public hearings on the Bill were done. Said Veritas:

The amendments will delete provisions in the Bill which would have allowed the registrar of PVOs to require trustees of any trust either to forswear their right to collect funds for charitable purposes or to register their trust as a PVO.

In place of these provisions, however, the amendments will insert a new section 6 in the PVO Act (“the Act”), which will require any trust that collects funds for charitable purposes to register under the Act, prohibit anyone from collecting funds from the public except in accordance with the Act — which means that only registered PVOs will be allowed to do so, debar unregistered PVOs from receiving funds from the State, and  permit the Registrar to require any trust to get itself registered as a PVO, and make trustees and their trusts jointly liable to criminal penalties for failure to comply with the new section.

Veritas also said:

a). Clause 11 of the Bill was unconstitutional because it proposes a new schedule providing for the imposition of civil penalties for certain contraventions of the Act.

b). Clause 2(b) of the Bill will also insert a new provision into the Act, allowing the Public Service Minister to make regulations permitting him to designate associations that he regards to be at high risk of misuse by terrorist organisations.

Veritas said the provisions are far too vague for a penal provision and are therefore n violation of the rule of law which demands that laws, particularly penal ones, “must be intelligible, clear and predictable.”

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8 Comments

Dotito 1 week ago

??


Afro-American 1 week ago

Try opening an NGO in the USA if you want to know what controls are. NGOs which had links to Moslem Mosques were closed.


Anonymous 1 week ago

@Afro-American, LIAR!!

Transparent Transparency 1 week ago

If you are a clean NGO, register as required.
Sources and use of funds should declared openly.
Hantie NGOs are always yarping about accountability and transparency.


NGOs in Health 1 week ago

But why should NGOs engage in local politics??


ngorima mushava 1 week ago

Iwo ma NGO aya ,anombpindirei munyaya dzezve matongerwo enyika , ngavaite zvaka apply kuti vanoda kuita not kupindira kupolitics ,
kana vachida zvenyika ngavanonyoresa kuZEC toziva kuti mapolitical party...
For the security of the Republic of Zimbabwe 🇿🇼 PVO Bill iri rinofanirwa kuva mutemo to curtail these operations...kuti zvanetsa GVT should deregister them


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Chawabvunza 1 week ago

All laws which are going to be promulgated between now and 2023 Harmonised Elections are going to target NGOs and opposition political parties. Citizens now understand our political landscape. They only want really change from ZANU PF to any opposition political party, particularly CCC Political Party.

NYIKA INOURAIWA NE MBAVHA DZAYO

NGAAPINDE HAKE CHAMISA [NHC].

[VOTE CCC FOR REAL CHANGE].


ngorima mushava 1 week ago

NGOs must not interfere in politics,ngavaite zve relief dzavo ,leave politics to political players...how come nyika dzakaisira Zimbabwe masanctions dzichi sponsor maNGO muno what's their ultimate goal..?
,they should be banned these organizations and go to Ukraine and eastern Europe where there's greater humanitarian need.


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