Chitepo, Sithole, Nkomo and Mugabe are turning in their graves over PVO bill, Biti says


Our Constitutional Court said a corporate organisation, whether it is a trust, an NGO, it is a human being.  Our Constitution in Sections 45 and 46 says, ‘there is no difference in the protection of rights between natural persons and non-natural person’s juristic persons’.  So, what we are doing in this Bill is to encroach on the rights of individuals and NGOs. Can you imagine a law that says Government can come into your House and look at what you have eaten, how you have slept, where you have slept?  It is not possible and where you are keeping your accounts; it is not possible.

We have an obligation to protect the Constitution.  Section 119 (2) of the Constitution says this Parliament must protect and uphold the Constitution, particularly the bill of rights codified in Chapter 4 of the Constitution but we are passing a Bill Madam Speaker, the Government of Zimbabwe receives a minimum of a billion US dollars in overseas development assistance.  We receive at least 300 million US dollars from the US to deal with HIV/AIDS.  In fact, ironically, the biggest contributor of overseas development assistance in Zimbabwe is actually the United States of America, followed by the European Union, followed by DFID.  The bulk of this aid has nothing to do with what the Government is afraid of – human rights, democracy and so forth.  It is actually going to our people, going to irrigation projects in Nyanyadzi, going to the irrigation projects like Muchenje in Dotito, going to schools in the form of BEAM.  BEAM receives a substantial amount of money from overseas Development Assistance. 

So what we are doing is that we are cutting our noses in order to spite our faces.  This is a terrible Bill, a modern democratic Zimbabwe, 43 years after independence, cannot be passing such a Bill.  Herbert Chitepo, Ndabaningi Sithole, are turning in their graves, Edson Sithole, wherever they buried him, is turning in his grave, Joshua Mquabuko Nkomo who died on 1st July, 1999, is turning in this grave, Robert Mugabe who died on the 6th September, 2019, is turning in his grave. 

Madam Speaker, we should abandon this Bill, it is not in the best interest of the people of Zimbabwe.  It is not in the best interest of constitutionalism in Zimbabwe and we cannot pass a Bill to serve the interests of a political party that is paranoid.  I appeal to the Hon. Minister to withdraw this Bill 



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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