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Govt threatens to expel aid agencies

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CHENGETAI MURIMWA

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The Government of Zimbabwe has threatened to expel aid agencies that are mistreating and manipulating the rural populace while distributing food aid around the country, Business Times can report.

Speaking at the lean season assistance programme in Chief Nyashanu area in Buhera district, Manicaland Province this week, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, July Moyo, vowed that the government will take decisive action against any humanitarian organisation that  does not act responsibly towards villagers.

“This is your land and these humanitarian organisations should treat you with respect. Don’t allow them to do whatever they want with you because you are hungry. Report anyone who is mistreating villagers during food distribution,” Moyo said.

He added: “We are encouraging all humanitarian organisations that they should treat you with respect and don’t hesitate to report them because you are hungry.

“I am not a minister of hunger, but I also monitor how these humanitarian organisations are working.

“If we concur with chiefs that certain organisations are not working well with our people we will not hesitate to expel them and they can go because here ZANU- PF does not tolerate nonsense.

“These people (humanitarian organisations) have been sent to serve you and they should do that, and we encourage that.”

Moyo’s comments coincide with the government of Zimbabwe’s accusations that non-governmental organizations pose a security risk and that strict laws must be developed to regulate their activities within the country and discipline them.

The NGOs are alleged by the administration to be attempting to bring about a regime change.

The administration declared that matters pertaining to national security must always  come first over any activities by the NGOs.

Additionally, it coincides with the return of the amended Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill, to Parliament  for further deliberations in the wake of  President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s  refusal to sign the proposed  legislation.

The Bill aims to regulate NGOs.

After the Bill was first passed by the Members of Parliament and Senators, President Mnangagwa stated that it still needed to be adjusted.

The administration said  that requiring accountability from NGOs was crucial to fostering trust  among donors, recipients and other stakeholders , including the government.

Commenting on the threat by the Government of Zimbabwe, Christine Mendes, the deputy country director for World Food Programme Zimbabwe, the organization is dedicated to helping the government improve the management information system, targeting and monitoring, and food supply management.

“While immediate today’s efforts are crucial, it’s also important to focus on long-term solutions to address the underlying issues contributing to food insecurity in Buhera.

“This includes investments in sustainable agriculture, water management, and community empowerment initiatives.

“Building resilience within communities is key to ensuring they can withstand future food challenges. This involves empowering local farmers, improving access to markets, and promoting sustainable livelihood strategies,” Mendes said.

 

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