PVO Bill might ban war veterans association for engaging in politics

PVO Bill might ban war veterans association for engaging in politics
Constitutional expert Brian Crozier says PVO Bill can also ban war veterans association if not craefully thought

PVO Bill might ban war veterans association for engaging in politics

Legal expert Brian Crozier says the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill (PVO Bill) which is before Parliament can even ban war veterans associations.

The PVO Bill will ban PVOs from engaging in political work to supporting or opposing political parties.

Speaking during a media workshop on PVO Bill organised by Veritas Zimbabwe, Crozier said not only is the Bill unconstitutional but has the effect to close war veterans associations.

‘’We have war veterans associations which are formed for the welfare of war veterans now those associations have been known in the past to engage in political activities, in fact, I don’t think they have engaged in anything else in the past, they will be banned under this Bill.

‘’So, war veterans who engage in political activities will be liable to severe penalties which are laid down in the Act,’’ he said.

The Bill was sent to the Parliamentary Legal Committee in dramatic fashions, where legislators who were participating virtually were denied an opportunity to debate during the Committee Stage.

This resulted in several proposed amendments sailing through without debate or opposition.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislators in the National Assembly, Edwin Mushoriwa and Innocent Gonese have since complained to Speaker Jacob Mudenda.

Mudenda in his ruling said he was going to read the Hansard of the day to get what happening before making his ruling.

If passed into law, the PVO Bill affects the operations of PVOs in the country, it will give the minister power to interfere with the internal structures of PVOs among other things.

Speaking on the same occasion Veritas Zimbabwe director Val Ingham-Thorpe said the country’s international image is tied to the Bill. She said that could affect the re-engagement process with the West, which Zimbabwe is trying to drive since coming in of the Second Republic in November of 2017.

PVO Bill might ban war veterans association for engaging in politics

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