THE banning of non-governmental organisations through the proposed Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs) Amendment Bill will have dire economic and political consequences for Zimbabwe that could spiral into a serious crisis, human rights groups have warned.

The government is pushing for the PVOs Act to monitor and ban NGOs perceived to be political. Parliamentary hearings have already begun, although wracked with violence in some parts of the country where suspected Zanu-PF activists have been accused of trying to block others from contributing.

According to a report released this month on the possible economic impact of the PVOs Amendment Bill gazetted in November 2021, by the Southern Defenders, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and the Accountability Lab Zimbabwe, the country is set to lose millions of United States dollars by banning the NGOs who are contributors of the much-needed foreign currency in the country.

“By restricting the activities of NGOs, the amendment Bill will likely restrict political and economic freedom in the country. The country already performing badly in the major economic indices,” the report reads in part.

According to the 2022 Monetary Policy statement, NGOs are the third biggest earners of foreign currency in the country after export proceeds and diaspora remittances.

Originally published in Bulawayo24News