CCDZ to continue operating

The Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) has said it will not stop its operations in Masvingo province or any other part of the country as long as government lacks capacity to provide better social services to the citizens.

CCDZ was responding to government statements that it was banning all NGO’s in the area. CCDZ said it was not surprised by the move taken by the Zanu PF leadership in Masvingo led by Governor Titus Maluleke to ban NGO operations in the province as this has happened in the past especially each time that an election looms.

“Similar attempts by the government in 2004 when government drafted the NGO Bill to proscribe the operations of human rights and governance NGOs did not go any far because beneficiaries always co-operate with NGOs in the wake of government's lack of capacity to provide food, health and other social services,” said CCDZ.

CCDZ says it will continue to work in Masvingo to provide non partisan education and raise awareness on citizen rights.

CCDZ is also working in districts such as Bikita, Chivi, Nemamwa, Gutu and Masvingo urban and rural on peace-building and preparing communities ahead of the planned constitutional referendum and elections.

“We are surprised that governor Maluleke made the announcement that he was banning NGOs in Masvingo whilst he was flanked by members of the security services.”

“We reiterate our calls that the inclusive government should not politicise the work of NGOs. The NGOs are doing fundamental work to complement government's efforts to deal with poor service provision and to promote peace in the rural areas following the violent and divisive politics of the past years that has left most of our communities deeply polarized,” said CCDZ.

CCDZ said it was advising Zanu PF officials in the inclusive government to respect the Global Political Agreement (GPA) especially Chapter XVI on the role of NGOs in humanitarian and food assistance.

“Governor Maluleke is being hypocritical to ban NGOs in a province in which more than 70 percent of the people are starving due to food shortages. The governor should be wise enough to invite more NGOs to help ameliorate people's suffering in Masvingo rather than squeeze out the few that are operating in the province all for political expediency,” said CCDZ.

CCDZ said what was baffling was that the governor and securocrats who flanked Maluleke did not take action against Jabulani Sibanda, the war veterans Chairman who has been terrorising people in Masvingo province.

“The attempt by Zanu PF officials in Masvingo to ban NGOs ahead of the elections is undemocratic. We want to assure the people in Masvingo that we will continue with our work and urge more people to participate in our programmes,” said CCDZ.

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