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SENATE HANSARD 1 FEBRUARY 2023 VOL 32 NO 13
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 1st February, 2023
The Senate met at Half–past Two o’clock p.m.
(THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE
NOMINATION TO THEMATIC COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I have to inform the Senate that Hon. Sen. Ndiweni has been nominated to serve on the Thematic Committees on Gender and Development and Peace and Security.
COLLECTION OF 2023 CALENDARS AND DIARIES
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: I also have to inform the Senate that the 2023 calendars and diaries are ready for collection at the Public Relations Office at Parks House, Third Floor, North Wing.
PRIVATE VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 10A, 2021]
First Order read: Second Reading: Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill [H.B. 10A, 2021].
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I rise to deliver my Second Reading Speech on the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill. The Bill before you today is very necessary measure to improve the administration, accountability and transparency of our charities in our country. The legal word in our country is Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs). Under our law, every charity that uses money collected from the public or donated from a foreign government or foreign agents is required to be registered as a PVO in terms of the Private Voluntary Organisation Act, which the Bill before you seeks to amend.
Let me say from the onset that our country benefits very much from the work of those PVOs which operate lawfully within our borders. PVOs provide support for communities in a wide range of areas, where the national or Local Government, for want of resources or expertise has been deficient for any reason. I am speaking of support and assistance in the form of programmes, projects, services, goods and money in such sectors as health and education provision, assistance to widows and orphans, the relief of poverty and hunger and the empowerment of women, youth and disabled.
We, as Government, are very grateful for the help given by the PVOs. The best PVOs have access to resources, experience and expertise, surely needed by the people they benefit. Therefore, from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of Government, I would like to applaud these PVOs for the great work they are doing. Accordingly, this Bill does not speak to those law abiding PVOs I have just mentioned but to the few who may have been tempted to use the guise of charity to carry out undesirable, harmful and criminal activities.
For instance, we received communication from the Financial Action Taskforce, which is the world’s policeman against money laundering that some charitable trusts are being misused as a means for channeling funds to fund terrorism and other criminal activities or to launder the proceeds of criminal activities by, for instance, buying out properties in Zimbabwe and other countries.
Mr. President Sir, we are also, as the Government, aware that some so called charities act in a politically partisan manner by directing money to favoured political parties or candidates at the expense of other political parties or candidates. Partisan assistance using foreign money or money collected from the public under the guise of charity must never be allowed to influence the outcome of national or local elections. In many developed countries, this kind of behaviour is understood to be harmful to the very idea of charity. In the United States for example, you cannot register any organisation, a non-profit organisation for tax purposes if that organisation campaigns or canvasses for any political candidate or party.
It is in this context that this Bill seeks to clean up the space within which PVOs may operate. For some time now, the Government has noticed that some so-called charities have completely by-passed the Private Voluntary Organisation Act by forming trusts sanctioned by the Registrar of Deeds, Companies and Intellectual Property. This is a device that is specifically permitted by the Act. Originally, the Government did not want to discourage families or individuals from forming family or private trusts to benefit family members or members of the public using their own resources. It is still not our intention to impose registration on these kinds of private trusts.
However, if it appears that any trust is using for charity purposes, foreign money, not generated by their own activities or investments or using money collected from members of the public; from the public at large, then they must be required somehow to register as a PVO under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act. We want such trusts to be accountable in the eyes of the public on the sources of their funds and the use to which they are put.
Mr. President Sir, it was realised that the procedures for registration under the Act need to be streamlined and expedited. This is why some of these charities have chosen the route of forming trusts, sanctioned by the Registrar of Deeds, Companies and Intellectual Property. We cannot run the risk of charities of a public character being used as a cover for theft, embezzlement, tax evasion, money laundering or partisan political activities.
I will not at this stage undertake a clause by clause analysis of the Bill. The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill admirably suits that purpose and I encourage Hon. Senators to read it carefully. With these words, I urge Hon. Senators to support this Bill, which is intended to promote a better, safer and more conducive environment for the operation of PVOs in our country. I move therefore, that the Bill be read a second time.
