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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Government engages stakeholders on PVO Amendment Bill

Story by Farai Gwaze

THE government, civil society and development partners are confident they will find common ground regarding the alignment of the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill.

Government has taken a firm stance on Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) hence a bill to align their operations with their mandate is going through public consultations.

Media Alliance of Zimbabwe’s coordinator, Mr Nigel Nyamutumbu said, “CSOs are not saying they do not want to be regulated, it is just the how, the mechanics of the regulation that needed to be ironed out and that needs to ensure that it speaks to both aspirations of government to ensure there is a regulatory framework, but also to civic society so that they can operate freely.”

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi said, “The primary purpose that motivated us to amend the PVO Bill was the condition from the financial action task force. To ensure that we comply with and deal with issues of financing terrorism and illicit financial flows, but then we broadened it up to look at the nature of which our laws govern our PVOs. We have decided to streamline them and get rid of NGOs that are going to participate in partisan political activities.”

The amendment is not unique to Zimbabwe and serves to safeguard national interests.

“Majority of countries have an act that deals with regulations of the NGO sector, so we are not the only ones. We do it to ensure that we protect those individuals who donate to charitable organisations, it is done globally in most jurisdictions,” said Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi.

The bill seeks to widen the definition of PVOs and extend the scope of the act to cover more institutions.

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