Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti has barred defiant non-governmental organisations who did not register with his office to stop operations in what is likely to set the stage for a possible legal battle.
In a statement Thursday, Muguti said those who failed to comply with his directive will be stopped from conducting operations with immediate effect.
“Those that failed to comply with the request on the 30th of June 2021 shall with immediate effect be stopped by law enforcement from conducting any operations what so ever until they fully comply with the policy,” said Mugutu.
He also listed 40 organisations that complied with his directive who include Action Aid Zimbabwe, Adult Rape Clinic, Birdlife Zimbabwe, Legal Resource Foundation and Goal Zimbabwe among others.
Muguti further instructed the organisations that complied to proceed to sign Memoranda of understanding with respective government ministries and agencies as well as secure a resolution with his office before they commence operations.
“The office of the PDC would like to inform all the above mentioned NGOs, CBOs, Trusts and all respective stakeholders that according to the Policy on Operations of Non-Governmental Organisations in Humanitarian and Development Assistance in Zimbabwe, published on 30 July 2003 by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare paragraph 5.1.1 (ii) which states that “in order for an NGO to commence operations at any level, they should sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the respective Government Ministry or Agency and also secure a resolution with the Provincial Development Committee that supports the need for its intended operations in the Province.
“The enlisted NGOs have been permitted to conduct their operations within Harare Metropolitan Province subject to them complying with the outlined procedures,” added Muguti.
Muguti’s move to ban organisations that did not comply with his directive from operating is likely to attract litigation.
Following his earlier announcement, a grouping organisations namely Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Media Alliance of Zimbabwe, National Association of Youth Organisations, National Transitional Justice Working Group, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe National Students Union, and Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children vowed to disregard his directive.
“We submit that the powers that you purport to exercise are not lawful.
“Your directives are unlawful and have no effect at law. In the event that you decide to act upon your illegal letter, then and in that event all and any appropriate legal steps will be undertaken to protect ourselves,” the organisations said.