Society - Southern Africa - Zimbabwe - Humanitarian
Zimbabwe : Ban on NGO’s and Aid Groups to be lifted
According to Zimbabwe’s state radio the Zimbabwean government has lifted a two-month-old ban on non-governmental organizations.

The government had closed down international aid groups after the unpleasantly contested presidential election on June 27 between the 28 year-long president, Robert Mugabe, and the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, claiming that the groups were backing his political opposition. The ban blocked the supply of food and other basic aid to hundreds of thousands dependent Zimbabweans.

Mr. Mugabe pointed the finger at the NGO’s of interfering in Zimbabwean politics and argued that the West had conspired to cripple Zimbabwe’s economy and induce an illegal regime change. According to Mr Mugabe, ‘Funds are being channelled through nongovernmental organizations to opposition political parties, which are a creation of the West. These Western-funded NGOs also use food as a political weapon with which to campaign against government, especially in the rural areas.’ He said in early June.

But Aid workers and human rights groups have claimed that the restrictions were meant to prevent them from witnessing the government’s brutal and fatal onslaught on those it saw as a threat to its hold on power. While the opposition party claimed that the barring of NGOs from giving out food in some areas was a strategy that allowed Mugabe’s government to control food distribution as an incentive to win support.

The Zimbabwean economy has since worsen so much so that unemployment has risen to more than 80 percent, and hyperinflation has made food and other basic needs much more expensive.


Zimbabwe

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