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Governor puts restrictions on 45 NGOs in Masvingo

Governor puts restrictions on 45 NGOs in Masvingo

http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/

03.03.13

by Edgar Gweshe

Masvingo Resident Minister and Governor Titus Maluleke on Friday summoned 
over 45 non-govermental organisations to a meeting at his offices during 
which he announced wideranging restrictions on their work, The Zimbabwean 
has learnt.

A statement from Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said that Maluleke was 
“flanked by the Assistant Provincial Policing Officer, Deputy Provincial CIO 
boss and Assistant Provincial Administrator Chitsika when he read the riot 
act to the NGOs”.

Maluleke, according to the CiZC, said that such meetings would be held every 
month.

In February 2012 Maluleke banned 29 NGOs in Masvingo.

“NGO leaders who attended the meeting were reportedly subjected to a roll 
call where they were called one after another and coerced to reveal their 
work plans and partners. They were also told that from now onwards they 
should work with government departments and the security sector in all their 
projects,” reads the CiCZ report.

Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development Coordinator, Gamuchirai 
Mukura, said: “We were told that NGOs should now work with the district 
police officers and line ministries in implementing our programs.

He added: “They told us they are going to be monitoring our donors and what 
programs we are being funded for and what programs we are doing saying NGOs 
should not be involved in election related programs.”

Mukura said this latest development was an attempt to cramp NGOs as the 
country heads for the constitutional referendum on 16 March and harmonised 
elections expected later this year.

“These series of meetings will clearly be used as a platform to strangle and 
suffocate NGO work in Masvingo ahead of the forthcoming elections. The 
dimension the crackdown is taking has become multi-faceted in order for the 
ploy to be successful,” said Mukura.

Maluleke’s action comes hard on the heels of the raiding and arrests of 
civic society offices and employees by the police.

Affected NGOs include the National Association of Non-Governmental 
Organisations, Zimbabwe Election Support Network, COTRAD and the Zimbabwe 
Peace Project.

The CiZC report said the actions by Maluleke and widespread raids on NGOs 
could have been triggered by a resolution made by Zanu (PF) at its 13th 
Annual National People’s Conference in Gweru in December 2012.

The party resolved to urge government to shut down all NGOs seeking regime 
change by working to remove President Robert Mugabe from power.

“In a closely related development, a humanitarian organisation which gives 
food relief to the vulnerable communities, CARE Zimbabwe International has 
reportedly suspended its activities in Chivi District in Masvingo Province.

“The Non-Governmental Organisation reportedly cited some complications and 
hurdles in dealing with the Masvingo Provincial Administrator’s office in a 
development which could see many families being exposed to hunger,” reads 
the CiZC.

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