CiZC Responds To Reports That It Got US$160 000 From U.S. For Regime Agenda Purposes

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) has said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU PF administration was determined to close all democratic spaces following a series of derogatory reports “misrepresenting” its agenda.

The ruling ZANU PF, through state-owned media, accused CiZC of getting funding from America’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for regime change purposes.

The article, published in The Sunday Mail, one of the state-run publications, titled “NGOs plot to unsettle Zim exposed,” also alleged CiZC had been granted a US$160 000 grant to solicit support from neighbouring Botswana, Zambia and South Africa.

In response, CiZC spokesperson, Obert Masaraure said:

As of late, state-controlled media has been publishing a predictable pattern of defamatory propaganda articles that allege civil society organisations (CSOs) under the banner of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition are seeking to destabilise and topple government. Their running theme has been that we want to effect regime change in the country.

We have taken note, though not surprised, that the regime can stoop so low as to use private information submitted in confidence to ZIMRA to score cheap propaganda points. So much about ‘open for business.’ This is shameful.

The malicious allegations contained in the state’s propaganda pieces are but a desperate attempt to find a scapegoat for the ZANU PF government’s inability to run the country and its economy.

Masaraure said any allegations that it was sponsoring “terrorist” activities in the country were unfounded, highlighting that the only terror Zimbabweans had experienced had been at the hands of ZANU PF.

This is happening when the government is in the process of amending the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act a move which critics say is meant to silence dissenting voices, particularly CSOs fighting corruption, human rights violations and other misgovernance issues.

The government says the Private and Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Bill will curb money laundering and PVOs participation in politics. It proposes harsh penalties, including jail time of up to one year for perceived offences

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