THRDC temporally closes shop after ‘bank accounts blocked’

19Aug 2020
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
THRDC temporally closes shop after ‘bank accounts blocked’

​​​​​​​THE Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) has shelved its operations after its ‘bank accounts were blocked’ for failure to comply with the newly passed law.

THRDC board chairperson  Vicky Ntetema.

A statement from THRDC released yesterday said a temporary decision came in order to give room for reconciliation with the police force.

This comes after the police force ordered CRDB Bank to block the THRDC’s account, for allegedly signing contracts with donors without consulting the Treasury and office of the Registrar of non-governmental organisations.

“Dear members and stakeholders, following an emergency board of directors meeting, the board has come into conclusion to temporarily suspend the Coalition’s operations until further notice,” read part of the statement by the rights body.

The statement signed by THRDC board chairperson  Vicky Ntetema further added: “The board apologises to its members and stakeholders for the inconveniences caused by the decision including the delay in payments and related issues.”

The rights body said on Friday, August 14, it received complaints from some of its members who claimed that they were denied access to receive funds via the Coalition’s bank account (CRDB).

The Coalition sought clarification in which they later told that the account was blocked by the bank on a police order pending investigations.

According to the statement, THRDC national coordinator Onesmo Olengerumwa was on Monday, August 16 summoned at the police force at the headquaters for interrogation in connection to the alleged offence.

Olengurumwa was freed on a bail of 200m/-, according to the statement.

The government amended the Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) Act (Amendments) Regulations 2018, which requires contracts or agreements entered by a donor or a person granting funds exceeding 20m/- to be first submitted to the Treasury and to the Registrar of the organisations.

 According to the regulation, contracts or agreements should be submitted for approval not later than ten days from the date of striking the deal.

However Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have protested the regulations, saying they had been formulated without considering practicability of the process following recent delays in approval.

They said the move could deny Tanzanians access to donor funds, money which is used to implement development projects in various sectors, including; education, health, water as well as monitoring execution of different undertaken activities.

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