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Zimbabwe Minister Accuses NGOs of Destabilization in League With West

  • Tatenda Gumbo

National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Secretary General Godwin Phiri said such attacks on NGOs have long been a feature of Zimbabwean politics

Zimbabwean Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has accused civic groups of working with the West to promote instability and an agenda of regime change.

Chombo, of the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, was speaking late last week in Zaka district, Masvingo province, at a ceremony handing over food aid under the government’s Zunde Ramambo ("Chief's Granary") program.

He said non-governmental organizations should seek to complement government efforts rather than, as he charged, trying to destabilize it with the help of Western nations.

Chombo said all non-governmental organization programs should be approved by relevant government authorities or face closure.

National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Secretary General Godwin Phiri said such attacks on NGOs have long been a feature of Zimbabwean politics.

He said it is time ministers avoided such rhetoric as Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations are making a critical contribution to national development.

ZANU-PF politicians have often accused International and Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations of pursuing hidden agendas, especially in electoral periods. Before the 2008 elections President Mugabe's government of the time issued directives barring most field activities of non-governmental organizations.

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