By Nkosana Dlamini
A group of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Harare have vowed they will not be bullied by Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti whom they accuse of unlawful attempts to interfere with their private affairs.
This follows a recent order by the bossy government functionary on all NGOs in the province to submit their 2021 workplans as well as information relating to workshops, commissioning of projects among other activities before 9 July.
Muguti also invited all NGO country directors to pay courtesy calls on him and the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution.
But in a defiant reply to the government official, the NGOs declared they will not be commandeered by an official who was trying to overstep his mandate.
“We have noted that you have not provided the legal basis upon which you have made this request. It would have been extremely helpful if such a basis had been clearly laid out,” said the NGOs in the letter they jointly authored.
“We believe you draw your mandate from the Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution.
“We note that although the Provincial Councils and Administration Act provides for provincial governors and provincial administrators, currently there are Ministers of State for provincial Affairs and Provincial development Coordinators.
“Your office of Provincial Development Coordinator is non-existent in statute…Your office therefore has no mandate to regulate the operations and clearances of NGO activities more specifically because: your functions are restricted to governmental development activities and your office has no executive functions.”
The NGOs dared the government official, adding they will seek legal recourse to “defend ourselves” if he insisted on putting them under the leash.
They include Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Media Alliance of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and seven other interest groups.