THE government has moved the clearance and monitoring of all non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provincial development coordinators (PDC) in a raft of measures meant to keep track of their activities.
The directive is effective from 9 July.
In a letter dated 30 June 2021, and signed by Tafadzwa Muguti, the Harare Metropolitan PDC, all NGOs based in the capital are expected to submit their work plans for 2021 activities to his office.
Muguti also wants the NGOs to submit information on all workshops, trainings, and projects they conduct, including monthly reports of their operations to his office.
“It has been noted with a high degree of concern that many organisations operating in Harare Metropolitan Province in particular NGOs, have been straying from mandates stated in their respective Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs),” reads the letter.
“Suffice to say that such behaviour represents a breach of Memorandum of Agreement and should not be allowed to manifest further. In view of the foregoing, all NGOs are hereby directed that operations and clearance of NGOs are now domiciled with the PDC.
“Further to that, NGOs are directed to submit work plans for the year 2021 to the office of the PDC as well as information relating to workshops, commissioning of projects, work being undertaken in Harare, monthly reports, and any other pertinent information as regards their operations by 9 July 2021.
“All NGOs country directors are also invited to a courtesy call with the PDC and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for formalities.” Oliver Chidawu is the Harare Provincial Minister.
Contacted for comment by NewZimbabwe.com, Muguti confirmed the development.
“It is protocol. All provinces are doing that. They have been working in the dark and we just want to know each other. There is nothing amiss here. They are not being directed to me but this is how it is supposed to be when it comes to their papers. You know we have a lot of NGOs in Harare,” he said.
In recent years, NGOs have had an acrimonious relationship with the Zanu PF government which accuses them of funding local opposition parties.
“Foreign funding of opposition political parties by foreign intelligence services and NGOs which are anything but civil is clearly calculated to undermine the orderly evolution of our political, economic and judicial systems and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” the Zanu PF acting political commissar, Patrick Chinamasa said at a recent press conference.
However, NGOs contacted by NewZimbabwe.com for comment, including their umbrella body, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, said they had not yet received the letter.