NGOs Deny Abusing Donor Funds, Challenge USAID To Prove Allegations

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), the Counselling Services Unit (CSU) and the Election Resource Centre (ERC) have challenged the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to prove allegations that the organisations were abusing donor funds. This comes after USAID cut its funding to the three Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) citing “non-compliance.” Part of the statement from the ERC reads,

The values of transparency and accountability are essential to the ERC. We do not condone any misconduct or financial impropriety of whatever nature…The ERC has officially responded to the termination of the cooperative agreement with USAID by requesting the partner to avail the report of its findings based on evidence. We await their response.

ZimRights said,

The termination of USAID funding before investigations are complete and without furnishing specific reasons has come as a shock to the organisation’s board, staff, members across Zimbabwe and the general public who have been beneficiaries of the organisation’s programs.

Requests by the ZimRights board to be furnished reasons which would be necessary to respond to the allegations that have now been thrown into the public domain have not been responded to…ZimRights avows that at no time in its six-year relationship with USAID have funds been abused or misappropriated. all funds have been dedicated to promoting, defending and protecting human rights in the country.

CSU also said,

At no time have funds been misappropriated, diverted or put to misuse by CSU, all funds are entirely committed to promoting the treatment, rehabilitation, safety and re-integration back into communities for survivors of torture.

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