May 26, 2024

Court postpones NGOs court challenge against govt

THE High Court yesterday postponed to next week the hearing of an urgent chamber application by the civic society organisations (CSOs), which seek to stop government moves to cut their operations.

The matter was set for hearing before judge Justice Esther Muremba, but was postponed to August 13, to allow parties to file their heads of argument.

In the application filed at the High Court, the applicants, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said they wanted a court declaration that Harare provincial development co-ordinator (PDC) Tafadzwa Muguti, cited as the first respondent, had no regulatory powers over CSOs.

Muguti recently ordered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that defied his directive to submit work plans to stop operating.

Only 40 NGOs and CSOs complied with his directive, prompting him to ban the defiant organisations.

But in the court application the CSOs, represented by Tonderai Bhatasara of the Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights, said Muguti’s directive was unconstitutional and should be declared null and void. They also applied for an interim court order to allow them operating pending court determination of the constitutionality of the ban.

Harare Metropolitan Affairs minister Oliver Chidawu, Local Government minister July Moyo and Public Service minister Paul Mavima were also cited as respondents in the matter.

Source: NewsDay