Home » Governance » NGOs: Stand Up and Be Counted! [editorial]

Why should Government register the NGOs, whose main thrust is to mobilise development and foster human right when they very crudely refuse to assist with material, technical and financial help when disasters such as this strike?

What stops Zimbabweans to think that these organisations are only there to serve the subversive political interests of their handlers and only become active during elections only to hibernate when polls are over as they feast on their proceeds?

We know that many of them are not happy with Zanu-PF’s victory last year, but it is now time that we also ask leaders of these NGOs whose interests are national and not narrow and self-serving.

You do not need to be an expert to know that natural disasters strike anytime — prepared or not — and that is why we argue that in such instances resources meant for other programmes may be diverted to deal with the crisis situation.

It is a lame excuse for the NGOs in Zimbabwe to claim they cannot assist flood victims in Chingwizi because it’s not part of their mandate and that their financiers will not allow that.

Picture this when Malaysian MH370 flight went missing, how many countries and individual companies promptly responded to the distress call? Did any of them say they had not budgeted for that?

We all know the answer to that.

That is where leaders of our NGOs fail the litmus test. Faced with choice of saving your people who are starving, facing death because of disease and other pestilence, a real leader will simply do the right thing.

A large number of local NGOs that sprouted in the wake of the standoff between Harare and the West have over the years received millions of US dollars from their financiers, which they have directed at fighting Zanu-PF.

We challenge the more than 90 NGOs under the National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Masvingo to explain why they prioritise some abstract issues at the expense of people facing hunger and disease.

Red Cross, Christian Care, Bhaso and Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers’ Association and local companies should be saluted for assisting the villagers.

In as much as there is nothing wrong with 48 NGOs making a declaration to discredit the Electoral Amendment Bill, why are they also on the same note failing to redirect some of that energy to mobilise funding from their handlers to assist the flood victims?

We challenge vocal NGOs like Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Peace Project, ZimRights and the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Youth Forum, Media Monitoring Programme in Zimbabwe and the Aocacy and Literacy Trust to explain why they are not helping.

To the Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust, Humanitarian Assistance Trust of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Community Development Programme, we ask: whose development are you championing?

HIV and Aids patients, among them children, are struggling to get by.

Where are you Centre for HIV and Aids Care, Agricultural Support, Zimbabwe Network for People Living with HIV and AIDS, Free the Children Trust?

This is the time to stand up and be counted.

Source : The Herald