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Bill referred back to parliament
May 20, 2005
Non-Government Organisations (NGO) Bill passed by Parliament in
December last year has been referred back to parliament after the
lapse of the 21 days within which President Robert Mugabe should
have signed it into law.
the state-controlled national daily, The Herald, the Bill will soon
be retabled in Parliament to address issues raised by President
Mugabe before it is signed into law.
In an interview
on Monday, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,
Nicholas Goche, said stakeholders were being consulted to address
the issues raised by the President.
the Constitution, the President has 21 days within which to assent
to a Bill or withhold his assent upon its presentation to him by
The NGO Bill
seeks to provide for the operations, monitoring and regulation of
NGOs. It seeks to among other measures, bar foreign funding to organisations
that are involved in human rights and governance issues.
The Bill has
been widely condemned as designed to exert full and complete control
over NGOs and other human rights organisations thereby severely
curtailing people’s civil and political rights.
While the government
argues that the proposed law is meant to protect public interest
by ensuring that NGOs, donor and public funds are administered properly,
an analysis of the bill proves otherwise.
It seeks to
create criminals out of civil society organisations especially human
rights activists by providing excuses for intrusion, clampdown and
closures of NGOs.
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