CSOs fast losing relevance


By Elizabeth Sitotombe

ZIMBABWE held one of the most peaceful and fair elections in the history of the country recently. 

Still it is vexing for those who have been earning their keep by sensationalising the state of affairs in the country through fake reports, lies and exaggerations.

However, some civil society organisations (CSOs)  have been burning the midnight oil in trying to make their lies more believable.

They do, after all, need to remain relevant.

They have always been devious in their depiction of political and economic injustices in the country while supposedly displaying empathy towards the plight of Zimbabweans whose predicament was instigated by charlatans who seek to line their pockets with the 30 pieces of silver.

Dubious reports of human rights violations have been made, with no evidence whatsoever of these allegations. This time around, even human rights activists who tried to fake their own abductions failed dismally.

With no police report ever being made, these activists were abducted on social media and went on to be found on social media.

No-one noticed and no-one cared for their melodrama.

Time has sensitised the people of Zimbabwe on the clandestine affairs of people who are oblivious to their interests.

Zimbabweans are now progress-oriented.

In the absence of violence before, during and after elections most of the CSOs were left with no option but to squander monies meant for ‘victims’ of political violence.

Jestina Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) and Sally Dura-Ncube, the national co-ordinator of the Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) converted funds availed for survivors of political violence during the election period to their own personal use.

Jestina Mukoko

ZPP and WCoZ had received US$1,7 million and US$4 million respectively.

Amnesty International suspended finance officer Sibongile Zimbeva on allegations of mismanagement of funds some three years ago.

In 2020, USAID had to withdraw funding for several CSOs in the country after an audit unearthed massive embezzlement of funds.

This is how the activists take advantage of gullible sponsors of regime change.

In a press release by Amnesty International titled  “Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa fails to break the past, fuels cycle of abuse and impunity following an election marred with human rights violations”, one cannot help but ask: What violations?

It reads: “Amnesty International found that individuals who speak out or organise protests often face persecution, in some cases relatives of protesters have been targeted and harassed as a way of intimidating activists. Abductions of human rights defenders and activists have been on the rise.”

At this juncture one actually wonders if they are still speaking about Zimbabwe.

No one was harassed, or forced to attend rallies; people were free to express their views. All was transparent for everyone to see.

The report goes on:

“A little over two decades later, in July 2023, under President Mnangagwa authorities passed the Amendment to Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act of the Patriotic Bill. It follows in the same tradition of the AIPPA and criminalises wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interests of Zimbabwe. The Amendment frames the offence in vague and overly broad terms which opens it up for abuse by the state. It also provides for the use of the death penalty. Both pieces of legislation were introduced in the run up to an election and affected people’s ability to freely express themselves and exchange information.”

There are troubling questions that beg:

What information do they want to discuss that can possibly be viewed as an offence?

Remember the Patriotic Act simply criminalises treasonous actions from unpatriotic individuals in cahoots with the enemy to bring disrepute to the country.

The Government had to come up with other means to contain these sell-outs.

This same law mirrors existing laws in other countries like the US’ Logan Act. The US ironically funds these organisations that have been wailing about Zimbabwe’s Patriotic Act.

The Logan Act was crafted to protect the US national interests, likewise with Zimbabwe’s Patriotic Act.

This hostile stance taken by CSOs is what has been pulling Zimbabwe backwards.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition under Peter Mutasa would not be left out: “Zimbabwe must be assisted by the region to cure the bane of contested elections and governmental legitimacy which is stalling her economic recovery and sustainable growth. Zimbabwe has deep-seated crises which needs dialogue, soberness and commitment.

We, therefore, remind Mr Mnangagwa that the lack of credibility of the election ultimately puts the credibility of his government in an indeterminate state which impacts on Zimbabwe’s political social and economic progress, and therefore it is critical that he stops making the situation for his government and ultimately the people of Zimbabwe – worse by cracking down on opposition supporters through abuse of the judiciary and police service to target opponents.”

The CiZC has been behind several clashes that have ended in loss of lives and property in the country. The CSOs are like well-oiled machines; while one will be instigating violence, the other will be writing up a quick report, blaming the violence on the Government.

US dangle millions to CSOs.

President Mnangagwa, whose remarkable ethos has taught the nation to understand the strategic importance of working together as one united front, has time and again called for all to put their differences aside and work for a better Zimbabwe.

More individuals and organisations are now enthusiastically taking part in the implementation of development projects brought about by the current regime.

The new dispensation has unveiled tools that give people an opportunity to contribute in the build up to Vision 2030.


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