By Staff Writer
LEGAL watchdog, Veritas says there is need for the Zimbabwe Republic Police to be engaged for the provision of security services during the ongoing Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) amendment bill hearings.
Government has tabled plans to amend the PVO Act amid concerns that most NGOs have departed from their designated mandate and alternated towards meddling in political affairs of the country, hence the need to place them under scrutiny.
Veritas Zimbabwe spokesperson Valentine Maponga said Parliament must engage the police to provide security during the hearings.
“Parliament must ensure and guarantee that members of the public are safe during and after public hearings.
“Police presence at hearings is highly recommended,” Maponga said.
The Zimbabwe Coalition for Debt and Development (Zimcodd) said: “For future consultations, there is a need for the government to provide security during the hearings to ensure the safety of participants and control rogue elements.”
Information deputy minister Kindness Paradza said it would be difficult for Parliament to involve the police in its processes.
“It’s up to Parliament to request for police coverage during their meetings,” Paradza said.
“But again Parliament is a democratic institution such that they would not involve police or any other uniformed security forces during these hearings.
“This is why they specifically bar people in uniforms or party regalia to be at these meetings. They want people to air their views freely.”
Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda said they had not received any request from the portfolio committee on labour, public service and social welfare to tighten security at the hearings.
“We deal with the parliamentary committee. It will make recommendations and we will address them,” Chokuda said.
“The committee has not yet tabled the report to parliament. When it reports that will inform us as Parliament and we will act from the report.”
The PVO Bill was gazetted in November last year and seeks to amend the current PVO Act.
Under the Bill, targeted organisations will now be subject to de-registration, broad control and regulation by the respective Ministry.