By Alois Vinga
CRISIS in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to scale up the struggle for democracy as the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) bill nears enactment into law.
Government has defended the move to place the NGOs under scrutiny, arguing that the majority are meddling in the country’s politics and in some instances diverting donor funds for personal use.
In a recent update, legal watchdog Veritas said records show the Speaker’s ruling in parliament on the PVO Bill delivered on Tuesday 20th September, cleared the way for the Bill to be passed through the Third Reading Stage which will pave the way for the document to be sent to the Senate.
Tracking progress this past week, Veritas said the Bill was not dealt with on Wednesday and Thursday.
“The delay may have been caused by the need to produce a consolidated version of the Bill, with the extensive amendments made by a depleted National Assembly on 26th July.
“Whatever the explanation for the delay, the Bill remains on the next National Assembly Order Paper, for Tuesday 27th September,” said Veritas.
The legal watchdog said in both the National Assembly and the Senate, the Third Reading of a Bill is usually a formality.
Speaking exclusively to NewZimbabwe.com CiZC chairman, Peter Mutasa called on other NGOs to escalate the fight against the bill, warning that all the post-independence democracy gains risk being recalled.
He said CSOs are aware that the authoritarian regime is determined to pull the nation back into totalitarian rule reminiscent of the Rhodesian colonial rule.
“The regime is aware that it no longer enjoys any ideological hegemony and only relies on coercion for it to stay in power.
“There is no option for Zimbabwean citizens than to scale up the struggle for democracy. This Bill is an attack on everyone, the many people who benefited from NGOs’ work. These are the most vulnerable sectors of society too,” he said.
Mutasa said it is therefore important for citizens to unite against the dictatorship and ensure that democracy is realised soon.
“Colonial rule ended, apartheid rule ended and surely the dictatorship shall also end. On our part, we will continue with our work and objective of seeking a democratic developmental Zimbabwe,” he added.