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Bill to be retabled
The Herald (Zimbabwe)
May 19, 2005
THE Non-Governmental Organi-sations (NGO)
Bill will soon be retabled in Parliament for the House to address
issues raised by President Mugabe before it is signed into law,
a Cabinet minister has said.
The Bill, which was passed by Parliament
last December, sought to provide for an enabling environment for
the operations, monitoring and regulation of NGOs.
In an interview on Monday, the Minister
of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Cde Nicholas Goche,
said stakeholders were being consulted with a view to addressing
the issues raised by President Mugabe.
"The NGO Bill was sent to the President
for assent and he did not do so because of one or two issues he
wanted to be addressed," he said.
"It will now be retabled before Parliament
for further consideration and consultations with stakeholders are
going on to have the issues raised by the President addressed."
The remarks by the minister put to rest
speculation from various quarters regarding the fate of the Bill.
According to the Constitution, the President
has 21 days to assent to a Bill or withhold his assent upon presentation
to him by Parliament.
"Where the President withholds his assent
to a Bill, the Bill shall be returned to Parliament and, subject
to the provisions of sub-section 3b, the Bill shall not again be
presented for assent," reads section 51 (3a) of the Constitution.
The proposed law sought to make NGOs
accountable after it emerged that some had been set up to serve
selfish interests of individuals.
It also provides for NGOs to work in
consultation with their line ministries and account for all funding
received from international donors.
Last year, NGOs failed to account for
at least US$89 million received from donors, a large chunk of which
was believed to have been channelled towards programmes meant to
destabilise the country. The Bill was passed after a protracted
debate between Zanu-PF Members of Parliament who supported it while
the MDC legislators opposed.
It sought to, among other measures, bar
foreign donations to organisations involved in governance issues.
The First Session of the Sixth Parliament
of Zimbabwe is set to resume sitting next month.
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