NGOs to refuse censorship

Civic organisations and pressure groups have vowed to resist attempts by provincial governor Titus Maluleke to censor the operations of NGOs, arguing that their programmes do not fall under the minister’s jurisdiction.

Speaking at the Masvingo Coordinating Committee meeting held at the ZCTU offices on Wednesday, representatives of various civic organisations said the directive from the office of the governor was uncalled for and would infringe on the operations of the NGOs. Maluleke allegedly wrote a letter instructing all NGOs to inform his office about their intended programmes with immediate effect.

The civic organisations said the move would negatively impact their operations.

Arnold Batirai, of Masvingo Youth network, said all civic organisations should resist the governor’s move, adding that it was a desperate political gimmick.

“Zanu (PF) is sensing danger and therefore they want to grab the limelight ahead of elections. They know that NGOs will carry out a lot of activities next year and they want to take advantage of such programmes to canvass for support ahead of polls,” said Batirai.

Brighton Ramusi of COTRAD Masvingo said Maluleke’s move should not be tolerated because he had no mandate to control the activities of NGOs.

“It unfair and unfortunate because they (Zanu (PF)) are keen to take advantage of our activities to gain political mileage,’ said Ramusi.

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