Chickens come home to roost


THE cutting of funding to Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) by the US on the eve of the July 30 harmonised elections must have been a severe blow to Nelson Chamisa’s faction of the MDC.
The abrupt move by USAID must have stunned the already panicking MDC-Alliance.
The Election Resource Centre (ERC) have already abandoned their ‘command centre’ from where they were colluding with the MDC-Alliance in spewing out ‘lies’ to discredit the impending polls. The CSOs have been bosom friends with Chamisa’s MDC because of their shared interest in the regime change ‘project’.
Included among those whose funding has been discontinued are Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), ERC and Counselling Services Unit (CSU). These are quasi-political organisations that deal with political and governance issues, making them ideal allies of political parties that are anti-ZANU PF. They have been unrelenting in their drive to promote the regime change agenda by presenting the ZANU PF Government as undemocratic, tyrannical, illegitimate and a lot more that is bad. And as we are going towards the July 30 poll, all efforts have been directed towards discrediting the poll result since it is likely ZANU PF will win. All this has been working to the advantage of Chamisa’s MDC, who have been singing from the same hymn book.
For these regime change antics to be possible, the CSOs have pointed out to their donors that substantial cash was needed to oil their operations. Members of these so-called non-governmental organisations (NGOs) became filthy rich because of the generous funding from donors spearheading the regime change agenda.
Notable among these is the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which has been generously funding the bulk of these CSOs.
For some time, we have voiced our concern over the activities of these organisations. Some ‘tricks’ they have been resorting to, apparently to hoodwink their donors into believing that ZANU PF is evil, have become routine. These include false reports, lies and exaggerations.
Recently, Dewa Mavhinga, a self-styled human rights activist, decided to go a notch higher when he ‘manufactured’ a video on alleged violence by ZANU PF and circulated it on social media. These antics are meant to deceive donors into believing that regime change activities are in full swing. However, on the ground, there is nothing to show that their regime change narrative is bearing fruit.
If the 2013 harmonised polls are anything to go by, ZANU PF is getting even stronger. What is visible instead are material acquisitions like ‘more wives, luxury cars and houses’ for the project co-ordinators and managers, according to US observations. The US has further accused the quasi-political organisations of looting funds meant for the regime change agenda. The organisations are now due for investigation for possible embezzlement. The recent freezing of funds can be seen as a strong statement by the US vis-a-vis the current political environment in Zimbabwe.
It’s difficult, however, to convince us that the US has not been aware of the misuse of USAID funds by these organisations. The targeting of CSOs that deal with political issues must be a realisation that the mantra: ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ is real. Investors are flocking to Zimbabwe for business. Continued adherence to the regime change narrative will see the US lose a lot of ground business wise.
Already, a US-based company, General Electric has joined the queue to do business in the financing and construction of the US$5 billion Batoka Gorge Hydroelectric Scheme.
For Chamisa’s MDC and other like-minded politicians, it looks like the days for embarking on trips to the US to advocate continued imposition of sanctions will soon be over.
Chickens have come home to roost.


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