BY SILAS NKALA
THE National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) has rapped government over the suspension of Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (Cotrad) and the Zimbabwe Association of Churches and Hospitals (Zach) from carrying out their operations.
Masvingo district administrator, Roy Hove on March 11 ordered Cotrad to cease operations pending investigation on its registration, while Zach was also barred from holding any activities in the district because they were allegedly operating illegally.
“This development is regrettable considering the contribution these organisations are making to the district. We feel that these organisations are being victimised for the wrongs that are not clear. Nango has written to the district adminstrator to schedule an appointment to deliberate on the matter in view of finding a better solution that will not jeopardise development within the district,” Nango said in a statement.
“Nango will promptly update constituents on the outcome of this meeting. Cotrad, a member of Nango, is a trust registered with the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. The youth-oriented organisation was formed by a group of former student activists striving to promote informed and positive participation of youths and reintegrate victims of political violence into the mainstream society.”
Nango said Cotrad values respect for human rights and the desire to have Zimbabwe youth participating in the build-up to sustainable justice, freedom, peace, development, democracy, rule of law and security of all persons.
Cotrad on Thursday last week filed an urgent chamber application at the Masvingo High Court challenging government’s decision to suspend its operations.
“Zach is a non-profit-making membership-based association formally registered in 1974. It is registered under the Private Voluntary Organisations Act (Chapter 17:05). Zach consists of 126 members countrywide covering hospitals and clinics. The association links heads of Christian denominations, the Ministry of Health and Child Care and health providers and other agencies,” Nango explained.
“Nango is the officially recognised coordinating body of NGOs operating in Zimbabwe. It is the largest umbrella body for non-governmental organisations and was established in 1962. It is a non-partisan, non-profit-making organisation and non-denominational coordinating body of NGOs in Zimbabwe.”
The organisation said it was mandated by its membership to coordinate NGOs activities, represent the NGO sector and strengthen the voice of NGOs in Zimbabwe. The NGOs’ suspension came weeks after President Emmerson Mnangagwa, during a Zanu PF rally in Mwenezi district, said government will descend upon civil society organisations perceived to have influenced the violent January fuel protests. On February 15, 2012, then Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Titus Maluleke also read the riot act to NGOs operating in the province and indefinitely suspended 29 of them from conducting operations.