Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa today said he will sign the Private Voluntary Organisations bill into law once it is cleaned and sent to his office and he would do so, speedily too.
The bill has been passed by both houses of Parliament.
Mnangagwa has been under pressure not to sign the bill including from four United Nations experts.
Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa said: “Foreigners must keep out, as we realise and fulfil our sovereignty through the laws we make for ourselves.
“On that score, no amount of foreign noises will stop the passing of the PVO law which, in any case, has gone through our Parliament comprising all the elected parties and representatives of our country.
“We do not enjoy democratic space or any of our freedoms through foreign NGOs; we enjoy them everyday in the very society we have founded and built through our own blood and struggles.
“This must sink in the minds of all those who solicitously involve themselves unduly in our legislative processes.
“Let me repeat: once the Bill is cleaned and sent to my Office, I will sign it into law. Speedily, too!”
Mnangagwa said his government was prompted to introduce the new law because of the deteriorating conduct of several organisations, which the government had registered in good faith and allowed to operate as PVOs.
“In spite of the clarity of the law then, and of terms and conditions for registration, some NGOs wilfully departed from their original, founding mandates. Worse, many had become a law unto themselves, all in the name of defending and serving the poor,” Mnangagwa said.
“Others abused resources donated to assist the poor to self-enrich themselves. Accountability had broken down and fortunes were being made in the name of our poor. That was callous.”
Below is Mnangagwa article in full
The Private Voluntary Organisation Bill, PVO Bill, has now passed the various stages of the legislative process.
It is now being cleaned up for my assent. I will sign it into law once it reaches my desk. Thereafter, Zimbabwe will enter a new era of genuine philanthropic and advocacy work, unsullied by ulterior political or financial motives.
This has been our goal as Government in drafting such a law. To protect our society, specifically the needy and the vulnerable against the greed, wiles and subterfuges of the crooked, found both here at home and abroad.
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