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Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum's Executive Director charged
Rights NGO Forum
March 31, 2011
the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum ('the
Forum'), Mr Abel Chikomo, has been formally charged under Section
6 (3) as read with subsection 1 of the Private
Voluntary Organizations (PVO) Act. Mr. Chikomo has been allowed
to go home today but is required to report tomorrow morning at the
Law and Order section of Harare Central police station.
and interrogation of Mr. Chikomo has been going on since the beginning
of February 2011. The police are alleging that Mr. Chikomo has
been managing and controlling the operations of an illegal PVO.
The police further allege that the Forum is required to register
as a PVO before it can commence any of its activities as stipulated
in its constitution. By directing the activities and instructing
the staff of the Forum to perform such activities as well as raising
resources for the Forum, the police allege that Mr. Chikomo is knowingly
acting in contravention of the PVO Act.
Mr. Chikomo has denied
all the charges and allegations by the police. He states in his
warned and cautioned statement that the Forum is not a PVO and is
not required either by the PVO Act or any other law, to register
as a PVO. To the contrary, the PVO Act exempts organizations like
the Forum from such registration. To the contrary, section 2 (1)
(v) of the PVO Act exempts organizations like the Forum from registering
under the Act.
states that the Forum is a Common Law Universitas recognized by
Section 89 of the Constitution
of Zimbabwe. He further states that the legal status of the
Forum is beyond question as demonstrated by the recognition of the
legal existence and work of the Forum by the Courts of Zimbabwe,
including the Supreme Court. The courts would not entertain legal
suits lodged by the Forum if the Forum was not legally constituted.
In addition, the Forum works and collaborates with different Government
departments including the Ministry of Justice and the Ministerial
Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration.
The Forum is also recognized
by the Parliament of Zimbabwe and on several occasions, the Forum
has appeared before various committees of Parliament including the
Thematic Committee on Human Rights, briefing the committee, on,
among other things, the role of human rights NGO's and the promotion
and protection of human rights. All these bodies would certainly
not collaborate with an illegal entity.
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Human Rights NGO Forum fact
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