Donald Trump’s Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) cut financial support to poll lobby group Election Resource Centre headed by Tawanda Chimhini, Okay Machisa’s Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Counselling Services Unit and Transparency International Zimbabwe among others.
State media reports funding was cut after investigations exposed non-compliance with set principles, and gross abuse of funds. ZimRights director Mr Okay Machisa yesterday told State media that the US had suspended funding but denied it was because they abused funds. Said Machisa:
We have received communication that they are not continuing to fund us. The principles that we have as an organisation are that when we are looking for funding, signing grants or when the grant is cut, we do not discuss it in the Press. However, I don’t think that is very correct to say we have abused any funds. We have not abused any donor funds. You have raised issues of non-compliance, but it does not mean abuse of funds. It means you might have submitted reports late, made false reports or abused their facilities.
NewZimbabwe.com could not get a comment from the US Embassy in Harare but an official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed abuse of funds by local non-governmental organisations. NewZimbabwe.com reports that the US Embassy has resorted to confiscation of vehicles and other properties to recover part of the abused funds.