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Plot to raid NGO offices unearthed

Security forces might soon be raiding offices of some Non-Governmental Organisations that are involved in political activities, a source from the CID Law and Order Harare has alleged.

"There is an operation that might be implemented soon to do a raid on some NGOs who are engaging in acts political sabotage which is beyond their mandate under the PVO Act." The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said . "As you know that government recently raised a concern on how some of these NGOs have over stepped their prescribed boundaries and began to double in acts of inciting the people to revolt against the government.

"The situation is a bit tense because of the challenges in the country so the investigation point to the fact that if these NGOs are not stopped, they might cause more damage and end up with an undesirable situation."

The government recently announced that it might concider closing down some NGOs that are dabbling in political activities.

"The government has noted with great concerned that some private and voluntary organisations  and/or NGOs are have negated their objectives and are now meddling in politics." Said Minister Kazembe Kazembe .

"Should these organisations continue with this behaviour, the government will not hesitate to withdraw their registration certificates. This is within the confines of the PVO Act section 10 which gives government the mandate to de-register organisations which fail to comply with its terms of registrations."

The Private Voluntary Organizations (PVO) Act, originally introduced by the Rhodesian government and revived in 2002, sets out registration and funding requirements for NGOs.

 Civic organizations must register with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, and the minister appoints a PVO Board, which has extensive powers to scrutinize organizations' officers, finances, and activities.

Organizations in violation of board standards may be fined, their registration revoked or amended, or their members imprisoned. In 2005, the finances of scores of NGOs were investigated by inter-ministerial teams that included representatives of the Central Intelligence Organization.

Parliament in 2004 passed the Non-Governmental Organizations Act, which bars the registration of foreign NGOs engaged in "issues of governance," including human rights organizations, and bans domestic "governance" NGOs from receiving foreign funding.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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