By Elizabeth Sitotombe
IN the run-up to the 2023 elections, members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) are proving to be a menace to the country through their toxic politics.
The CCC is working around the clock with regime change agents to create political instability that will result in unruly demonstrations around the country meant to unseat the ruling ZANU PF.
Through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), millions of dollars have been channelled to various civil society organisations (CSOs).
National Democratic Institute (NDI)
The NDI is the chief sponsor of rogue CSOs at the moment.
Formed in 1998, the NDI claims to promote ‘credible’ elections and encourage dialogue between Government and opposition political parties.
Anorld Tsunga is the Zimbabwe resident director of NDI. Tsunga is the former opposition MP for Dangamvura, Mutare. He is also a lawyer and is allegedly hated by CCC leader Nelson Chamisa who believes he is supporting Biti’s faction for takeover of CCC — story for another day.
Under the Citizen Engagement Accountability and Action Programme, they purport to sponsor programmes that support women and youths.
However, they have a category where their funding has no accountability. This is where funding for organisations such as ZINASU, ARTUZ and Youth Forum is coming from.
The funds seek to sponsor demonstrations planned in the months preceding the 2023 elections.
The stay away that had been scheduled for June 20-24 by ARTUZ was a major flop as it found no takers, with the legally embattled Obert Masaraure possessing no clout to influence teachers around the country.
Prior to that, ZINASU launched an audacious attempt to force Zimbabweans to go on strike under what they dubbed #ShutdownZimbabwe campaign.
And again it was a damp squib.
To maintain currency in his Western handlers eyes, ARTUZ president Masaraure again issued a two-week ultimatum to the Government of Zimbabwe, threatening to go on a crippling strike that would paralyse both the Health and Education sectors if their demands were not met.
The strike is scheduled for July 18.
Heal Zimbabwe Trust is also being funded to provide safe houses for activists and criminals on police’s wanted list. They are currently hiding suspects who unleashed violence following the unfortunate murder of Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza.
This leads us to the current events in Sri Lanka.
On Saturday, May 9, demonstrators in Sri Lanka stormed the official residence of the President and the private home of the Prime Minister.
Demonstrations had been taking place for months.
The protests in Sri Lanka were promoted by NGOs in the country, who were blaming the government for working with the Chinese instead of the IMF. The NGOs were being funded by USAID.
Protestors were recruited via social media. Others received training in other countries by unknown organisations.
There were also media reports, especially from the US, claiming Sri Lanka had sold out to China.
‘Fuel problems and China’s debt trap diplomacy caused Sri Lanka’s problems’, screamed one headline.
Ironically, China only accounts for 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt. Most of the debt comes from Japan and Western institutions, such as the World Bank.
The Chinese’s presence in many countries appears to be unsettling the West.
On June 15 2022, the West, through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), held a dinner in Julius Nyerere Avenue where they sought to discuss Chinese influence in Zimbabwe.
Some private media outlets are actually being paid to rubbish Zimbabwe/China relations.
Among them is the Information for Development Trust (IDT), a purportedly independent journalism centre, which is being used to attack Chinese investment in Zimbabwe.
The intention is to alienate the masses from the ruling ZANU PF and arouse public outrage that will result in demonstrations.
The US’hand in the protests in Sri Lanka
The US mobilised regime change agents in Sri Lanka. The American Embassy in Sri Lanka allegedly released millions of dollars to online media houses and CSOs meant to mobilise people for an uprising against the government.
Prior to the Saturday invasions, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung met with opposition leaders and various organisations.
Ambassador Chung posting on her Twitter handle said: “Social media influencers, bloggers, and other online commentators play a major role in sharing news & shaping public opinion. Great chat w/ these Sri Lankan digital creators about fighting disinformation & promoting truthful reporting to keep SL’s citizens engaged & #informed.”
On June 29, Chung met leaders from the opposition Samaji Jana Balawegaya to, “…hear their perspectives on Sri Lanka’s economic and political challenges, claiming that opposition parties play a vital role in any democracy, including promoting transparency and good governance.”
On July 5, Chung, meeting representatives from the Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka, said: “Equal access to justice is critical to economic stability.”
In support of the Ministry of Justice’s efforts to ensure the rule of law, USAID Sri Lanka committed US$15 million to, “… provide training, modernise equipment and help more women play an active role in Sri Lanka’s legal system.”
On July 7, Chung also met Sri Lankan journalists to discuss:
“…US support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to address the economic crisis, our many initiatives aimed at promoting prosperity and inclusive governance in Sri Lanka, and our unwavering commitment to free speech and an independently pass.”
Again, on the same day, she met Sri Lanka graduates of the US funded International Military Education and Training Programme where they discussed “… today’s many challenges and how our robust defences partnership bolsters efforts to ensure the military remains accountable to the people and upholds the country’s democratic ideas.”
The scenario in Sri Lanka, can be likened to several attempts, previous and current, by the US to foment protests that would lead to the installation of a puppet government in Zimbabwe.
NED funding in Sri Lanka
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is considered to be the CIA’s second wing and has been involved in innumerable uprisings, attempted coups and acts of neo-colonial regime change since its inception in 1983.
Although it purports to be an NGO, NED receives at least 90 percent of its funding from the US congress earmarked for USAID.
In February this year NED unwittingly released a report containing the names of its conduits who would be used for regime change in Sri Lanka.
λ US$325 000 was given to the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) to support Grassroots Youth Leadership and Political Engagement.
λ US$30 000 went to the Centre for Justice and Change for Leadership Development, for the promotion and protection of human rights.
λ US$100 000 went to Freedom of Expression and Access to Independent Journalism.
λ US$106 556 went to Accountability and Tracking Transnational Economic Crimes, while
λ US$60 000 went to Human Rights Advocacy Gathering and Archiving Women’s Experiences, among other funds.
Any of this ring a bell?
We have seen the same list with the same narrative on NED’s funding of certain organisations in Zimbabwe.
CCC president Nelson Chamisa could not hide his excitement over events taking place in Sri Lanka.
“Sri Lanka is a great teacher and excellent classroom for all the oppressed of the world,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.
Makomborero Haruzivishe and Jacob Ngarivhume took this as a golden opportunity to call on the people of Zimbabwe to take to the streets and protest.
Coincidence or not!
Zimbabwe is a peace loving country and will not be used to further the interests of a few of the country’s sellouts.
We are also aware of the activities in some of our neighbouring countries where the CCC’s paramilitary wing is undergoing military training — that is a story for another day.