The High Court has ruled that Tafadzwa Muguti has no legal grounds and power to give directives to Non Governmental Organisations or to bar their operations.
Muguti who is Harare’s Provincial Development Coordinator had directed NGOs to submit their work plans to his office failure of which they would be deregistered.
While some NGOs submitted their documents, others refused and took the matter to the Court.
In the ruling, the High Court said there are no laws that incorporate Muguti’s position on NGOs.
‘’As already discussed above, the Act has not yet been amended to incorporate the first respondent’s position.
“Until such a time that is done, the first respondent cannot issue directives to NGOs and purport to police them.
‘’In view of the foregoing, I find merit in the applicants’ application for an interdict pending the return day.
“They made out a prima facie case establishing the constitutional rights that are likely to be infringed on which NGOs have an inherent interest in.
‘’There is a reasonable apprehension of harm in that the operation of NGOs will be disrupted or stopped as per the press statement of the first respondent.
‘’The balance convenient favours the granting of the interdict. No prejudice will be suffered by the respondents if the interdict is granted pending the return day.
‘’On the other hand, the applicants and NGOs stand to suffer irreparable harm if the interdict is not granted as operations may be stopped at any time as threatened by the first respondent,’’ read part of the judgment.
Muguti position on NGOs emanates from the government’s view that some NGOs are diverting from their mandate and warding into politics.
The government is also trying to come up with the NGOs Amendment Bill which analysts believe is aimed at preventing NGOs from exposing human rights abuses and corruption in the country. -OpenparlyZw