*HON. SEN. KOMICHI: Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to add my voice to this debate. I would like to thank the Minister of Justice for bringing the PVO Bill to this august House. Hon. Minister, you concur that these organisations play a critical role of welfare issues in Zimbabwe. These organisations play a role which is not covered by Government in rural areas, in different areas, in education, health, public awareness, in different projects, at times giving food aid. There is a big gap in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is a country that does not have a strong economy which can cater for every Zimbabwean. So these different NGOs are covering that gap. So the job that they do is quite big and I am glad that you appreciate and we also appreciate that. These services that are offered by NGOs are found the world-over so that things go well in those countries. For example, in Zimbabwe, they have been playing a big role in health, family planning, HIV and other areas. We need to enact conducive laws. When you enact a law and there is public outcry, it means that law is not good. When a husband enacts a law and the recipients of that law are not happy, whether they are children or the mother, that law is not good. Zimbabweans are panicking in different communities, especially those who work with the laws that you are enacting Hon. Minister. This law is quite obscene, like saying that someone should go without wearing any clothes. This law takes away the freedom of people who are working. The previous laws were quite good enough. They were protecting the issues that we were highlighting. We have never seen an organisation which threatens the Government in Zimbabwe. That has never happened. If there is anything that is feared from such organisations, please relax because no organisation has such capacity. You are just misdirecting efforts to organisations that are not a threat. So there is no threat in these NGOs.
The law should please the people and people should be happy when laws are enacted. In this case, the PVO Amendment Bill is not a good law. It infringes upon the rights of the people. It is as if this law is meant for opposition political parties as if the Government of Zimbabwe does not want opposition. It seeks to suppress opposition politics in the country. It seeks to silence dissenting and opposing voices using the law because Parliament will approve. It will say yes, yes but consequently this is going to suppress opposition politics and the democratic process. In a democracy, there should be different voices. People should air their views. They should converge, discuss and plan their things. In the 42 years that Zimbabwe has been led by you, I have not seen an organisation which is a threat to the Government.
I do not support this law because it is retrogressive. It takes us back to what we were fighting for as opposition. We have been fighting for democratic space in Zimbabwe. We had gone strides in attaining democracy and we were being emulated by other countries that there is democracy in Zimbabwe but it is like we are on reverse gear. We are retracing our footsteps back to where you would find people in streets expressing displeasure and concern over such issues. Hon. Minister, I am going to be honest. This law is not good. Please do not enact this law. We can still work with what is there. I thank you Mr. President Sir.
*HON. SEN. SIPANI-HUNGWE: Mr. President, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to air my views regarding the Private Voluntary Organisation Amendment Bill which is going to affect NGOs. Indeed, such organisations come under the pretext of people wanting to bring welfare. We are not opposed to that, the issue is that the law which was brought by the Hon. Minister is a good law indeed. There is no country where anyone can just get in and do what they want. Everyone knows that this country was colonized by the Westerners or the whites.
The people of Zimbabwe, having seen the subjugation that was done by the imperialists, decided to take up arms to fight for independence. Now that we are independent, we find people coming from other countries as wolves covered in sheep skins. They come and divide the people but the issue is that NGOs should focus on their mandate of charity and welfare issues. You would find most of them interfering in local issues and domestic politics. If we do not take this seriously, we might find ourselves recolonised. There is a mother and father in a home and there are laws in every home which govern visitors and people who come into that home. There is a chair for the father which cannot be occupied by visitors. You find Non-Governmental Organisations coming into the country having been received and entertained so that they perform their charity responsibilities but you find them interfering in political issues. They must leave Zimbabweans to participate in their own politics.
It is important that opposition should be there but as Zimbabweans, we need to participate in the democratic process. You will find NGOs carrying sugar and poison. At the end of the day, this is not good. I stand to support the Bill which is good for the people of Zimbabwe who plan their own things. In every home, there are brothers and sisters and they should allow us as siblings to deal with our family matters as a nation. Hon. Minister, I am 100% behind the Bill because as Zimbabweans, we need to support the Bill as the Senate and the august House. You might say Hon. Hungwe, why are you saying that? I went to the rural areas when NGOs were distributing mealie-meal. After giving women the mealie-meal, it was written that you should vote for a particular party. This indeed shows that they were interfering in internal processes.
Hon. Minister, you have brought Bills into this august Senate but this Bill is excellent. As Senators, we are people who are seasoned and mature and we need to support this Bill because it makes our home to be in good standing. I thank you Mr. President Sir.
*HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: Thank you Mr. President, I have a few words to contribute to the Bill …
THE HON. DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Order, order may you please connect? You may proceed.
*HON. SEN. KAMBIZI: I have a few words Mr. President Sir. Firstly, there is a common adage that says, once bitten, twice shy. There is no snake that is not dangerous no matter how small. Thirdly, we cannot say this enemy is a small enemy because an enemy is an enemy. When an enemy comes into your home, then you have to shoot them. Let me say that this Bill is meant to protect our home, no matter how young a child is.
When you hear a disabled person saying I will beat you up, then believe that person. I am saying that these PVOs really help and we appreciate that. Some clearly define their mandate and they do that and this helps our people. There are however, others who come covered in sheep’s skin when they are cunning wolves. Such NGOs are the ones that we are talking about. We do not want such NGOs. We are saying this law is good. We support the law because we want genuine NGOs and people who are interested in the welfare of the people.
The problem Mr. President is that our people sometimes rely on these PVOs because there are sanctions that were slapped upon our nation by the same western countries. This food aid is not coming freely but comes with conditions attached. You are told to take food with conditions.
Let me end Mr. President by saying there is no country without an Opposition Party. Zimbabwe is a democratic country that respects the Constitution, freedom of expression; freedom of association and this is followed. However, we are saying if I fight with my own brother, why should a stranger come and try to divide us as brothers? If you find such a person coming into the family, you will discover that they have an ulterior motive.
As Zimbabweans, we fight and argue but we correct each other and can work together. The Opposition is ours; these are Zimbabweans. We socialise together but when someone from outside the country comes, then you discover that they come to destroy relationships. So this Bill is good for us as Zimbabweans because it allows us to move and work freely as Zimbabwean citizens without any interference. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. TONGOGARA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the PVO Bill which was tabled by the Hon. Minister to this august House.
Mr. President, every home has laws. It was really worrisome when we were seeing people doing what they want. So, this Bill indeed, is a good Bill and we appreciate. This is going to stop people with ulterior motives who just come from wherever they are coming from to interfere in our internal processes. Mr. President, opposition is good and democratic. It is made up of Zimbabweans. The ruling party is made up of Zimbabweans. We are all Zimbabweans whether ruling party or opposition. We need to work together as Zimbabwean nationals and not to be influenced by PVOs who call people and pay them off to follow whatever has been authored by PVOs.
We have seen people fighting and killing each other because of the invisible hand. Mr. President, we need to learn and understand where we want to go because what was happening was not good. So Hon. Minister, what you have done is a good thing. The President usually says that the country is built by its own people. We are the owners of Zimbabwe, we are Zimbabweans and we follow the laws of the land. Those who come to Zimbabwe should also abide by the laws of the land so that there is development and peace in Zimbabwe, not to be influenced by foreigners and people who come with ulterior motives, trying to divide Zimbabweans.
Lastly Mr. President, we appreciate this Bill and I support it. It is important that there be laws that govern the land. I thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity.
*HON. SEN. MABIKA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity. When the Hon. Minister was tabling the Bill, he stated that the Bill would benefit PVOs that operate lawfully. What I did not hear is that those that operate outside the law will face what prosecution or what measures would be taken against those who operate outside the law.
In order for someone to join a burial society, they must read the terms and conditions and adhere to them. If PVOs want to operate, they should adhere to the law. Those that operate lawfully are the ones that are needed. I also like the fact that or maybe using the Shona adage that says, if you want to see a cow then you should touch the calf. In Zimbabwe, Opposition Parties are allowed; if an NGO wants to be an opposition then they should register as a political party and if they want to do charity work; then they should follow their mandate of being charitable organisations and not come with ulterior motives pretending to be sheep. Otherwise this would not work because they have a different mandate. We appreciate this Bill and my view is that we need to accept the PVO Bill and allow it to pass because it is good for the people of Zimbabwe. It is going to benefit the people of Zimbabwe and it has nothing to do with political parties.
