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U.S. hypocrisy laid bare
Posted: Monday, December 13, 2004

Features Writers,

IT comes as no surprise that the United States, with its hard and punishing stance on Zimbabwe, has condemned the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill passed recently by Parliament.

This is despite the fact that the US has got the same piece of legislation known as the Patriot Act, a more severe and draconian statute that can not in any way be compared to the NGO Bill.

The Patriot Act, among other things, allows the US government to intercept information on any form of funding going in or out of the US either from individuals or non-governmental organisations.

Under this act, it is also a crime for an NGO to bring into the country more than US$10 000 without the knowledge of the state, something that non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe have been doing for years.

It is therefore surprising that the US is agitating to block the regulation of NGOs by the Government, something it has been doing for years, without bating an eyelid.

If anything, the outburst of the US on the NGO Bill confirms the assertion that the imperialist nation has been working with the non-governmental organisations masquerading as civil society to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.

The US, through the so called civic society, has been peddling falsehoods by producing damning reports on the alleged "deterioration of human rights and political strife" in the country to drum up support and arouse condemnation of Zimbabwe, with the sole aim of isolating the Southern African country.

Predictably, US State Department spokesman Adam Ereli was last week quoted by AFP as having said the Bill approved by Zimbabweís Parliament would stifle political debate.

"This Bill is an assault on civil society and an attempt to curtail political discussion in Zimbabwe," Mr Ereli is quoted as having said.

It is important to realise what is meant by "stifling political debate" as it seems to be embedded in the US standards which are, however, one sided and meant to advance their egocentric political ambitions.

Without bothering to look at the Billís merits, the US has been quick to condemn it simply because it fears that the channel through which to fund regime change in Zimbabwe would be effectively plugged.

The tight monitoring of NGO activities would also mean that funding to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change would dry up if the Bill becomes law.

Those who have closely followed events surrounding the strained relations between the US and Zimbabwe will not be surprised by this latest vitriolic attack on this piece of legislation by the US as this is just another ploy to tarnish the countryís image.

Its condemnation of the NGO Bill is strategically positioned to incite a popular uprising and create unnecessary tension, if not violence just a few months before the countryís general elections.

Once that is achieved, the US and its allies would then dismiss the elections as not free and fair, one of its many ploys to invade a sovereign state like they did in Iraq.

The US and its allies have been agitating for regime change in Zimbabwe since the country embarked on a land reform programme in 2000.

The USís stance on events in Zimbabwe does not only seek to undermine the countryís sovereignty and its capability to shape its destiny and govern its people, but it is also meant to bully the country into submission under the cover of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

"Letís not be fooled. There is no iota of sincerity from the Americans.

"The agenda is clear. Itís regime change they are clamouring for," said a lecturer in the department of Sociology at the University of Zimbabwe.

The US has not made it a secret that itís working flat out for a regime change in Zimbabwe.

The US recently reiterated it would not stop working with other nations, such as those in the European Union to seek the isolation of Zimbabwe.

"We are committed to working with other like-minded states towards this end," said US State Department spokesman, Mr Richard Boucher when the United Nations General Assembly threw out a proposed resolution lambasting Harare.

Attempts by the US, Britain and some European Union member states to coerce the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution condemning Zimbabwe, Sudan and Belarus over alleged human rights abuses were fruitless.

For years, the US has been on an onslaught of Zimbabwe and has left no stone unturned in a bid to push for this regime change.

Political analyst, Dr Tafataona Mahoso yesterday slammed the US for crying foul over the passing of the Bill saying the Americans should be the last ones to complain because they have also passed the same laws in their country.

"In America there is a law called the Patriot Act which is there to monitor all non-governmental organisations.

In the US itís a crime for an NGO to fail to report an amount that it has brought into the country exceeding US $10 000.

"The Americans should be the last ones to complain because in their country they monitor everything NGOs do, if we do it the way they do it we would be monitoring everything from e-mails," he said.

Dr Mahoso added that if the American government has to blame anyone they should blame themselves.

"It was the American State Department on 22 August 2003, which clearly stated that they were working with opposition parties and some non-governmental organisations to remove a democratically elected government in Zimbabwe," he said. A lecturer at the Midlands State University in Gweru, Mr Nhamo Mhiripiri, said the American government could never see anything positive about Zimbabwe even if American laws were to be passed in Zimbabwe.

"The Americans have already demonised us as a country, even if we formulate laws just the same as theirs, be they on human rights or something else, trying to emulate them as long as they do not have a puppet government in Zimbabwe that they can use to pursue their selfish interests, they will never accept our laws or whatever we do here.

"We have to stop paying attention to what the Americans say. Our friends like China or South Africa rather should be the ones saying something on what is going on in Zimbabwe not the American government," he said.

Parliament passed the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill in Parliament last week.

Before the passing of the Bill, some NGOs were being used by Western countries to destabilise or interfere in Zimbabweís political affairs.

Determined to further put Zimbabwe in a corner, the USís major victory came a few years ago in the form of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act which effectively placed the country under sanctions.

Since then it has gone on a relentless campaign to demonise the country.

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