Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke yesterday suspended 29 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for allegedly failing to register their operations with his office.
Maluleke said the suspended NGOs had ignored the December 31 2011 deadline they had been given to register their operations.
“I have no option, but to immediately suspend operations of NGOs which did not comply with our calls to get registered. We gave an October 21 deadline which we extended to December 31 last year, after realising that most NGOs had not complied, but I have noted that up to date, many still have not registered. This means that they were operating outside the confines of the law and have been suspended forthwith,” said Maluleke.
But National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) regional chairperson Sylvester Chin’anga condemned the action, saying the move would affect the grassroots people who benefitted from the affected NGOs.
“The impact of this is that it will stop the flow of aid to vulnerable beneficiaries as the NGOs try to comply or pull out,” said Chin’anga.
Among those suspended include the Jestina Mukoko-led Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), Ambassadors, Free the Children Trust, Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR Zimbabwe), Safire and Heifer Project.
Other NGOs which failed to comply were also referred to the Social Welfare for assistance.
These include Jairos Jiri Association, Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+), Zimbabwe Aids Network and the Magaretha School for the Blind.
Maluleke, who doubles up as Zanu PF Senator for Chiredzi, accused the NGOs of entering the province clandestinely and holding meetings without government approval.
“Some NGOs sneak into the provinces undercover and we only discover that there is something happening when there is a gathering where people are being registered for, we are told, humanitarian aid,” he said.
“Yet there are clandestine, high-profile visits from overseas to the villages, bypassing all other levels.
That should be stopped, and that is what we are trying to end.”
He demanded that NGOs should work in consultation with traditional chiefs, village heads and his office.