In the rural areas, PVOs are giving money to other people and some people are not benefitting from those monies. So PVOs adhere to the laws of the land. Even the games that are played by our children have laws which govern such games. If you want to operate as a PVO, then it is important to adhere to the law. This Bill should pass and it comes at an opportune time. This is a time where you find NGOs giving people money so that they follow what they want. I thank you.
*HON. SEN. CHIMBUDZI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words to the Bill which was brought to this august House this afternoon by the Hon. Minister. I will start by thanking the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. Indeed Hon. Minister, you are doing a good job. This Bill comes at an opportune time. It was actually supposed to be a law already. However, we appreciate that the Bill has come to this august House. As Zimbabweans, we are enacting our laws as a nation. Let me say that we have challenges that we see happening. Zimbabwe is being punished in a lot of things.
IMF is told that it should not support Zimbabwe because there is no rule of law. You find NGOs saying the operating environment is not conducive but the Bill is going to regulate the operations of that sector and there will be peace in Zimbabwe. When we talk of democracy, we must not manipulate and twist it. Democracy was brought by the sacrifice and the sweat of our young men and women who went to war to fight for independence.
Women were not allowed to vote. They were not allowed to open bank accounts and they were not allowed to come to Parliament but the liberation struggle brought about independence and democracy which allows the people of Zimbabwe to exercise their different freedoms and the different rights that are enshrined in the Constitution because there is democracy, like what different Hon. Senators have said. Even 150 political parties will be okay because that is democracy. This is what young men and women fought for, to attain independence and to attain such freedoms. They fought for us so that we would be able to come and deliberate on issues, meet and enact laws which protect such freedoms. So we need to pass this Bill because it is good for the people of Zimbabwe. I thank you Mr. President.
*HON. SEN. CHIRONGOMA: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity. I stand up to contribute and I will start by appreciating the Hon. Minister who brought this Bill to the august House, the Bill which we believe is good for the people of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a free nation. A person is allowed to come to Zimbabwe but they must adhere to the rules and laws of the nation. We support the Bill. We are not enemies with the opposition parties but we are relatives and we live in the same communities yet NGOs would want to divide us as a people.
Some Hon. Senators have explained and in the past, you would find that when NGOs were distributing food aid packages, there were political party logos and the flyers which were attached to food donations. We saw this happening in Zimbabwe. We support this Bill fully because it is good and it brought us to this august House to represent the people. They contributed and they said that they do not want people who come with ulterior motives. All they want is to live in a free country. So we support this Bill and I thank you.
HON. SEN. MOHADI: Thank you Mr. President for giving me this opportunity to add a few words to this Bill which has been presented by the Hon. Minister whom I also want to thank. I think this Bill was brought at the right time of the year, especially 2023 as we shall be going for elections. These PVOs come in a very nice way saying that they are going to assist in Zimbabwe. The Government of Zimbabwe gives them a nod to go ahead. When they are within the country, they have their own hidden agendas which they will be pursuing through. You heard many of the Hon. Senators talking about people being given assistance in the form of food but inside the packages, there are different stories altogether.
Our people are said to be suffering and every month they go to the banks and you find that money is sent in and others are taken from the banks saying that those monies are assisting our people yet they are destroying our country. There are private organisations talking today, you find that there is something that is taking place at the moment whereby farmers who were in the country and those that left this country are now sending their sons and daughters back saying that they want to assist the people. If the Government gives them the green light, they will then start to do what they want. People are being given different things in the form of food or goodies. Some are given stoves so that they do not cut down trees and looking at it, these things are not very useful but you will find that people will be so happy to receive the goodies but the companies will be having a hidden agenda.
Where are these private organizations taking the country to? We must be very worried and we must support this Bill so that we stop all what is happening because that is another form of campaigning. Mr. President, with these few words, I support this Bill.
HON. SEN. DR. MAVETERA: Thank you Mr. President Sir for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to this Bill that has been brought to this august Senate by the Hon. Minister. Before I add my voice to this important Bill, I think it would be pertinent for me to just draw ourselves down memory lane. PVOs are a symptom of poverty. All of us here, in 1980 were already born, and the first 10 years of independence, there were no PVOs. So what brought PVOs?
