NGO cautions against dabbling in politics


By Marsha Sengwe

NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisations wanting to operate and stay long in Zimbabwe should stay
clear of politics and keep to their lane.
Humana People to People general manager, