By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Among non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have been shut down by Harare Provincial Development Co-ordinator Tafadzwa Muguti on Thursday is First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s Angel of Hope Foundation.
In a communique seen by Nehanda Radio, Muguti said that all organisations that did not comply with his directive to seek operational clearance through his office should be banned with immediate effect.
Muguti named 40 organisations that complied with his directive. But many NGOs are not appearing on the list including the First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation.
“The office of the PDC would like to inform all the above mentioned NGOs, CBOs Trusts and all respective stakeholders that according to the Policy on Operations of Non-Governmental Organisations in Humanitarian and Development Assistance in Zimbabwe, published on 30 July 2003 by the Ministry of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare paragraph 5.1.1 (ii).
“The enlisted NGOs have been permitted to conduct their operations within Harare Metropolitan Province subject to them complying with the outlined procedures. Those that failed to comply with the request on the 30th of June 2021 shall with immediate effect be stopped by law enforcement from conducting any operations whatsoever until they fully comply with the policy,” read the statement.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum among others have not complied with his directive.
Many organisations have since refused to recognise Muguti’s office citing its establishment was against the country’s Constitution.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration has been accused of seeking to further close civil society space after it ordered NGOs operating within their jurisdiction to submit work plans for 2021 accusing them of straying from their mandate.
An observer who spoke on condition of anonymity said Muguti was overriding the Constitution.
“We wonder where Muguti gets his powers to stop the activities of NGOs without MOUs in Harare province. The courts of law must now pronounce on his stance as soon as NGOs file their papers challenging his unjust, unlawful and unreasonable action,” the observer said.