Mr. President, the deteriorating socio-economic crisis of the country, the hallmark of calling for these PVOs comes in. Unfortunately, when you are hungry and are a beggar, you do not take due diligence and they take advantage and bring in all their other agendas. This is actually what we should be taking about. So, with all due respect, PVOs are not linked to opposition. I think we need to be clear as a nation so that we do not fight amongst ourselves. This is how they are achieving their goals because the ruling party is saying PVOs are opposition and opposition has not gotten a cent, so we are fighting. This is exactly the whole point of PVOs. For those who care to listen, there is no way where there are non-governmental organisations where there is no social upheaval. What is the reason? It is because we are inviting these foreign organisations through our mismanagement of the economy topinza muvengi mumba. PVOs, I have to be very honest, I have worked for an NGO, I was actually a country director for an NGO and I know all the shenanigans that happen in NGOs. At one time they labeled me an operative of the State because I knew as a citizen of Zimbabwe, there are certain things that I uphold. I am a Zimbabwean citizen first and everything else follows. So all NGOs have an agenda - they are not Father Christmas. We must be very careful as Government and as a people that we are opening these doors by doing corruption.
It is a symptom of how we govern ourselves. Now at the end of the day, we will end up with a case like Somalia, fighting. I was listening to the debates; with all due respect, some are trying to say a PVO is synonymous with opposition, that is completely out. The problem is that we need to sort our country, we need to correct the economy. You will never have PVOs coming in this country.
We are selling our country for cooking oil and beans, this is what they bring. There is no country that develops with PVOs; you need to know that, it is not a secret neither is it political.
Let me now look at what is happening in the world for those who are politically conscious. Every country whose government has either social upheaval or civil disobedience, the prelude to that is an influx of PVOs. That is a fact, you cannot deny it, it may not be popular but I am a member of the opposition, I am very angry to be associated with PVOs because we have not benefited anything from these PVOs’ – [HON. SENATORS: Hear, hear.] – So the truth is, I support this Bill but we need to craft it in a manner that we do not fall into the pitfalls of these organisations and say there is no rule of law and this tichitadza kufunga zvakakana.
This Bill is very important; I will tell you - for those who want to listen, all the directors, all the senior workers of these PVOs are actually operatives of intelligence of foreign Government. That is a fact, you cannot deny it. It is a fact that I am a Zimbabwean, I was born a Zimbabwean and I am going to die in Zimbabwe. I have been requested to work outside the country but I refused, saying I want to work for my country. I cannot have those people come and destabilize the country for the sake of their personal agendas.
Look at what is happening in Ukraine - that is a result of PVOs, nothing more. They will come but we are saying they do not come and force us when we actually invite them. So how should we close those gaps so that we do not invite them? Let us solve our problems. Honestly, we cannot have social unrest because we allowed some organisation to bring beans, cooking oil and mapfunde.
Now we have had forty years of independence. For those who care, how many PVOs do we have? They said poverty alleviation and all that. Are you now out of poverty? You will never get out of poverty but you will sink into poverty when you invite PVOs. I am not saying they are bad, but as a country we need to make sure we screen whoever and they should literally stay in the lane of their mandate.
Hon. Minister, I know sometimes we get emotional and reason emotionally, but let us not draft an emotional Act.
This has nothing to do with your campaign in July this year. I am telling you all Hon. Members this is about Zimbabwe. Yes, we may want to campaign but all of us, through you Mr. President, might not be here because we could lose during the elections. So it is not about campaigning, it is about Zimbabwe. I want to stay in a good Zimbabwe.
So definitely what I am saying Mr. President is a fact. PVOs are not good for the country, but because you have failed to manage your affairs munopedzisira makumba nevaroyi and that is exactly what you are doing and you blame them. They call you, you open the door and allow them to come in and do what they want and you say why they are doing that. Close the door. How do we close it? By empowering our people and making sure that there is no poverty. Mark my word, anyone who gives a proposition that the country will be better with PVOs, unfortunately I do not want to sound insulting but we may need to have a psychiatric examination of that person because I have witnessed this. For all the years I have been here, I have never seen any improvement. I am telling you I am talking from experience. I worked for a PVO and most of the things I said no this is Zimbabwe. Most of these so called technocrats from foreign countries – they bring in an NGO, they say they give you a technical partner. Those technical partners are intelligence agencies. That is a fact. You do not need to argue. If you want to argue you can argue. You can say Hon. Sen. Mavetera has gone berserk, but that is a fact.
