Mnangagwa Crafts Anti-NGO Law Ahead Of 2023 Elections
26 September 2021

By A Correspondent- The Government is planning to amend Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) to criminalise NGOs that fund political parties or election candidates.

Sunday Mail reports that the Amendments to the Private Voluntary Organisation Act set to be tabled before Parliament soon will provide for the suspension and penalisation of NGOs that stray from their mandate.
The PVO Amendment Bill seeks to establish an Office of the Registrar of PVOs to regulate their operations.

Currently, PVOs operate under the purview of the director of social welfare in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.

In addition, operating an unregistered PVO will attract a 10-year prison sentence.
Reads Section 5 of the Bill: “When any private voluntary organisation that supports or opposes any political party or candidate in a presidential, parliamentary or local government election or is a party to any breach of Section 7 under Part III of the Political Parties (Finance) Act (Chapter 2:12) as a contributor of funds to a political party or candidate or otherwise shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of Level Twelve or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or both such fine or such imprisonment.”
Section 7 of the Political Parties (Finance) Act criminalises foreign funding of political parties.