February 6, 2023

Zimbabwe: NGO Pledges Not to Meddle in Politics

WORLD Vision Zimbabwe will stick to its humanitarian assistance programmes and distance itself from the country’s politics, an official has said.

“World Vision Zimbabwe will not abuse the confidence accorded to it by the Government of Zimbabwe,” the organisation’s director, Mr Lessile Scott, said yesterday as he addressed farmers and top civil servants at Tongwe Irrigation Scheme.

“As a humanitarian organisation, we strive to building thriving communities where peace and justice prevail and all can enjoy,” said Mr Scott.

He said the organisation’s main objective was to complement the Government in championing sustainable development.

He also called on other NGOs to focus more on their professional and social responsibility and leave politics to citizens of respective countries.

Mr Scott said the meddling in other countries’ political affairs by some NGOs was bound to cause tension, hindering development negatively. He said it was high time stakeholders joined hands and focused on one goal, which is fighting poverty band the HIV/Aids scourge.

“Development needs a collective effort, not armchair critics, hence we should come together as one family and work towards a better Africa,” said Mr Scott.

Turning to the farmers and the irrigation scheme, he said the farmers should appreciate what the NGO and the Government was doing in assisting them. Tongwe Irrigation Scheme was revived by World Vision Zimbabwe after it was devastated by cyclone-induced rains. The irrigation scheme has 72 beneficiaries and has 18 hectares of winter wheat which is ready for harvests.

Echoing the same sentiments, the Minister of Home Affairs, Cde Kembo Mohadi, said the Government was not going to entertain NGOs which interfered in Zimbabwe politics. He also called on the farmers to make good use of the irrigation scheme.

“The irrigation scheme had been lying idle for years and we are grateful for such a gesture,” he said.

Lessons for Today.

– The relationship between NGOs and the Government can be a challenge if parameters are not clearly set out on the roles of each of the two parties.

– The government has also been trying to make all NGOs accountable and clearly state their mission so as to safeguard the political landscape.

– Political interference by some NGOs has been a major source of friction in most developing countries, as their actions mostly tend to fuel political instabilities.

– NGOs need to be careful not engage in activities that undermine the centrality and authority of the countries they operate in.

– In the Zimbabwean context, it has been noted that some NGOs have been fingered in staged abductions and other political activities which aim at soiling the reputation of the State

Source: The Herald