Personally I have no problem with this Bill because we are Zimbabwean and Zimbabwe is the only country I will be in and I need to be protected. I do not need to see people coming in and causing problems in our country. When they go to their country, tinosara tichirovana. Right now you are all symptomatic of the effects of PVOs. Right now my colleague there says that PVOs are opposition but that does not make sense. We are not enemies we are together. That is reality, that is what we are doing and if you do not see it and continue along that narrative, then we are not going to go anywhere as a people.
No one owns these PVOs. It is CIA and M15 that you are seeing. You do not own them. They will give you money. Of course we had impoverished our people such that when a Zimbabwean is made a director of a PVO and is given those big cars, he forgets that he is Zimbabwean first. Arikutengwa nenzara. So let us make sure that our children, our people are not bought by poverty and end up akutotengesa nyika. That is a fact Mr. President.
I do not think there is anything bad about this Bill but there are certain sections which actually were influenced by these PVOs resulting in us hating each other and inviting people to say in Zimbabwe there are human rights abuses or violations. All that is nonsense. That is a security issue. So we need to be aware and be on the forefront to vaccinate ourselves as a nation from these PVOs and the thing is let us stop corruption. Let us share the little we have as a nation. We have got super rich people here and very poor people. Let us share. I have never heard of anyone who was buried with their Ferrari. We leave all our possessions when we die. Why do you not share and make other people happy and you continue to live.
This is the symptom and cure. The PVO Bill, Minister, if you had brought your statistics from 1980 to 1985 there were no NGOs in Zimbabwe. In 1985 one or two were started because we were fighting a war. In 1990, when you started to think about land, they started to come in and this is the problem. It is an economic and political issue and we are actually giving them the leeway. Right now we have removed our eyes from the ball, the ruling party is saying PVO is opposition and opposition is saying this and that. You have already been confused.
To me Mr. President, this Bill is actually an emotional issue. We are victims of NGOs. I want fellow Zimbabweans to put their differences aside and think like Zimbabweans and to stop being exploited by these NGOs. Yes, they will give you oil like I said. Look at the things which they give you. If you are given beans next year what will they give you so that they continue to loiter around within your environment. You will never remove them. Ingozi yamapinza mumba and we need to retrace our footsteps. Let us put Zimbabwe first, think like Zimbabweans, feel for each other and develop our country so that we do not have any poverty which will actually make us prone to this.
With those few words Mr. President Sir, allow me to thank the Minister for bringing this Bill. This Bill to me is actually one of the most important Bills ever brought in this august House because it has something to do with security of the nation and which is actually our well-being as a people. I thank you Mr. President Sir.
+HON. SEN. DUBE: Thank you Mr. President. I would like to second this Bill. This is a very important Bill and I agree with this Bill. I come from Matabeleland North. We are bordering Zambia and Mozambique. These PVOs are good but when they come into the country, they must carry out what they agreed with the Government that they will carry out. When they go out into the communities, they must not start spreading other things.
We are not saying that PVOs are for the opposition. If there is hunger in the home, the father is also allowed to go and borrow or to ask from the neighbour but the mother cannot go about saying that there is hunger, my husband is useless and so forth but it is not correct for them then to go about and say your husband is not okay or your father is not okay, so I have brought food for you. If they go to other places, to the community, they start preaching another gospel which is not correct.
We are saying the PVOs are good but they must stick to their mandate. They should not cause problems within the community where people start fighting amongst themselves and writing on the board about other people. If you are a councillor or maybe a Member of Parliament, then they raise the name and say we do not want this Member of Parliament and yet the Member of Parliament or the councillor was elected by the members of the community. We are not saying they come here because they were sent by other people to come and do what they do. Zimbabwe is going to be built by its own people. If these PVOs want to go into politics, they should go into politics and let the people vote for them but they should not disturb the Government that allowed them to operate.
We are not saying that they are from the opposition. We have over 50 opposition parties here. Yes, we agree that they assist; they give us porridge for the children or 2kgs of sugar, that is correct. I agree with this Bill and it has come at an opportune time because people are fighting over these PVOs in the communities. Some of the PVOs, not all of them, when they come may be to the DDC, they sign agreements with them but when they get into the communities, they do not do what they are supposed to be doing.
