NGO plans mass demo against Masvingo governor

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MASVINGO — One of the 29 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) suspended by Masvingo governor Titus Maluleke last month for failure to register their operations with his office, has reportedly mobilised mass demonstrations against him today.

Maluleke last month wielded the axe on the NGOs for failing to comply with new government regulations of working with traditional leaders like village heads and chiefs, as well as district administrators and local authorities.

The Community for Tolerance, Reconciliation and Development (Cotrad) last week gave Maluleke a 96-hour ultimatum to reverse his decision or face mass protests.

“Following the non-compliance of the Governor of Masvingo to lift the suspension of 29 organisations in Masvingo, Cotrad has been tasked to implement both conventional and unconventional forms of action to make the governor realise the shortcomings involved with the illegal suspension of non-governmental organisations,” said Cotrad programmes coordinator Gamuchirai Mukura.

“Henceforth community actions and demonstrations across the province shall commence on 05 March 2012,” he said.

He said the ban had left many vulnerable people who were receiving food handouts on the brink of starvation.

“Abject poverty was a major factor that was raised as warning shots have been noticed in Bikita after the suspension of Care International which was providing assistance to the elderly, the disabled, orphans and vulnerable children,” he said.

Mukura said civic society groups would not be cowed into silence while villagers were left to starve.

Other suspended NGOs include Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR Zimbabwe), Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), Heifer Project, Ambassadors Plus, Free the Children Trust and Safire.