Non-Governmental Organisations yesterday got a shock when the European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell’Ariccia told them that there was no leadership crisis in Zimbabwe and accused them of living in the past.
The European Union refused to accept the results of last year’s elections won by President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front but lifted sanctions on all the remaining individuals leaving only Mugabe and his wife.
The Zimbabwe Defence Industries, owned by the military, is also still under sanctions.
The EU said it would be monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe until 1 November but relations between the two are already warming up with the European Investment Bank (EIB) saying it is looking at financing Zimbabwe’s private sector.
Addressing participants to a workshop organised by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Dell’Ariccia said there was no leadership crisis in Zimbabwe otherwise there would be chaos in the country.
“On the matter of the supposed leadership crisis in this country, let me tell you this, luckily we don’t have a leadership crisis in this country because we have the same people we have in the party and Government. If we had a leadership crisis there would be chaos. We still have a leadership, we still have a leader who manages to keep at bay and under control these forces that are very much contradictory.”
He accused NGOs of living in the past and said they were more of AGOs than NGOs, that is they were more of Anti-Government Organisations than Non-Government Organisations.
“The civil society has a role to play but I have the impression that you are a little bit anchored to the past where instead of seeing NGOs one perceives AGOs, Anti-Government Organisations,” he said.
One NGO is already lobbying the EIB not to finance the private sector claiming that this is propping Mugabe.