Councillors shoot down PVO partnerships


MASVINGO -Masvingo City Councilors has turned down the decision by Council management to partner with private voluntary organizations as they fear political infiltration disguised as developmental issues.

This came up during the full council meeting held on July 03 at the Civic Centre where minutes revealed that four private organizations had requested permission to operate in the ancient city if an MoU is signed.

Outspoken ward 10 Zanu PF councillor Sengerayi Manyanga was instrumental in turning down the proposal to work with PVOs which he said were wolves in sheep skin.

 One of the private organizations which sought permission to work with MCC is SAYWHAT which wanted to mobilize students and young people to practice improved reproductive health and reduce inequalities among the youth.

“Consideration was given to the report of the Chief Environmental Health Officer on the request for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Masvingo City Council and SAYWHAT. It was reported that the organization carries out work in mobilizing students and young people in participation and improvement of reproductive health and reducing inequalities,” reads the minutes.

Manyanga said that they are having serious problems with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) centers which are operating in Rhodene without Council’s official permission.

“We have approved a number of private organizations to operate in the City but they are not visible. Before we sign any MoU let us take our time to know who they are, where they come from and who do they work with to avoid complications in future where these private organizations might prove to be working with another political party.

 “I am not saying this to attack any opposition but we know what happened at one time where we had allowed a certain organization to operate but later found them in political regalia campaigning for a certain political party.

“Besides that there is a centre for LGBTQ community which is operating in Rhodene and many other places which are operating and we have no idea who gave them permission to carry out their activities.

“I have raised this issue on several occasions, instead I am being threatened for raising the matter in full council meetings, hence I am proposing that we thoroughly investigate them before we let them in,” said Manyanga.

Ward 8 Cllr Richard Musekiwa also concurred with Manyanga and said council should put on hold working with PVO and NGOs until after the general elections since political parties may also take advantage and infiltrate the organisations.

“I was thinking that we should at least wait until after the elections. It is a political season where each party is trying to gain votes. There is nothing wrong with PVOs but let us give ourselves enough time to no more about these organisations and what they stand for.

“We are in an election period some of these people operating private organizations know that there will be funds from donors hence they want to get the money and disappear,” said Musekiwa.

Mayor Cllr Collen Maboke concluded that council will put on hold the signing of any MoUs with any PVO to give the committee enough time to investigate on the organizations.

“Let us return this issue to the committee so that they can have enough time to look into these MoU. We are not terminating the contract all together but we are giving enough time to the committee to understand the contents of the agreement so that we are not found wanting.

“We are in an election period where a lot is happening and we don’t want to found on the wrong side of things,” said Maboke.

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