Our people have been forever living on aid. It is realistic and practical for a government to determine what happens within its borders. But to act in a manner perceived as biting the hand that feeds you when all you have is hunger and poverty is not the way to go. The impression created is that the unity government is attempting to impose sanctions on local NGOs, determine and control aid in a manner that benefits the ruling elite, and ensure starvation is effective in areas that resist political patronage.
Accepted, donors aren’t always what they purport to be. But lives of the people of Zimbabwe are sometimes more dependent on outsiders (Westerners) than their own government. We elect people to run government for our benefit as citizens, not to rule us as subjects. Mushonga, as a supposed democrat, has made the fatal mistake of chanting the Zanu PF mantra when she purports to be offering a different political perspective. It’s is also shocking that directly or indirectly the supposed democrats in MDC-T are silent to this threat to NGOs when they are aware behind the scenes Zanu PF is bent on ensuring food supply control for political ends.
The right thing was for non-Zanu PF ministers in the Development Forum to veto the proposal and law, or resign from this body which does not aim to have sustainable development. We all know what happens to state control in Zimbabwe, whether it’s on monetary issues under the Reserve Bank, grain under the Grain Marketing Board, Aids funds under the National Aids Council, policy formulation and implementation under government ministers, or rule of law under the Attorney-General and partisan judges. If health and welfare are taken under the wing of government which is adept at destroying the economy, rights, welfare and essential services, then our nightmare is only beginning.
The minister requires a rethink. Maybe she has no children, but someday she will wake up with no ministerial position to find herself sick, hungry, in the open and with no safety net —- without even access to salvation as an unwanted refugee in a neighbouring country.