Case Alert: Muguti NGO Ban Hits a Snag

Harare Provincial Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti’s attempt to ban NGOs in Harare from operating hit a snag after the court interdicted him from interfering with the operations of the NGOs. Harare High Court Judge, Justice Esther Muremba granted an application on a matter brought by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (the Forum) seeking an interdict and declaratory order against the unlawful actions of Muguti.

Muguti had purported to ban NGOs in Harare after only 40 of them complied with his instruction to submit workplans to his office. On 30 June 2021, Muguti directed all CSOs operating within Harare to share with his office their workplans for 2021. A collective of CSOs, including the Forum, responded to the unlawful communication in a letter directed to Muguti, challenging the legality of the directive. But on 29 July 2021, Muguti responded by advising law enforcement agents to stop the operations of all NGOs who failed to comply with the directive. The Forum, together with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court on 30 July 2021.

The organisations had alleged that the actions by Muguti were illegal as they violate the right to administrative justice. Tonderai Bhatasara of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights represented the NGOs.

Source: Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

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