George Charamba, the spokesperson of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has said the Zimbabwean leader will sign the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) bill into law “in spite of the extra-mandate noises” from United Nations (UN) experts.

Charamba speaks after the UN experts had warned Mnangagwa not to sign the PVO Bill into law arguing that it will further erode the already shrinking democratic space.

Four UN experts -Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Mary Lawlor, Irene Khan, and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin – appealed to Mnangagwa not to sign the bill.

In a Twitter post Charamba responded to an article which captured the report of the United Nations experts and said:

WHAT UNITED NATIONS? This highly misleading story by NewsDay stems from feigned ignorance or simply indolent journalism!

Special Rapporteurs report to respective relevant arms of the UN, the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly in this case, after a fact-finding visit to member countries of the United Nations.

Their reports must incorporate views of State Parties; they don’t just voice their personal opinions in the name of the UN, and ahead of tabling fact-based findings to relevant arms of UN.

This requires basic online checks, which the routinely misleading NewsDay has no time for. None of the quoted rapporteurs visited Zimbabwe to engage Govt on the PVO Bill which the President will sign, in spite of their extra-mandate noises, and lame editorial support of the useless NewsDay!

It is behaviours like these on part of adjunctive or associational figures of UN which puts UN agencies into disrepute, including being kicked out of African countries, as happened a few days ago in East and West Africa!

Opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader, Jacob Ngarivhume, responded to Charamba’s remarks saying there should be a public debate on the matter. He added:

President ED can articulate to the people why this bill is good for Zimbabwe.

Charamba responded by agreeing to the proposal of having a public discussion on the matter. He added:

Without demeaning the esteemed Office of the President of the Republic, do you volunteer to be the first to bring forth your reasons why this Bill should not be made into law, and then I can respond…

Charamba added:

Laws are made by the people through their elected representatives in Parliament. Get your facts right. Failure by a certain clique to influence things does not suddenly make it a President’s brainchild. The President ascents to Bills that would have passed legislative processes, in other words, the President, as an obedient servant of the people, is obligated to obey Constitutional dictates. In this case, he is not under obligation to disobey or disrespect Parliamentary debates & nationwide consultations that gave birth to this Bill.

The bill was passed by the Senate at the beginning of this month.