President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has warned non-governmental organisations that are meddling in politics that they will be de-registered.
Acting Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Kazembe Kazembe said yesterday the government had noted with concern that some private voluntary organisations and non-governmental organisations were negating their objectives and are now meddling in politics.
“Should these organisations continue with this behaviour, the government will not hesitate to withdraw their registration certificates,” Kazembe said.
“This is within the confines of the Private Voluntary Organisations Act section 10 which gives the government the mandate to deregister an organisation which fails to comply with the terms of its registration.”
Zimbabwe has a booming civil society industry whose future is threatened by the stability that the government might bring about.
In its 2013 election manifesto, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front said Zimbabwe had more than 3 000 non-governmental organisations.
The party said the NGOs roamed the country peddling influence and their numbers was “scandalously disproportionate to the country’s population”.
“Virtually all of these NGOs have been founded and funded by the same countries that have imposed illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe for purposes of effecting illegal regime change outside the constitutional and democratic processes,” the party which said.
ZANU-PF said it had lost $42 billion through sanctions in 10 years.
“Particularly egregious in this regard is the fact that over the last four years during the life of the GPA government, some US$2.6 billion has been poured into these NGOs to support nefarious activities that have been camouflaged by the sanitised language of humanitarian and developmental assistance to cover up sinister regime-change intentions,” the manifesto said.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, for example, is said to be a conglomeration of 80 civil society organisations in Zimbabwe working together to bring about democratic change in the country.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network is a coalition of 34 non-governmental organisations.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum is a coalition of 19 non-governmental organisations.
The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations says it has over 1 000 members.
See also: NGOs are businesses dressed up like Mother Teresa