Zanu PF wants to promote the formation of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that advance its political agenda in a bid to counter alleged influence of Western-funded NGOs.
The party accuses Western-funded NGOs of working closely with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T in a bid to remove President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF from power.
Revelations that Zanu PF wants to promote the formation of NGOs sympathetic to its political agenda were contained in the party’s central committee report presented to President Mugabe at last week’s Zanu PF conference held in Mutare.
“In view of the Western agenda of creating surrogate NGOs to propel their agenda in the guise of humanitarian assistance, efforts must now be made to establish progressive non-governmental organisations in all sectors of the country’s social services,” read the central committee report.
“This will also provide the party with a mobilisation platform while simultaneously ensuring that the grassroots populace is not hoodwinked by the lies of the enemy at the point of providing aid to needy people.”
Already Zanu PF has promoted the formation of several NGOs in the country led by known party activists.
The Zanu PF-aligned NGOs blew their cover when they openly opposed the appointment of development researcher and human rights campaigner Farai Maguwu, after he had been appointed as the Kimberly Process (KP) focal point person.
Maguwu was appointed by the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (Nango) as the KP focal point person, but Zanu PF-aligned NGOs cried foul and appointed a parallel focal point person.
Shamiso Mutisi of the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association was eventually appointed as the KP focal point person.
President Mugabe warned Western-funded NGOs when he officially opened the Zanu PF conference against working with rival political parties to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.
Senior Zanu PF members have lately launched a sustained campaign against NGOs accusing them of dabbling in internal politics in a bid to remove President Mugabe.
Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa recently took a swipe at NGOs he accused of alleged involvement in the regime change agenda, saying: “Let me therefore warn organisations that subscribe to such ulterior agendas when government responds, as it indeed shall in the interest of national security, there will not be any sacred cows.”
Speaking at the launch of the Sustainable Agriculture Trust input scheme in Mhondoro-Ngezi recently, minister of State in Vice President Joice Mujuru’s Office, Sylvester Nguni, also warned NGOs against using handouts to sway political opinion against parties they disliked.
Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo also joined the fray telling the NGOs to “stop interfering” in the political affairs of the country at a ceremony where he installed a chief in Gwanda.