Civil society must be audited: Pressure group

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Sindiso Mhlophe

SENIOR STAFF WRITER

mhlophes@dailynews.co.zw

 

ZANU PF-aligned Zimbabwe Citizens Forum (the Forum) has called for the auditing of civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in Zimbabwe to establish where they are getting their funding among other things, saying that some of them are being funded to fuel anarchy in the country, the Daily News can report.

This comes as the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has called for a demonstration over the country’s worsening economic crisis.

It also comes as teachers, led by the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Association (Artuz), and nurses recently staged protests over their salaries which have been eroded as the Zimbabwe dollar continues to lose value against major currencies.

The Forum’s national coordinator, Taurai Kundishaya, said due to increasing threats of demonstrations, there was need to audit and investigate civil society organisations to ascertain whose agenda they were furthering.

“I understand that civil society organisations are watchdogs to the government.

“They are whistle-blowers whenever there is reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. However, there is need to understand who is behind these civil society organisations, who funds them and for what purpose.

“We should be very much vigilant and aware of certain civil society organisations and unions who are there to further their own agenda and are siphoning money from funders under the guise of removing the government in power,” Kundishaya said.

Kundishaya further said that registered CSOs have an obligation to be morally upright in order to be able to hold the government to account.

“There should be a thorough audit of the databases. Maybe funders are giving them money to genuinely conduct humanitarian work but maybe the money is being diverted for other purposes,” he said.

He further warned that CSOs were using the workforce to participate in demonstrations which ended up costing them instead of addressing key challenges.

“Each time Artuz and ZCTU call for a demonstration, they make sure that there is an element of violence and we have been seeing this for quite a long time. We need these international organisations to know that the money they are sending in Zimbabwe is being diverted to terrorism.

“What our teachers are forgetting is that when Obert Masaraure of Artuz calls for a demonstration, the happening of that demonstration is his job and he gets paid for that. The level of response by you workers of not reporting to work determines the money he gets.

“The level of violence that innocent Zimbabweans are forced to do determine the amount that someone gets paid. At the end of the day, these guys buy big properties and there is nothing for the ordinary Zimbabwean who participated in the demonstration,” Kundishaya said.

 

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