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NGOs suspension slammed

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MASVINGO An MDC-T MP has described the recent suspension of 29 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) by provincial governor Titus Maluleke as politically-motivated.

Maluleke on Tuesday accused the NGOs of allegedly defying a directive to register their operations with his office by December 31 last year.

But Bikita West MP Heya Shoko described the clampdown as stinking of political innuendos.
This is a clear political move by Zanu PF which has the habit of banning NGOs ahead of elections, said Shoko, whose drought-prone constituency is a perennial recipient of free food handouts.

It is history repeating itself. The party uses food as a campaign strategy. For example, there is the government grain loan scheme which has been hijacked by Zanu PF.

They dish the handouts to their members, while leaving out our supporters.

Zanu PF knows that if there are NGOs are in the area, their trump card will not work, Shoko added.
Some of the suspended aid organisations are the Zimbabwe Peace Project, Zimbabwe Community Development Programme and Care International.

Eleven other NGOs involved in HIV and Aids as well as children and disability issues were reported to the Department of Social Welfare.

Only 19 NGOs in the province were spared the axe.
In 2008, at the height of a severe economic and political crisis, Zanu PF outlawed all food aid agencies. The ban was reversed in 2009 after President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, was forced into a coalition government with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The veteran rulers Zanu PF party at its annual conference last December tabled a report claiming that there were 2 500 NGOs operating in the country and most of them were pushing a regime change agenda.

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