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Zanu-PF repeats threats against NGOs
in Zimbabwe Coalition
December 13, 2012
resolved to deregister NGOs that the party deems "errant",
but civil society has said they will not brook threats, which are
against SADC principles, and only aimed at derailing their work.
ended 13th Zanu-PF national people's conference
resolved in Gweru, that it, "instructs the party to ensure
that Government enforces deregistration of errant NGOs deviating
from their mandate."
Spokesperson Thabani Nyoni has rubbished the threats noting that
the issue of threats is not new to NGOs. Nyoni warned Zanu-PF against
muzzling independent voices, and disturbing development practitioners
and humanitarian work and cautioned that Zanu-PF intentions are
against the SADC protocol.
a testament to the fact that ZANU PF political leadership is in
defiance of the values and principles respected and recognized by
SADC such as freedom of assembly, association as well active citizen
participation that CSOs work to achieve. Perhaps the message from
ZANU PF is that they are a party that leaves in fear of its fellow
citizens, in fear of allowing public truth to be known, in fear
of the will of the citizens and in fear of diversity and divergence.
This attitude and approach is a reflection of leadership bankruptcy
and a party that is caught in a time warp and unable to see that
things are changing," said Nyoni.
that, comments by Cde Gumbo are a reflection of the attitude of
ZANU PF as a party and system of delegitimizing and criminalizing
plurality and diversity of political and public opinion as represented
by CSOs and other forms of media and political groupings is the
very reason why the country's political process are under curatorship
of the SADC through the Zuma mediation team.
Cde Rugare Gumbo on Thursday, November 12 said the party is targeting
"all organizations that are being funded from outside the
country. "Asked on what Zanu-PF considered as errant organizations,
which are diverting from their mandate, Gumbo said:
going to deregister all organizations that are being funded by outside
donors, including organisations like Crisis Coalition. We know that
you NGOs are pushing for regime change, through conducting seminars
disguised as platforms to talk about good governance. Who brought
good governance and democracy to Zimbabwe from Ian Smith? -
the answer is ZANU-PF."
not reveal where NGOs must get funding from and instead asked why
NGOs need funding when their existence is not even necessary. The
Zanu-PF spokesperson could not also say why the state allowed non-governmental
organizations to be registered in the first place if they are deemed
told the Crisis Report that such threats are a sign of double standards
for Zanu-PF to say that the party does not respect and believe in
NGOs yet ZANU-PF itself has actually formed its "own proxy
NGOs that have become megaphones of its ideology" and are
allegedly coaching citizens on what to believe and say. Nyoni added
that the resolution by Zanu-PF was also an evidence of hypocrisy
by the party.
ZANU PF says that it does not believe in CSOs and they are not necessary,
we find this puzzling in that ZANU PF participates in a number of
activities organized by CSOs, using these spaces to promulgate is
position. About being foreign funded, perhaps there is some intellectual
dishonesty here. We say this because, successive ZANU PF governments
have been receiving foreign funding for budgetary support and even
to fund their vote buying escapades and no one has even labeled
them foreign sponsored agents who are pushing a foreign capital
The recent resolution
is not the first by a Zanu-PF national people's conference
and as such, resolution is a reiteration of the decision by the
12th Zanu-PF national people's conference in December 2011,
in Bulawayo. Barely two months following the resolution, there was
a crackdown on NGOs as evidenced by the declaration in February
2012 by Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke to ban
29 NGOs from operating in the Masvingo province. Since then, the
crackdown on NGOs has escalated nationwide as characterized by the
wave of raids on several NGOs and the arrests of a number of civil
society leaders by the police.
2012, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), National
Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO), National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Zimbabwe
Election Support Network (ZESN) and Zimbabwe
Human Rights NGO Forum, and Zimbabwe
Human Rights Association (Zimrights) issued a joint
statement condemning Governor Maluleke's decree.
read that Maluleke's actions violated sections 21 (a) and
22 of the Constitution,
which guarantee the freedoms of assembly and association, and freedom
of movement respectively. The civil society organisations argued
that Maluleke in his official capacity as governor had no loci standi
or jurisdiction over NGOs, stated anywhere in the Constitution of
Zimbabwe, to register let alone de-register them. Civil society
urged Maluleke as a public official to exercise his functions in
accordance with the law and to observe and uphold the rule of law
in terms of section 18(a) of the Constitution.
The NGOs which
have been raided during the course of 2012 include Zimbabwe Human
Rights Association (Zimrights), Counselling
Services Unit (CSU), Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Election
Resource Centre (ERC), and Gays
and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ). An addition to
the crackdown on NGOs is the raiding of ZimRights offices, and the
arrest of ZimRights Deputy National Programs Coordinator Leo Chamahwinya,
on allegations of conducting illegal voter education on the 13th
of December 2012.
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