Mutare Central legislator Innocent Gonese has implored fellow Parliamentarians to unite for the good of the country by resisting the proposed Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill.
The PVO Amendment Bill which was gazetted last year is now at the Second Reading Stage in the National Assembly and seeks to regulate the operations of civic society organisations.
Speaking on the effects of the Bill during a Parliament session yesterday, Gonese said the Bill was no necessary as the country had adequate laws to deal with money laundering issues that have been raised in the bill.
“I want us to ask ourselves a very critical question why we are here. In terms of Section 117 of our Constitution, it is clear that we are here among other things, to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Zimbabwe. We need to ask ourselves that critical question. Is this law, if passed, going to add to the good governance of Zimbabwe?
“If we go further to Section 119, it is incumbent upon us as Members of Parliament and representatives of the people to ensure that we hold the Executive accountable and we articulate the views and aspirations of the people who voted for us. My question is, are we doing that if we were to proceed to pass this particular Bill?
“My submission Mr. Speaker Sir is that it is not necessary to bring in this Bill because among other things, we have adequate laws that can deal with issues of money laundering – we already have those in place, and there is no need to add any further laws,” said Gonese
He added “I want to implore Hon. Members across the political divide, to put the interest of the nation first and not partisan political interests. Let us look at issues or problems that are bedeviling the country. It is not a crime, I have already pointed out that in terms of our own Constitution, we are required as representatives of the people to ensure that all the laws that we pass speak to the provisions of Section 117, which specifically relate and refer to issues of good governance.
“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that we do not violate those constitutional provisions by being party to the passage of laws that actually inhibit the enjoyment of human rights by the people of Zimbabwe. My plea to my colleagues is to say this, we have got other measures which we can put in place.
“Instead, we must try to find each other as Zimbabwe. Try to find each other as a nation so that we can jointly address the root cause of the problems, why we are in this economic quagmire. We have the issue of corruption – this is what we must be looking at collectively so that we tackle that because you find that if we were to resolve the issues of corruption, you will find that everyone in Zimbabwe would have enough to eat.”