Politicians should also carry out their mandate but not from the PVOs. They must do what they are mandated to do. I come from a place where there are so many PVOs. From the way they operate, you can tell that they do not respect the laws of the country. Even at home, people should follow the laws that are put by the father of the home. They should not come and say get out of the home because there is no food. I thank you Mr. President.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President. I want to thank the Hon. Senators for the robust debate. I just have a few comments; the first being Hon. Sen. Komichi who had reservations about the Bill, indicating that it will take away freedoms from our people. On the contrary Mr. President; those NGOs that are law abiding, there is nothing to fear but we were getting into a scenario where somebody would just wake up to register a trust, goes on to get public funds and start operating, no regulations whatsoever. That was tantamount to stealing money from people. Any public funds must have some form of regulations. Even donor funds, we need to have some uniformity with other countries as to what you are doing.
All we are saying is, if you come and you say you are going to assist with water sanitation, you do not have business getting into political lobbying. If you are saying you are going to provide beans, if I may borrow the example, why do you then go and influence people? You came and you said there is food insufficiency in the country, so stick to what you said you came for. That is all what we are saying. What we are saying is, we want to put mechanisms to protect our society from unscrupulous people. There are some who may actually decide to do money laundering or finance terrorism through these NGOs. So, we are saying we want to follow the money where it is going and there is nothing to be alarmed about. When the Government is following the money that you said you are bringing in US$1 million for borehole drilling and we find out that you have drilled two boreholes, we would say where is the other money, and that also raises an alarm.
We believe that this is a progressive piece of legislation and I want to thank the Hon. Members, Hon. Sen Tongogara, Hon. Sen. Mabika, Hon. Sen. Chimbudzi, Hon. Sen. Chirongoma, Hon. Sen. Dube and Hon. Sen. Mavetera for a robust debate and I agree that under normal circumstances, as a nation, we must be able to look after ourselves. That is a fact but as we correct the deficiencies that happened, that is the reason why I said we need to thank those law abiding PVOs for the work that they are doing.
However, you would find that where some of these NGOs go to operate, if Government comes through Social Welfare to give food aid and there is an NGO, you will see people rushing to them because they confuse us, if I may borrow what he said. They confuse us by bringing their agendas. So we are trying to control that. If you are coming, we know the mandate that you have and we want you to stick to that mandate while we correct our issues because we do not need NGOs; if we can have it that way, we do not need them. They create confusion like what Hon. Sen. Mavetera was saying that we end up fighting amongst ourselves and they will be standing there.
In fact they enjoy that fight, it is a very fertile ground – one saying that I heard as if you want to steal without any problem, allow brothers to fight. While they are fighting, you simply take and they will not notice. That is what they do; they allow us to fight so that they can also loot. It happened in other countries but by and large, this is a very good piece of legislation. We can always improve it if we feel that there are areas that are deficient but we believe that it is a progressive piece of legislation that will ensure that we will not fight amongst ourselves if NGOs follow this piece of legislation. With those words, I move that the Bill be now read a second time. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Committee Stage: With leave, forthwith.
PRIVATE VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 10A, 2021]
House in Committee.
Clauses 1 to 18 put and agreed to.
(v)HON. SEN. B. MPOFU: Thank you Hon. Chair. I realise that every clause is now being amended. Is it still an amendment Bill or it is now a Bill on its own? If it is a Bill on its own, should it not have gone through the appropriate public consultations rather than coming in here as an amendment?
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Madam Chair, the title of the Bill is Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill. So in reading the clauses, it will indicate that we are amending a certain section of the existing Bill. So it is not a new Bill whereby when you are putting the clauses, you will not indicate that it is amending a certain section. So, the way we are doing it is very proper. I thank you.
Clauses 19 to 35 put and agreed to.
Bill reported without amendments.
Third Reading: With leave, forthwith.
PRIVATE VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS AMENDMENT BILL [H. B. 10A, 2021]
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE, LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Mr. President Sir, I move that the Bill be now read the third time. I thank you.
Motion put and agreed to.
Bill read the third time.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr. President Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Senators for a good job and say well done.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the Senate adjourned at Fourteen minutes past Four o’clock p.m.