Insiza NGOs abruptly suspended in documentation blitz

All Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating in Insiza District have been ordered to immediately cease operations until they provide relevant documentation and are cleared to operate in the district.

The Insiza District Development Coordinator (DDC), Zacharia Jusa, issued this directive in a letter dated January 17, 2024, citing an ongoing audit that requires documentation submission.

The Zanu PF-led government has repeatedly threatened to deregister NGOs or Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) that engage in politics. 

This recent action takes place in the context of plans to pass the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Bill, which would stifle the operating environment for NGOs by proposing harsh penalties, including up to a year in jail for perceived offences related to the NGO registration framework.

“An ongoing operational audit requires your organisation to submit the following information to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Insiza Rural District Council and the office of the District Development Coordinator (DDC) in line with the continuous monitoring exercise,” said Jusa.

The letter, also undersigned by Insiza rural District Council Chief Executive Officer, Shepherd Tshuma listed over 20 requirements that the NGOs must provide.

These requirements include: “Registration status (reg number to be included), Area of specialisation, Profiles of key persons (directors), Profiles for implementing partners (organogram), Passport size photos and Police clearance for administrative employees funding partners, Source of funding, Amount received for project, Banking details (account numbers), Account signatories, Financial statements for previous programmes, Amount granted for previous programmes and Expenditure for previous programmes.

Other requirements are “Partnerships for previous programmes, Foreign partners, Local partners, Needs assessment report, Impact assessment  reports, Relationships of NGOs and CSO activity with NDS1, NGO/CSO selections criteria of target trainees, Copy of signed board resolution from NGO/ CSO governing body of the meeting approving implementation and Duration of programme (not to exceed 12 months).”

The DDC said while NGOs are preparing this required documentation, they must stop their operations.

“Whilst preparing the above documentation, may you stop all operations with immediate effect. The prior request 2024 development programmes are still due,” Jusa said.

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