THE outcry by civil society organisations (CSOs) and non-governmental organisations over the proposed Private Voluntary Organiastions (PVO) Amendment Bill justifies our suspicion that some of these entities have sinister motives.
We wonder why the palpable panic, as if the proposed amendment seeks to proscribe them!
Surely they shouldn’t expect to operate carte blanche in a normal country.
Regulations that safeguard the security of any country are a given the world over.
For a start, it is a legitimate requirement that the Government knows the source of funding for any CSO or NGO.
Terrorist organisations have been known to fund such organisations clandestinely with the purpose of the ‘dirty’ money not being reflected on the books.
This has been brought to the attention of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global watchdog against money laundering and terrorist financing.
So, to seek accountability on sources of funding in order to plug loopholes on money laundering and secret funding of terrorism is in line with the requirements of FATF.
Zimbabwe will not be alone in this — for this is in conformity with international best practice in curbing these ills.
Moreover, these NGOs are also not expected to use their cash to secretly fund political parties.
But then, if a CSO’s sources of money and its distribution are ‘clean’, there is no need for panicking.
And by trying to regulate and check the source of funding, NGOs are crying that their operational space will be limited by Government.
But if closing space means stifling CSOs’ freedom to earn ‘dirty’ money, so be it.
Even the conduct of some of these CSOs and NGOs has to be monitored as dictated by their utterances in the present political environment.
We have this powerful and cash-rich project like the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) we wrote about last week.
It is a project which claims that its business is the promotion of ‘democracy’.
However, NED is more known for funding non-governmental groups as conduits to overthrow governments the US doesn’t want.
Zimbabwe’s ZANU PF is no exception.
NED is funding women and youth groups, among others, which are overtly supportive of the gospel of regime change.
We have hundreds of these groups, with some of them acting as outright extensions of the Western-backed CCC.
Why should these partisan organisations be given a blank cheque to participate in political activities, something not in line with their stated objectives.
No government in the world, Zimbabwe included, can fold its arms and watch a CSO or NGO work towards its downfall.
Appropriate regulations are, therefore, necessary to guard against this
Some of these non-governmental organisations tend to spoon-feed villagers with goodies, while at the same time preaching regime change.
Ideally, genuine NGOs should be starting projects with the people as a means of empowering them.
We appreciate apolitical NGOs which act as empowering vehicles.
Otherwise with the current modus operandi of most CSOs, we would be better off without them.
After all, most of these overseas-based NGOs, which act as benefactors, are used to enrich their nationals who head them.
At local level, most of the top executives have been found to live luxurious lives, diverting donor funds for personal use, as USAID can testify.
By being vociferous in promoting the regime change agenda, and nothing else, the donors have been hoodwinked into believing their money is being used productively.
We expect when the amendment is finally debated in Parliament, the security of the country at large will be the key factor in influencing the legislators.