By Sharleen Mohammed
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened to expel Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from Zimbabwe saying they have lost their mandate.
Addressing delegates at a Zanu PF campaign rally at St Mary’s in Chitungwiza on Wednesday, Mnangagwa said NGOs that defy his government’s policies will be chased out of the country.
This comes at a time his administration is in the middle of enacting a highly contentious Private Voluntary Organisations which will regulate the operations of NGOs in the country.
“Non-governmental organisations in this country who do not follow our mandate, I will chase them away from this country,” Mnangagwa said.
He added: “They must just do what they profess, what they declared they want to do in this country, this country can do without them.”
The PVO bill has provisions that seek to criminalise the work of non-governmental organisations by proposing harsh penalties, including jail time of up to one year for perceived offenses.
The bill also gives the government and the minister responsible for CSOs and trusts, excessive powers which will enable them to interfere with the operations of these bodies giving it the potential to disrupt non-governmental organisations, NGOs activities and financing.
NGOs will be required to submit their plans and work to the government, a move critics said would limit their operations.