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Cablegate: Media Reaction Food Aid; Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 001812

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD (DALTON), AF/S (SCHLACHTER), INR/R/MR


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR PGOV PHUM EAID KPAO ZI
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION FOOD AID; HARARE


1. Under headline "Flush out rogue NGOs" the government-
controlled daily "The Chronicle" dedicated its August 7
editorial to calling on the government to excommunicate all
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) accused of "abusing
the privilege" to hand out drought relief supplies to rural
communities. The editorial comes a day after the newspaper
(08/06) published a story in which Home Affairs Minister
John Nkomo is quoted as having said that the government
would soon ban NGOs that are abusing the privilege to
distribute drought relief supplies to rural communities by
"spreading anti-government vitriol" and "misinforming
villagers that the food shortages were caused by the on-
going land reform program." Excerpts:

2. ". . .It is. . .mind-boggling that some political
nonentities are lying to beneficiaries of the drought
relief program and suggesting that it was the discredited
opposition that was sourcing the food. It is a pity that
these political upstarts have perfected the art of lying to
an extent that they even believe their own lies. We urge
the government not to waver in its resolve to flush out
rogue NGOs that are being used by imperialists out to
discredit it and divide the people of this country.
President Mugabe has assured the nation that nobody will
starve and the government is working tirelessly to ensure
that every family has a meal on its table everyday. Credit
for these efforts should not be claimed by rogues who want
to make us believe that they are politicians working for
the people when their only interest is to line their
pockets. The government should carry out an audit of NGOs
in the country and find out whether they are operating
within the parameters that they proffered when they applied
for registration. There is no way that we can allow
political parties to use NGOs as party structures. . . ."

WHITEHEAD

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