The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has condemned the government’s decision to de-register 291 private voluntary organisations (PVOs).
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said the PVOs were deregistered for different reasons but mainly because of their failure to submit audited financial statements.
CiZC spokesperson Obert Masaraure said the development will result in job losses and this will have a negative impact on livelihoods. Masaraure said:
This is quite an unfortunate development that will negatively impact the lives of ordinary citizens; especially given the fact that most of these organisations are working in the field of social welfare.
We also have to be alive of the negative economic impacts of this move and the fact that jobs will be lost, and again this will impact negatively on livelihoods.
Government should consider the welfare of the suffering masses before implementing decisions that impact on people’s welfare.
We would also like to highlight the fact that the push to amend the PVOs Act is a sure sign that the government is determined to close down operating space for civil society organisations.
Government is keen to instill fear into civil society organisations that are undertaking their genuine role of holding the government to account.
We implore the government to respect the work of civil society organisations and to recognise their huge contribution to the strengthening of democracy, good governance and economic prosperity.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika urged civil society organisations (CSOs) to comply with the requirements of the law to avoid being de-registered. He said:
Information gathered by NANGO regarding the motivation and reasons for deregistration is mainly failure to comply with the PVO Act (17:05) Section 5(e), which requires PVOs to submit annual returns (audited financial reports and annual narrative reports) of which failure to submit these for three consecutive years may result in your certificate being terminated.
We urge all our members not to panic. However, we encourage all PVOs to submit their returns annually as a compliance requirement in order to avoid any risk of being deregistered.
The de-registered organisations were ordered to surrender their certificates of operation to the government. | NewsDay