Makoni council bans 30 NGOs

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
OVER 30 civic society organisations (CSOs) have been banned from operating in Makoni district, Manicaland province, after they failed to register with the local authority as ordered by the chief executive officer Manicaland province.

In a letter to the NGO Forum chairperson dated February 15, 2022, Pisa stated that all NGOs that would not have paid registration fees by February 28, 2022, would be banned from operating.

He then set renewal registration fees at US$100 and US$200 for new registrants.

“Please be advised that all NGOs operating in the district should have registered with the council by February 28, 2022. Failure to register the respective NGOs should cease operations,” Pisa’s letter read.

“The renewal fees for NGOs still stands at US$100 and new registration at US$200.”

The NGOs, through their lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), said they would challenge the ban.

“It appears that the Zimbabwean authorities are remaining intransigent, with Makoni Rural District CEO Edward Pisa writing a letter to the NGO Forum in Makoni district telling it that those NGOs, which fail to register with the local authority by today, should cease operations,” the ZLHR said yesterday.

“Our lawyer Taurai Khupe is assisting the NGOs in Makoni to challenge this purported ban. This purported ban of NGOs in Makoni comes less than six months after High Court judge Justice (Esther) Muremba ordered the government to stop interfering with, or stopping the operations of NGOs.”

In July last year, Harare metropolitan provincial secretary Tafadzwa Muguti banned all NGOs and private voluntary organisations, which defied a directive to report to him, from operating.

The High Court, however, ordered government to stop interfering with the operations of NGOs, trusts, civic society organisations and faith-based organisations in a court challenge against Muguti’s directive.

Government has put in place various measures, including crafting laws to clamp down on NGOs that it accuses of meddling in politics.

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