Thursday 26 January 2023


GOVERNMENT has not deregistered any Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) operating in the country but has instead identified and informed 391 NGOs who are non-compliant with the dictates of the Private Voluntary Organisation Act to regularise their operations.

In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network’s “The Chase” programme last night, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima said the identified NGOs, whose figure was actually 450 last year, but has come down to 391, still have a chance to regularise their operations before Government gazettes their deregistration.

“The list still gives them an opportunity to regularise before we gazette, for now we haven’t gazetted but soon we will be gazetting. We have given them a very long rope but once we gazette they will then have to apply afresh to operate,” said Minister Mavima.

He rubbished as unfounded claims by what he said were “cynical people” who are always bent on portraying the country as being in a crisis mode.

Minister Mavima said these people are falsely claiming that the listing of non-compliant NGOs was done based on the new Act when in actual fact the process to amend the legislation has not been completed. “The new Act’s amendment process has not been completed and a lot of people have been saying there is a draconian action by Government in line with the new Act and we have started to see the implementation of that Act which is going to constrain civil society space. The Act has always been there and just like in any other country, it provides for a criterion for registration for anyone who wants to operate a PVO. It sets the requirements needed, a management arrangement, provide annual reports to the PVO board, audited financial statements and keep within the mandate that you said you wanted to operate in and also to confine yourself to the geographical space that you said you want to operate from. This is standard procedure, everywhere,” said Minister Mavima.

He said the majority of the listed NGOs were not in the political or human rights space or even a space that can be interpreted as affecting the outcome of an election.

“Those who are saying something now are just full of sound and fury and there is no logic in what they are saying. The culprits are always the same, Zimbabwe’s resident cynics, those who want to portray that the country is always in a crisis mode. This list of the now 391 was originally 450 and was published a year ago to say these organisations are not in compliance, some have regularised hence the figure is now 391. Everywhere in the world, the Government has to know where the money was going and coming from. When you use public money to do something you have to account for it,” said Prof Mavima.

He said the country only deregistered two NGOs last year for national security reasons.

Minister Mavima said one of the NGOs had said they wanted to provide services to children and started constructing schools and after that started teaching fundamentalism in those schools.

We said no, you don’t do that. They have been appealing and twice we have heard their appeal but we have said they will not operate,” he said.

On the Jairos Jiri Association position, Minister Mavima said the association has over the years been unbundled and became a number of organizations offering such services as education and others to disadvantaged and disabled people.

“Some of these (Jairos Jiri Association) offshoots have complied while others have completely gone defunct

Here is another example that has been used, Jairos Jiri Association. People do not realise that Jairos Jiri was unbundled, it became a number of organisations, one in education, another offering services to disadvantage and disabled people. Some have complied while others have completely gone defunct,” added  Minister Mavima.

Slightly over 2 500 NGOs are operating in Zimbabwe. Herald


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