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Counselling Services Unit in drugs row

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By Elizabeth Sitotombe

IT has come to The Patriot’s attention that the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) has been operating without a medicine dispensing licence. 

The CSU runs a clinic that offers treatment and counselling. The CSU was based at 1 Raleigh Street, Kopje, Harare, but when the building was sold they shifted to 26 Boundary Road, Eastlea, in Harare.

According to an insider, the organisation had been operating without a dispensing licence and getting away with it.

When inspectors from the Health Professions Authority (HPA) came to the new place as part of their routine inspection, they asked Dr Frances Ann Lovemore, the current CSU director, if the organisation dispensed any medication to its clients, the doctor denied. 

The HPA is the health professions regulatory board in the country. 

However, during inspection, the inspectors discovered a roomful of medicines to which Dr Lovemore could not give a satisfactory answer. 

The insider went on to confirm that the organisation had, in fact, been dispensing medication without a licence. 

In 2019, after the violent demonstrations by the opposition, safe houses raided by law enforcement agents revealed  youths hidden by the CSU. These were youths from Dzivarasekwa and Hatfield who were wanted by police for various crimes and were being treated at the safe house. 

The million-dollar question is: Why was the ‘good’ doctor dispensing drugs to wanted persons without a dispensing licence?

Who is to say the medication being dispensed by the doctor was safe and of good quality?

Since the formation of the then MDC-T, the CSU has arrogated itself the task of documenting incidences of political violence, and assisting victims of political violence. All those who claimed to have been beaten by ZANU PF youths were given assistance and taken to safe houses for treatment. They would also offer hiding places to activists on the police’s wanted list for unleashing violence and other offences. 

The reports would then be sent to USAID.

USAID has spent billions of dollars pushing for illegal regime change in Zimbabwe.

CSU was first established as the Amani Trust in 1993 and later re-christened CSU in 2003. The Amani Trust founding director is the notorious Anthony Reeler whose not-so-hidden hand can be traced to almost every regime change plot in Zimbabwe. 

Amani Trust founding director Anthony Reeler.

The founding Board of Trustees had nine members: all white-except one black Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube. When the then MDC lauched a court petition challenging the 2002 election results, the then Amani Trust cooked up evidence and brought witnesses on behalf of the MDC. 

Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube.

However, it is on record that Amani Trust rented and bought houses for these so-called victims of political violence in Glenview Suburb, Harare.

Before morphing into CSU, Amani Trust was implicated in the petrol bombing of a house in Kuwadzana, Harare. 

In 2020, USAID withdrew funding from CSU after an audit unearthed massive embezzlement within the organisation.

CSU is also a member of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRTC).  The director, Doctor Lovemore, is also the chairperson of the Survivor Support Group in the National Transitional Justice Working Group (NTJWG), a group leading over 40 NGOs working together to document evidence of abuse against the ruling Party, ZANU PF. 

In 2008, Dr Lovemore courted controversy when she wrote to the then US Ambassador James McGee (pictured) purporting 171 people had been killed and dumped in some of Zimbabwe’s lakes. 

Till today, Dr Lovemore continues to manufacture lies in order to effect regime change in the country — she is also a suspected spy of the CIA.

When asked by the authorities, Dr Lovemore, who purportedly has a surgery in Rhodesville suburb claimed that’s where the drugs, found at the CSU offices, were headed. 

Dr Lovemore is said to have suggested the organisation use her surgery for CSU operations while they try to ‘fix’ the licence issue but some of the workers shot the idea down. 

According to the source, CSU had approached various donors ahead of the 2023 harmonised general elections, namely the UN Democracy Fund, UN Fund for Victims of Torture, the US Agency for International Development, Trocaine and Open Society Africa for funding. CSU claimed it anticipated massive bloodshed during and after the elections and would need a lot of money to prepare for this.

CSU was given millions of dollars to that effect. 

Needless to say the elections were very peaceful, in fact, too peaceful for their liking. 

The CSU is given to fabricating lies of mass killings in Zimbabwe before and after every election. After receiving all that money, naturally, false reports, lies and exaggerations become the order of the day. 

Apart from abusing gullible donors’ funds, they have been moving around ‘treating’ and counselling ‘victims’ of by-elections violence.

There are no police reports to that effect. 

The same CSU, to gain currency, has been tracking some of the people they ‘treated’ in 2008 in the rural areas telling them to come for counselling as they are still traumatised. They have also been booking lodges and other accommodation for these people around Harare.

CSU has also been working with Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and Rasheed Mahiya’s Heal Zimbabwe Trust — organisations notorious for regime change putsch as well as being beneficiaries of donor funding. 

Rashid Mahiya.

Some of those monies are now going to be used to sponsor demonstrations being planned by the opposition.

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