This is a summary of the notable changes to be introduced by the Private Voluntary Organisations (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Zimbabwe is a member of the
Financial Action Taskforce “FAFT” and these amendments to the Private
Voluntary Organisations Act [Chapter 17:05] are said to be motivated by FAFT’s
recommendations to Zimbabwe - in particular, recommendation 8 in Zimbabwe’s
Mutual Evaluation Report which provides that Private Voluntary Organisations “PVO”
can be abused by money launderers and terrorist financiers. It was stated to be
necessary to introduce clear laws in an attempt to prevent any potential abuse
in the PVO sector.
If a trust is
not registered as a PVO but is collecting contributions from the public, the
Registrar of PVO’s shall require the Trust to subscribe to a sworn declaration
that it shall not collect any contributions from the public. Alternatively, the
trust must register as a PVO.
of the Registrar
be a Registrar of PVO. However, until
such time as an appointment of the Registrar is made, the Director of Social
Welfare shall hold the office.
The Amendment Bill introduces a fee for
registration of a PVO. The fee seems to only be applicable to new applications.
A PVO can now
have its certificate of registration cancelled by the PVO Board (the Board) if
the PVO is found to be in support or opposition of any political party or
candidate in a presidential, parliamentary or local government election.
PVO can also have its certificate cancelled for breaching Section 7 of the
Political Parties (Finance) Act [Chapter 2:11] which provides that no foreign
national can solicit donations from the public on behalf of a political party
Reregistration or Amendment of
If there is a material change being;
a. a change in the constitution governing
the PVO that occurs upon the termination of the PVO with respect to the
disposal of its assets on the date of its termination;
b. any institutional or personnel change in
the management of the PVO;
c. any variation of the capacity of the PVO
to operate as a PVO;
the PVO must notify the PVO
Board of the same, and such amendment can either be accepted or rejected.
Executive Committee can be suspended for;
a. failing to act in accordance with the
objects of the PVO;
c. participating in illegal activities; or
d. if it is the public interest.
Minister can apply to the High Court to appoint one or more persons as trustees
to run the affairs of the organisation for a period of 60 days during which
period new members of the executive committee must be appointed.
Risk Assessment in relation to Private
Minister, in cooperation with the Financial Intelligence Unit shall at least
once every five years undertake a risk assessment of all PVOs. On the basis of
the risk assessment, the Minister may require a PVO to undertake specific
measures to mitigate the risk of abuse.
The Minister has been given
additional powers to make regulations on;
a. the procedure and frequency of meetings
of the Board;
b. conditions under which members of the Board
shall cease to hold office;
c. fees payable to the Board;
d. disclosure of sources of funding.
The Registrar now has the power to issue
civil penalty orders for non-compliance with the PVO Act or its regulations.
civil penalty may be issued more than twelve months from the date of default;
single civil penalty may be served in respect of two or more defaults committed
by the same defaulter within a single period not exceeding six months;
the same act is liable to both criminal and civil penalty proceedings, the
acquittal in criminal matter does not excuse the defaulter from liability
arising from the civil penalty proceedings.
GODLONTON & GERRANS
Floor Beverly Court
Nelson Mandela Avenue