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NGO lay-offs threat to economy
The Standard (Zimbabwe)
15 000 people
stand to lose their jobs ZIMBABWE'S economy is expected to experience
another meltdown if the Non Governmental Organisations Bill becomes
law, officials working with NGOs have said.
Jacob Mafume, the co-ordinator of the National Association of Non
Governmental Organisations'(NANGO) team working on a response to
the Bill, said the full impact of the law was still being assessed.
"We are still
finalising the full economic and social impact that the bill will
have on Zimbabweans but a conservative estimate is that if each
of the 3 000 NGOs is employing five people, then 15 000 people will
lose their jobs."
based on the assumption that each of the affected employees had
a family of six members; tens of thousands of people would be thrown
"With the devastating effect of HIV/Aids, many dependants will be
This comes amid
reports that some NGOs were preparing to relocate to other countries
within the region such as Botswana while those remaining were moving
their bank accounts to other countries in a bid to evade the prying
eyes of the government.
director, Jonah Mudehwe, said: "In its current form, the bill targets
all NGOs because it says no NGO will receive foreign funding for
governance and human rights issues and that means even an NGO working
with children cannot advocate for children's rights. It also means
the disabled cannot receive foreign funding to lobby for disability
rights which are also human rights."
Chizema warned that in its current state, the Bill was potentially
disastrous for the Zimbabwean society.
impact, with a multiplier effect, will be felt by almost all sectors
and levels of society," Chizema said.
He pointed out
that the macro-economic, tourism; rural development and health sectors
would be negatively affected.
Since the drop
in tourist arrivals, which started four years ago, 60 percent of
hotel business in Zimbabwe is conferences and workshops-driven.
The majority of them are held by NGOs.
rural development was also expected to receive a knock, further
increasing rural poverty while in addition; the little foreign currency
that was finding its way into the country through NGOs was expected
to dry up.
health sector especially in the fight against HIV and Aids was also
under threat as most of the work was being undertaken by NGOs, he
says the measures are designed to introduce accountability and to
shut down NGOs it believes are too vocal - an argument which analysts
say does not hold water.
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