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NGOs told to stay out of Zimbabwe politics

by Staff reporter
04 Jun 2019 at 07:06hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has warned civil organisations, individuals and foreign forces engaging in nefarious activities seeking to unseat President Mnangagwa and his constitutionally-elected Government that they will face the full wrath of the law.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Cain Mathema, yesterday said the police would arrest anyone seeking to subvert the Government to effect regime change.  

He was reacting to reports in our sister paper The Herald that exposed a group of shady organisations and anti-government activists with strong links to the opposition MDC-Alliance—for plotting to remove President Mnangagwa from power.

The US sponsored Belgrade-based Centre for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) has in recent months been laying the groundwork for civil unrest set to be unleashed in the country this month.  

Minister Mathema said the security sector, particularly the police, were ready to confront anybody who seeks to destabilise and execute regime change.

"Anybody who goes against any laws of Zimbabwe will be arrested," he said.

"Any organisation, foreign or local, as long as they are here, the law will be enforced. We do not want any destabilisation from anybody."  

Serbian national Srdja Popovic and head of CANVAS has been at the centre of training anti-government activists from his native Serbia to Sudan, Swaziland, Venezuela, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Burma, Vietnam, Belarus, Syria, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

Minister Mathema said Zimbabwe had held its harmonised elections last year, whose dispute was settled at the Constitutional Court, which declared President Mnangagwa as the winner.  

"Anybody who agitates, therefore, against the Government or the President of this country legally, will be dealt with according to the dictates of our laws," he said.

"Those who are actually here for subversion and those who are being trained outside the country, will face the full wrath of the law. I have no qualms about it. I am prepared to use the law as it stands in Zimbabwe."

Minister Mathema warned local and foreign Non-Governmental Organisations to stay away from politics saying they will have themselves to blame once found on the wrong side of the law.  

Foreign organisations are reportedly co-ordinating workshops and training in the country, the region and overseas to effect regime change against President Mnangagwa's Government. The starring role of Popovic, who according to a Reuters story, "repeatedly preaches to groups from Myanmar, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Belarus and elsewhere" about overthrow tactics, has not escaped notice.

Recently, a number of activists were arrested and appeared in court on charges of subversion, with leaders of civil unrest having received training in the Czech Republic and the Maldives. The trainings have been linked to the January 14 to 16 violent protests.  

According to the organisation, CANVAS has confirmed that in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland are part of its projects under the banner of "Ongoing Struggles" where it categorically states that there are ongoing projects with a coalition of opposition supporters and the NGO sector.  

It is understood that with the help of CANVAS, activists linked to the opposition have been seeking to be the cogwheel in mayhem slated for this month.

Organisations identified in the plot include Women's Academy for Leadership and Political Excellency, Centre for Community Development, Trust Africa, Rosaria Memorial Trust, and Community Tolerance and Reconciliation Trust.

Five activists were arrested on returning home last month and charged with plotting to unseat President Mnangagwa.

Source - chronicle