Monday, 1 September 2008

Calling MDC support groups like Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition an NGO is not very clever.

Its common knowledge that Madhuku's NCA, Zimbabwe lawyers for human Rights, and Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition are USA funded arms of the MDC meant to buttress the MDC's political campaigns under cover of the NGO badge. Do these organisations really think people dont know this?

Lifting of NGO ban excludes Human Rights groups

By Violet Gonda
1 September 2008

The government was forced to lift a ban on food aid last Friday as a result of the sheer need on the ground and the fact that it does not have the means to meet the humanitarian needs of the people in the country. However officials from the Social Welfare Ministry met stakeholders in Harare on Monday and said the ban lifting does not apply to all NGOS.

The National Association of Non Governmental Organisations (NANGO) said it ‘cautiously welcomes’ this, but is wary of the selective application of the lift of the ban. NANGO spokesperson Fambai Ngirande said organisations that deal with human rights are still suspended. NANGO fears this is being done to weed out the more governance and politically motivated organisation.

The government announced that organisations operating in humanitarian food assistance; family and child care protection; Rights and empowerment of people with disabilities and HIV/AIDS treatment would be able to distribute food. But NANGO says the lift still excludes organisations operating in areas such as transitional justice, human rights, governance and democracy.

Those that were approved are mainly international organisations like World Vision, Christian Care, Plan International and Save Zimbabwe, excluding groups such as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, National Constitutional Assembly and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

Ngirande said this suspension means that these groups that deal with humanitarian issues will still not be able to enter critical areas as a result of the continued ban. The civil society is calling for broader efforts to secure a positive and enabling operating environment.

For the last couple of years the NGO community has had an extremely difficult task operating under the harsh political climate in Zimbabwe, with field operations being suspended officially in early June.

Meanwhile some of the aid agency that were given the clearance to start distributing food are still facing problems on the ground. Fambai Ngirande said the clearance is still on paper as some organisations have already been facing disruptions in some volatile areas. Ngirande said some aid agencies are being told they will only be allowed to enter these areas when the government directives have been sent to the army or ZANU PF officials on the ground. He said: “So the real issue is, how do we dismantle these enforcement mechanisms which are not always within the confines of the law and which are not always seeking to compliment humanitarian efforts.”

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