Back to Index
to amend NGO Bill
Godfrey Marawanyika, The Zimbabwe Independent
October 15, 2004
to amend the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill to streamline the targeted
institutions by defining the contentious issues of governance.
The original Bill
went through its first reading in parliament last week.
The proposed legislation
will repeal the Private Voluntary Organisations Act to make it illegal
for NGOs involved in issues of governance to receive foreign funding.
The amendments have
now defined issues of governance as "issues stipulated in the first generation
rights as contained in the International Convenant on Civil and political
rights and also as spelt out under the African Charter 2-23", the amendment
Issues of governance,
according to the amendments, also entail "activities aimed at public transparency
The new amendments
define governance as activities aimed at strengthening public support
for an "understanding on anti-corruption programmes".
Governance means "furthering
and facilitating the interest or activities of a political party", says
expect Lovemore Madhuku said the new definition of governance was a way
of barring foreign funding for the local NGO sector.
"The government has
now decided to be more specific on what it means by human rights. By amending
the Bill they have streamlined who is targeted and they want to divide
the NGO sector, " Madhuku said.
The Bill, if enacted
into law, will also outlaw the registration of foreign NGOs whose "sole
or principal objects involve or include issues of governance".
Civic groups likely
to be affected include Crisis Coalition, Human Rights Trust of Southern
Africa, Transparency International and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
In the Bill, civic groups dealing with media rights and advocacy are not
covered under the definition of a non-governmental organisation.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.