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2023 polls: Big money for NGOs

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By Elizabeth Sitotombe

AS the country heads towards the 2023 harmonised elections, groups being funded by their Western handlers and advocating regime change are surfacing.

This week, The Patriot digs into activities by the East West Management Institute (EWMI), Internews and the National Democratic Institute or National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).

These organisations claim to ‘support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in Government’. 

However, they are all agents of regime change in the country and are headquartered in Washington DC. 

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been pouring millions of dollars ahead of the 2023 elections in Zimbabwe to these organisations. 

Grant sizes unveiled range from thousands to millions of dollars. 

The USAID was created in 1961 to help the US win the ‘hearts and minds’ (soft power) of citizens in poor countries through civic action, economic aid and humanitarian assistance. But it has been known to undertake ‘discrete’ regime change operations.

It is well known for its destabilising influence. Recipients of funds by USAID have been known to cause chaos and violence, inciting mobs and destabilising elected governments

Thirty pieces of silver are finding their way into coffers of several organisations and media outlets in Zimbabwe.

And all of them have links to a known opposition party – the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC (formerly MDC).

East West Management Institute

The EWMI is a Trust that was registered last year in Zimbabwe. 

Their offices are in Belgravia, Harare and are operating under country director Elvis Zutic. 

The Patriot is reliably informed that Zutic is a Bosnian wanted for crimes committed during the Second World War by the Bosnian Government.

However, he was given asylum in the US and has been working flat out to push US interests in targeted countries. 

George Soros, a man not new in regime change circles is the one behind EWMI. 

It was established in 1988. 

In 2016, the Obama administration was accused of abusing US$9 million worth of taxpayers’ money through siphoning it into Soros’ EWMI.

According to the Judicial Watch, USAID funds were funnelled to a Justice for All campaign overseen by Soros’ EWMI.

Indeed, there is no love lost between Soros and Zimbabwe. 

He has been known to use his resources towards trying to remove the constitutionally elected ZANU PF Government – and he has failed each time.

EWMI is said to have received over US$22 million from USAID and recipients of funds from EWMI include project Vote 263, ZINASU, WALPE and WELEAD TRUST. 

They are well-funded.

They are also focusing on youth and women in ZANU PF strongholds in the rural areas.

Project Vote 263 has been assembling youths all over the country under the banner: Register to vote 

Through their WhatsApp number +263719622044, they urge youths to contact them for transport assistance to be taken to register to vote.

Youths are also congregated for supposedly sports and social gatherings and recently, an event slated for November 12 was announced in Bulawayo by this group.

They hired musicians, Enzo Ishall and Holy Ten, among others, and the only entrance fee required was a voter’s registration slip.

Constitution literacy workshops for young people, through a Trust called WELEAD Trust, are also being held. 

Under the guise of teaching the youth about their Constitution and rights, they use under-hand nuances to denigrate the Government and encourage votes for the opposition.

They sponsor Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence (WALPE) that was once managed by one Sithabile Dewa until she was booted out for allegedly abusing funds unveiled to the organisation.

WALPE is also said to be mobilising women to vote for the opposition or encouraging them to participate in the electoral processes with their favour toward the opposition.


Internews country director is Tawedzegwa Musitini and the organisation got over US$5 million in funding from USAID. 

It was registered in Zimbabwe last year.

What is disturbing about Internews is that its  operations have been shut down in other countries, such as Russia, where they have been viewed as undermining local governments and pushing US interests.

In Zimbabwe, it is funding media houses (names supplied) as well as some community radios. 

Their mandate is to demonise and tarnish the Government’s image through negative publicity.

Journalists are purportedly being trained in ‘election reporting’. 

Volunteer citizen journalists are also being trained to report on elections as well as taking any videos or pictures whose negativity tarnishes ZANU PF as a human rights’ abuser. 

Wonder why many online news outlets are popping up like mushrooms in the country?

Community radios are also tasked to spread propaganda messages in favour of the opposition. 

They are to call for so-called electoral reforms while painting the Government of Zimbabwe in bad light – all this for the ‘international community to see’.

Internews operates on a global level with its headquarters in Washington DC.  

It was founded in 1982 and most of their funding has always come through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

It is widely seen as an ‘international non-profit organisation supporting independent media in over 100 countries’. 

They train journalists and digital rights activists and to the discerning eye, their main objective is to effect regime change, as all media outlets under them have time-and-again proved to be instruments used to destabilise democratically elected governments in countries targeted by the US.

According to Isabel Macdonald, communications director at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a New York-based media watchdog, in an interview in 2008: “This is a system that despite its professed adherence to norms of objectivity, has often worked against real democracy by stifling dissent and helping the US Government spread misinformation serviceable to US foreign policy GOALS.”

In Venezuela, USAID grantees were involved in a coup attempt against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002.

National Democratic Institute

The National Democratic Institute received over US$10 million in funding and it operates under country director Arnold Tsunga. 

The Patriot has written extensively about NDI and Tsunga.

The same Tsunga has received international recognition for his role in ‘promoting and protecting human rights in Zimbabwe’ and a special US Congressional Recognition for Contributions to the Community.

It must be noted that NDI is working with over 40 organisations, but of interest are the (Election Resource Centre (ERC) and the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN).

The two are receiving the most funding because as we have previously noted, ZESN and ERC are planning to conduct parallel voter tabulation during the elections. They will deploy election observers who will also double as CCC polling agents. 

These ‘observers’ will send results to their established command centres and have consolidated results before the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announces them.

They are the key organisations at the centre of all electoral processes and are receiving the most cash. They are the nerve centre of voter mobilisation, election observation and parallel voter tabulation.

Already they have started recruiting election observers and various organisations to equip them with skills of monitoring the up-coming elections.

Efforts to discredit ZEC are already underway.

Election observers will be planted at every polling station and, in the event of a defeat for the opposition, the observers will be tasked with compiling reports which will indicate the elections were rigged in favour of ZANU PF. 

This is where Soros’ EWMI comes in.  

Scores of youths will remain at the polling stations to ‘defend their vote’. 

If ZEC announces different results from what they have, then they will embark on violent protests.

It is a matter of letting them win or the country burns.

However, it remains to be seen if relevant authorities will simply sit and watch as quislings and rogue elements threaten to tear the country apart on behalf of their Western masters. 

Time will tell.

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