Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa today said he wanted development aid to Zimbabwe to be channelled through the state, accusing non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of diverting assistance funds for personal use.
The European Union two weeks ago lifted its 12-year suspension of direct financial aid to the government of Zimbabwe, imposed after allegations of rights abuses by President Robert Mugabe’s administration.
EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe, Philippe Van Damme recently said that the bloc had expended over $2 billion in development finance cooperation to Zimbabwe since 2002 despite the restrictions, most of which was through NGOs.
The bloc will, from 2015, start a €234 million ($300 million) five-year funding programme to support health, agriculture and governance initiatives.
“Any development assistance channelled through NGO’s is not transparent to the government of the day,” Chinamasa said at a press conference with visiting Denmark Minister for Trade and Development, Mogens Jensen.
“I would want a situation where development assistance is transparent to us. I was assuring him that we have the capacity to implement any development assistance that we receive in the most transparent manner.”
He said government was also engaging other countries that have been channelling their development assistance through NGO’s.
“If there is any corruption that has been taking place, it has been in the ranks of NGO’s. If I take you to the leafy suburbs, of this town, the most luxurious houses belong to heads of NGOs,” he added.
“So it’s up to the Danish public, to see whether they want to channel their development assistance and have a portion of it going into pockets of individuals.”
NGOs association chief executive, Cephas Zinhumwe challenged Chinamasa to name and shame those he knew to have been siphoning development funds.
“There is a reason why Minister Chinamasa wants development partners to channel aid through government which he didn’t want to speak about for his own reasons,” he said.
“(But) if he knows of any misappropriation of funds why is he not instituting arrests?”- The Source