Back to Index
to clamp down on NGOs
Crisis in Zimbabwe
from Crisis in Zimbabwe Weekly Update
July 18, 2004
The State is sharpening
its daggers in preparation for a clamp down on Non-Governmental Organisations
that are not registered in terms of the Private Voluntary Organisations
Act. In addition a new law to closely monitor the operations of NGOs and
churches is also being drafted to ensure that the organisation do not
engage in covert political activities.
This turn of events
leaves a sense of de ja vu of days when the government swooped
down on the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe stable. The State is going
into overdrive as it tries to tighten its grip on freedom of expression.
Prior to closing down
the newspapers, the State embarked on a smear campaign. The State media
was awash with negative reports on the newspaper stable. The campaign
was aimed at buying legitimacy from the people so that ANZ was seen as
a force that was working at destabilising the State. Jonathan Moyo, the
minister of Information and Publicity in the President’s Office, embarked
on a propaganda roller coaster aimed at showing ANZ in negative light.
Having laid down the groundwork, ANZ papers were closed through the courts.
There are striking
similarities in the way the government has started building up hype against
NGOs and churches through its mouthpieces. It is only a matter of time
before it moves to outlaw any perceived hurdles in its quest for a totalitarian
grip on the nation.
The fact that the
regime intends to impose stooges on NGO boards stinks to the high heavens.
There is no justification for deploying prefects to monitor the activities
of churches. This is the ultimate mark of a despotic government, which
knows that information is power and therefore has to be extinguished if
it does not serve the State’s needs. Once again Zimbabwe inches closer
to the death of democracy and total silencing of the voices of dissent.
It is vital to understand
that the government’s actions are totally driven by an ever-growing obsession
with election victory. It is therefore prepared to employ any tactic in
the book to rid itself of perceived obstacles and these include the civil
society, the media and easy access to information. In the last six weeks
the government has made bold steps to tighten all three and seems to be
Visit the Crisis in
Zimbabwe fact sheet
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.