Suspected ZANU PF Activists Disrupt Public Hearings On The PVO Bill

2 years agoSun, 13 Mar 2022 13:40:46 GMT
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Suspected ZANU PF Activists Disrupt Public Hearings On The PVO Bill

Human rights groups in Zimbabwe have implored the government to provide security during ongoing public hearings on the Private and Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Bill after suspected ZANU PF activists recently disrupted meetings in Harare’s Highfield, Rusape, Gutu and Bulawayo.

The contentious Bill seeks to ensure state control of civic groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and trusts among others.

The Bill has been widely condemned as undemocratic and an attempt by the State to silence dissenting voices, particularly CSOs fighting corruption, human rights violations and other misgovernance issues.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has defended the legislation as necessary to fight terrorist funding, money laundering and stop some NGOs from pushing a regime change agenda.

Veritas Zimbabwe spokesperson Valentine Maponga said Parliament must engage the police to provide security during the hearings. Maponga said:

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Parliament must ensure and guarantee that members of the public are safe during and after public hearings.

Police presence at hearings is highly recommended.

The remarks were echoed by the Zimbabwe Coalition for Debt and Development (Zimcodd). 

  • CSOs Urge Parliament To Stop The Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill

Information deputy minister Kindness Paradza said it would be difficult for Parliament to involve the police in its processes since it is up to Parliament to request police coverage during their meetings. He added: 

But again Parliament is a democratic institution such that they would not involve police or any other uniformed security forces during these hearings.

This is why they specifically bar people in uniforms or party regalia to be at these meetings. They want people to air their views freely.

Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda said they had not received any request from the portfolio committee on labour, public service and social welfare to tighten security at the hearings.

The PVO Bill which prohibits PVOs from political involvement was gazetted in November last year and seeks to amend the current PVO Act.

Under the Bill, targeted organisations will now be subject to de-registration, broad control and regulation by the respective Ministry.

More: NewZimbabwe.com



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