ZIMBABWE has cancelled the licences of all aid groups, accusing them of working with the opposition to oust President Robert Mugabe, sparking fears the ban could cut food supplies to hundreds of thousands of people in the nation dependent on handouts. Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said that all non-governmental organisations had been deregistered and would have to reapply for permits, reports said yesterday.This is basically committing the entire country to suicide. This year's harvest brought in absolutely nothing. The only reason people have been surviving at all is because of Western aid programs that distribute food to people. That this happened though is not that all surprising. As opposition to Mugabe's rule mounts, so does his will to crack down on dissent. He has used food as a political weapon since the day he gained power, especially noticeable in the 2005 election when food was distributed all over the place in order to buy votes.
Dr Ndlovu said the authorities wanted to identify groups working with "agents of imperialism" to overthrow Mr Mugabe, who is facing growing resistance from Zimbabweans impoverished by his 27-year stranglehold on power, The Times reported.
"Pro-opposition and Western organisations masquerading as relief agencies continue to mushroom, and the Government has annulled the registration of all NGOs in order to screen out agents of imperialism from organisations working to uplift the wellbeing of the poor," Dr Ndlovu said.The news shocked the local NGO community, stoking fears that the ban could stop desperately needed food aid reaching the country, the newspaper said. More than 1000 aid groups operate in Zimbabwe.
But now the situation has changed; there will be no food at all. If the Zimbabwean people don't fight now, when will they?