An Enabling CSOs Environment Key for Sustainable Development

The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO),an umbrella coordination and representative body of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Zimbabwe,is a membership-based organisation with one thousand two hundred members across the whole country.Our members are clustered into ten sectors (Women, Children, Disabilities, Economic, Youth, Land and Environment, Human Rights and Governance, Humanitarian, Health, and Media, Arts, and Culture.

Civil Society work has been key in complementing government on several programmes and actions that include response to natural disasters such as cyclones,droughts and famine,social protection support in the health,education and vulnerable groups,civic education.Furthermore,contribution to the development and implementation of national development processes such as the National Development Strategy 1, Sustainable Development Goals,and Vision 2030 amongst others.

NANGO takes note of Memorandums that are being issued by local government structures such as Masvingo, Harare, Manicaland, Matabeleland North. Further,we take note of the recent sentiments by some Government departments and politicians on the agenda and characters of NGOs. The NGOs who are under the amalgam of NANGO and other like-minded CSOs in Zimbabwe are cognizant of the roles they play in complementing Government in advancing development at all levels. Collectively,our humanitarian work and unseasoned service to the marginalized and vulnerable communities during times of disasters,droughts and pandemics such as the Covid-19 continue to demonstrate the unique contribution of NGOs to human development and engendering of resilience across the country.

Furthermore, we have also noted other regulations proposed by some line ministries all of which come to further limit the autonomy and operational space for NGOs. We understand that government should assist in facilitating development through the creation and enactment of enabling policies and legislation. We look forward to a dialogue that can resolve the issues amicably.

The current development if not managed well may have a huge implication on the welfare of the vulnerable communities and reversal of the gains in health,resilience,education,social protection and effective participation of the public in democratic processes. It is in this regard, that NANGO and broader Civil Society Organisations notes with great concern the sentiments and issuance of administrative procedures by government departments and politicians targeted at NGOs. As NGOs,we play pivotal roles ranging from financing,implementation,watchdog,and oversight,all of which contribute towards national development. This is critical in ensuring the realization of Agenda 2030,Vision 2030, National Development Strategy 1,and various sectoral plans. A multi-stakeholder approach is the new innovative way of partnering to deliver the development outcomes. This work can be facilitated and enhanced by an enabling environment.

It is against this background that NANGO calls on the following stakeholders:

Government; To ensure an enabling environment for CSOs so that they can continue implementing their programmes. There is a need to build trust and cooperation between the Government and CSOs as both works to enhance the lives of the general public and position the country in a trajectory of positive growth and development. We also urge the government and political parties to be more hospitable to NGOs as they are working towards the economic, social, civil and governance development of our beloved country, towards Zimbabwe We Want.

CSOs: To ensure that organisations do continue to work in the areas within which the institution was established for. Further,as advocates for transparency and accountability, CSOs are encouraged to be open and transparent in their programming work.

Community: NANGO would like to urge beneficiaries of the services and goods offered by CSOs to be calm.

Together we work tirelessly and diligently towards a better and sovereign Zimbabwe.

Source: NANGO

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