World & Community

NGOs bill to cut Zim’s US$4 million monthly taxes

By Staff Reporter

THE proposed NGOs bill which seeks to regulate the operations of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)   is likely to starve Zimbabwe of an estimated US$4 million in tax revenue if the worst case scenario of ordering the organisations to close shop takes effect, a latest survey has revealed.

The survey launched by local NGOs grouping says that the tax contribution of NGOs range between US$4000 to US$35 000 per month depending on the size of the NGO.

“So if one goes by the Zimfact statistics which states that Zimbabwe has over 1 000 NGOs and position the average tax payments at the lowest base of US$4 000 per month, this means the tax man is likely to lose US$4 million per month,” the survey reveals.

The PVO Amendment Bill was gazetted in 2021 and will amend the Private Voluntary Organisations Act.

Civic society organisations (CSOs), human rights groups and critics have condemned the Bill as an attack on democracy, with the clergy warning that it would disrupt charity and humanitarian services offered by churches.

But government believes that NGOs in the country have been abusing their privileges and in the process peddling falsehoods which negatively depict the country’s image on the international arena hence the need to clip their wings.

A recent latest report commissioned by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum in collaboration with the Southern Defenders and Accountability Lab titled: Punching Holes Into a Fragile Economy – The Possible Economic Impact of the Private Organisations Amendment Bill gazetted in November 2021, also warned that about 18 000 jobs in the NGO sector would be lost if the Bill is passed into law.

This would also likely affect hundreds thousands of people who survive through salaries of people employed in the NGO sector.

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