Tuesday, October 18, 2011

West Using NGOs to Fan Instability

West using NGOs to fan instability, says minister

Monday, 17 October 2011
Herald Reporter

WESTERN countries are using non-governmental organisations to ferment political instability and pursue a regime change agenda in Zimbabwe, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo said NGOs should complement Government efforts not vice versa.

He made the remarks while addressing hundreds of villagers in Zaka on Friday during a ceremony to mark the installation of Mr Jerera Wafa as Chief Nyakunhuwa.

"As much as we appreciate your efforts, do not appear as if you are the Government," said Cde Chombo in his warning to wayward NGOs.

"You are here to support Government, but you are not the leaders. All your programmes should be approved by the relevant Government authorities and without that you will be chased away.

"We have realised that most of you have got hidden agendas, but you will never achieve in destabilising our country."

Cde Chombo, who was accompanied by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made, urged the villagers to participate in the forthcoming referendum and general elections.

"You participated well during the Copac outreach programmes and now its time for the referendum and elections," he said.

"Do not let anyone choose views and leaders for you, do it yourself. At least some opposition members have been in Government and you have seen what they are capable of. You got lost during the 2008 elections and this time you will not make a mistake again. Select leaders with a history."

Cde Chombo ordered the new chief and local leadership to appoint nine special interest councillors to Zaka Rural District Council to help the existing ones, who are over-stretched.

"You have a few councillors covering more than 34 wards and for developmental purposes you should add others to help you," he said.

"You have to resuscitate the two irrigation schemes that are not working and finish other projects."

Turning to traditional leaders, Cde Chombo said Government would soon work on boundary demarcations, which have caused most disputes among chiefs in the country.

"For the meantime stay where you are until Government finalises the issue of boundaries," he said.

"Most chieftainships have been fought in courts and this must end. Your welfare is still our priority, but the problem is that the Minister of Finance does not value your importance. We hope this will end after elections."

Dr Made urged local leadership to ensure inputs reached out to the "grassroots" levels.

"Cabinet has agreed to give farmers inputs, including communal farmers," he said. "It is our hope that the inputs will reach the intended beneficiaries.

"Poor families and the elderly will get the inputs for free and the department of social welfare, Local Government and my ministry will make sure the inputs reach ordinary people."

Cde Chombo donated three tonnes of maize to the villagers before handing over bags of maize, from the Zunde Ramambo programme, to the disabled and the elderly.

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