THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
†View archive by sector


Back to Index

This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • NGO Bill - Index of Opinion and Analysis

  • Non-Governmental Organisations Bill, 2004
    July 2004

    View the Index of Opinion and Analysis for this Bill
    Read Notice of amendments to NGO Bill
    Read Amendments to the NGO Bill agreed to by Parliament during the Bill's second reading

    Download this legislation
    - RTF  version (155KB)
    - Acrobat PDF version (159
    If you do not have the free Acrobat reader on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking here.

    Presented by the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare


    To provide for the registration of non-governmental organisations, to provide for an enabling environment for the operations, monitoring and regulation of all non-governmental organisations; to repeal the Private Voluntary Organisation Act [Chapter 17:05] and for matters incidental thereto.

    ENACTED by the President and Parliament of Zimbabwe.


    The Bill will repeal the Private Voluntary Organisation Act and establish a new non-governmental organisations Act which will provide for an enabling environment for the operations, monitoring and regulation of all non-governmental organisations.

    In more detail, the individual parts of the Bill are as follows:

    Part I
    Clause 1 sets out the Billís short title. Clause 2 defines the terms that are used throughout this Bill.

    Part II
    Clause 3 will establish a non-governmental organisations council. Functions of the non-governmental organisations Council are outlined in clause 4. Clause 5, 6 and 7 will regulate matters related to funds of the Council, financial year of Council and accounts of, and audit of accounts of Council funds. Clause 8 will provide for the appointment of a Registrar of non-governmental organisations.

    Part III
    This part deals with matters related to the organisation of non-governmental organisations (clause 9 and 10). Clause 11 will deal with the cancellation or amendment of certificates. Clause 12 will require every non-governmental organisation to carry out its activities under its registered name.

    Clause 13 will allow the director of a registered non-governmental organisation to surrender the certificate of registration. The director will also be able to apply for a new certificate of registration in the event that the old certificate was cancelled or surrendered (clause 14).

    Any non-governmental organisation which is aggrieved by any decision of the Council in relation to the rejection of an application for registration may appeal to the Minister (clause 15).

    Part IV
    This part provides for the administration of non-governmental organisations. Clause 16 provides for the need for every director of a registered non-governmental organisation to produce reports and returns at the end of each financial year. Clause 17 will regulate funding for local non-governmental organisations. No local (NGO) shall receive any foreign funding or donation to carry out activities involving or including governance issues.

    Clause 18 will require every registered (NGO) to have a registered address in Zimbabwe. A registered non-governmental organisation may also establish branch committees where the organisation may delegate some of its activities (clause 19). Clause 20 will empower the Registrar to determine that any branch of a non-governmental organisation shall not be subject to control and direction of that non-governmental organisation and make it an independent and separate non-governmental organisation. Clause 21 will provide for audit of accounts of a non-governmental organisation. Clause 22 will give the Minister power to appoint an officer to inspect any aspect of the affairs or activities of any non-governmental organisation.

    Part V
    Clause 23 will give the Council power to investigate maladministration in non-governmental organisations. If the Council finds that there has been maladministration in an organisation, the Council will be empowered to censure the persons responsible for it, or to direct the taking of measures to prevent its recurrence, or to cancel or amend the organisationís registration. Under the clause, the Council will have to act fairly when conducting investigations i.e it will have to give everyone concerned an opportunity to be heard and also will have the right to be furnished with reasons on the Councilís decision.

    Any person affected by the decision of the Council is entitled to appeal to Minister if he is not satisfied by that decision. Clause 24 will set out the procedure to be followed when the Council has referred a question of suspending an organisationís committee members to the Minister. The Minister will be obliged to conduct any necessary investigations and, if in the Ministerís opinion there has been serious maladministration and it is in the public interest for all or any of the organisationís committee members to be suspended, the Minister will have power to suspend them. Before doing so, however the Minister will have to give the committee members concerned a reasonable opportunity to make representations.

    Committee members who have been under suspension for thirty days will automatically go out of office. If all committee members of a non-governmental organisation have been suspended, the Minister will have power to appoint trustees to manage the organisationís affairs pending the election of a new committee member. Clause 25 will empower the Registrar to adjudicate disputes within non-governmental organisations. Clause 26 will provide for general offences and penalties and will specify the penalties that may be imposed on persons who commit them.

    Clause 27 will provide for the evidential provisions. Under this clause a certificate from the Registrar stating whether or not an organisation is registered under the Act will be admissible in any proceedings, civil or criminal, at present such certificates are admissible only in criminal proceedings. Clause 28 regulates how contributions unlawfully collected are to be utilized.

    Clause 29 will empower the Minister to dissolve the organisation if the organisation ceases to function and the persons responsible in terms of its constitution for dissolving the organisation fail or are unable to dissolve it within six months. In Clause 30 the Minister may direct any person holding or having control of any money collected contrary to these Act, to retain to either the contributor or to the Minister and thereupon the Minister will later return the money to every contributor known. Clause 31 will empower the Minister to make regulations with regard to the form, of any application, authority, certificate, notice, order or register to be made. Clause 32 will validate the lawful registration of private voluntary organisations, which was done under the repealed Act to be registration under this new Act. Clause 33 will repeal the Private Voluntary Organisation Act [Chapter 17.05] and save any statutory instruments, which were in force under the repealed Act.

    The schedule contains provisions applicable to the Board.


    PART I


    1. Short title
    2. Interpretation


    1. Non-governmental Organisations Council
    2. Functions of the Council
    3. Funds of Council
    4. Financial year of council
    5. Accounts and audit of Accounts of Council funds
    6. Registrar of Non-governmental Organisations


    1. Non-governmental organisations to be registered
    2. Registration
    3. Cancellation or amendment of certificate
    4. Non-governmental organisations not to carry on activities except under registered name
    5. Surrender of registration certificate
    6. Restoration of cancelled or surrendered certificate
    7. Appeals


    1. Books, accounts, records, etc
    2. Funding of local non-governmental organisations
    3. Registered address
    4. Branch committees
    5. Branches not controlled by non-governmental organisation
    6. Audit of accounts
    7. Inspections and examination of accounts 

    PART V

    1. Investigations by Council
    2. Suspension of executive committee and appointment of trustees to manage organisation
    3. Registrar may adjudicate disputes with non-governmental organisations
    4. General offences and penalties
    5. Evidence and presumptions
    6. Contributions unlawfully collected
    7. Minister may dissolve certain organisations
    8. Disposal of assets of non-governmental organisations
    9. Regulations
    10. Transitional provision
    11. Repeals

    SCHEDULE: Provisions applicable to members of the board

    Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.