Back to Index
threatens to expel NGOs
Nomalanga Moyo, SW Radio Africa
October 01, 2013
The new provincial
affairs minister for Matebeleland South says he will expel any humanitarian
organisations that “teach or talk politics”.
one of the 10 ministers of state for provincial affairs in the Zanu-PF
cabinet, issued the threat to representatives of non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) whom he had gathered at Gwanda town, the NewsDay
Ncube is said
to have warned NGOs on Monday that they risked being “sent
back home” if they took “advantage of hungry villagers
to peddle falsehoods about Zimbabwe’s political situation.”
your mandate is to provide food assistance to the people, politics
is none of your business, leave that to us. If you deviate from
your core business, the law provides that we chuck you out.
not your mandate to teach or talk politics, don’t take advantage
of our hungry people and if we hear you are meddling you will go
home,” Ncube told the NGOs.
Ncube, a strong
Mugabe ally who was also on the targeted sanctions list, “forcibly
expelled” a cattle farmer and took over his ranch in 2002
when he was deputy foreign affairs minister, according to online
Mnkandla, an MDC-T senior official in the province and losing Gwanda
North parliamentary candidate, said it was possible that Ncube’s
“threats were just empty political rhetoric aimed at pleasing
Ncube is part of the Zanu-PF syndicate that is capable of doing
the unimaginable, in this case he knows that if he expels the NGOs
from the province, he will be committing genocide by starvation.
has neither the capacity nor the resources to provide people with
food and needs these donors,” Mnkandla said.
NGOs faced an uphill task in trying to ascertain what constitutes
politics, “given that Zanu-PF defines even constructive criticism
as political interference.”
is the driest and poorest region in the country, with people in
the two provinces of Mat North and Mat South surviving almost solely
on food hand-outs from humanitarian organisations.
government sometimes distributes grain, this is erratic and often
done on political lines, with complaints that only those with Zanu-PF
party cards receive the food.
year, a survey by pollster the Mass
Public Opinion Institute revealed that 91% and 83% of people
in the respective provinces often or “always” go without
food on any given day.
the United Nations World Food Programme last month revealed
that one in four people in the rural areas will soon need food assistance,
saying this “is the highest since early 2009 when more than
half the population required food support.”
The food relief
agency said it had put in place a plan to start assisting up to
1.8 million of the estimated 2.2 million people facing serious hunger.
observers, including the Commercial Farmers’ Union president
Charles Taffs, believe the number of people facing starvation and
in need of food assistance is actually higher.
Over the past
two decades, Zanu-PF’s destructive land policies have plunged
the country into a man-made agricultural crisis with very little
food production in the country’s once vibrant sector.
Africa is Zimbabwe's Independent Voice and broadcasts on Short Wave
4880 KHz in the 60m band.
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.