The government has established committees in the country’s districts to monitor non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and ensure that they do not deviate from their mandate.
This was revealed by Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Lovemore Matuke on Thursday while responding to senators who wanted to know why the government was targeting NGOs. Said Matuke:
What we have done as a ministry is, we have got a committee at the district level, it is an inter-ministerial committee which is at every district and also has the duty to monitor the operations of NGOs.
Every NGO which provides anything to any community has to go through that committee and also when they go out there to give whatever they want to give, they seek approval from our offices.
Those who deviate from their mandate, normally we delist them, but we can only do that when we get reports that this NGO has deviated from its mandate.
Sometimes we get information from the local councillors as to whether the NGOs are following their mandates because I can see your question is that there are NGOs that go out there not to help people, but to do things which are a bit evil in terms of politicising, maybe whatever they will be giving.
If we get knowledge of any of those NGOs, the ministry will not hesitate to delist the NGO from our books so that they will not continue with their operations.
The Government is currently crafting the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill which seeks to regulate the operations of NGOs in the country.
Critics say the Bill, which is currently before the National Assembly, will result in employees at civic society organisations losing their jobs and also constrict the democratic space if it is passed in its current form.
However, the Government has defended the Bill, saying will fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism. | NewsDay