TIZ funds regime change agenda Mr Dube
Stendrick Zvorwadza

Stendrick Zvorwadza

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter—
Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) — publicly touted as a watchdog against corruption — is reportedly funding shadowy political groups pushing for regime change, a departure from its official mandate, it has emerged. The red flag was first raised by the organisation’s former part-time employee, Byron Mutingwende, who disclosed that TIZ officials routinely inflate costs of hosting functions and personal benefits.

The allegations against TIZ, according to analysts, lend credence to a long held perception that the organisation is nothing but a broader regime change agency in Zimbabwe pushed by the West.

TIZ is currently sponsoring advertisements in the media to do damage-control.

Last year TIZ financed several advertorials by Promise Mkwananzi’s #Tajamuka in the private media where the group was attacking Government and mobilising people to support stage-managed demonstrations against bond notes.

The Herald has seen correspondence between a TIZ official and members of the advertising team from a local daily where the two sides discussed payment for advertorials by #Tajamuka. TIZ director Mr Loughty Dube last week denied funding #Tajamuka but confirmed they were working with Sten Zvorwadza’s National Vendors Association of Zimbabwe, a phoney grouping claiming to represent street vendors in Harare.

“We have a running contract with the European Union to deal with corruption in the informal sector,” said Mr Dube.

“If you want to write a story about that, it’s true we do not mind. It is part of our projects. It is funded by the EU. We do not make it a secret that we are working with NAVUZ to fight corruption in the informal sector.”

The Herald is also reliably informed that donors have taken Mr Dube to task over the matter.
Financing of shadowy groups by TIZ vindicated Government’s position that the EU was funding political non-governmental organisations to destabilise the country.

It is understood the EU has mobilised $500 million to fund anti-Government activities in the country ahead of 2018 harmonised elections.
On March 16, 2017, the EU held a training workshop for political non-governmental organisations and youths in Avondale, which ran under the theme “Confidence building”.

Sources who attended the workshop said the whole idea was to radicalise youths to mobilise people against Government especially in rural areas.
After the workshop, the participants were asked to apply for funding on political projects they intended to undertake in rural areas.

A source said the EU now funded only projects with political ends.

Part of the application form distributed at the Avondale workshop reads: “The global objective of this call for proposals is to strengthen participatory and accountable governance in Zimbabwe in order to contribute to economic recovery, democratisation, peace and stability.”

Another specific objective is to: “Support a conducive and enabling environment for civil society and youth engagement and participation in national and community development through an improved legal framework;

“Enhance CSO capacity to play an effective role as a development actor by strengthening CSOs and umbrella organisations’ coordination amongst themselves, with policy makers and development partners for effective participation in policy dialogue and improved capacity to hold government accountable at all levels.”

Another training workshop is set for Bulawayo on a date yet to be announced.

Commenting on the matter, an analyst who refused to be named said: “Remember TIZ compiles figures that are used internationally on corruption. The million dollar question now is who is going to guard the guard if corruption is deep-rooted in TIZ itself. Another interesting dimension is that now we know that TIZ have nothing to with corruption in this country. They have become a political actor and Government should treat them as such.”

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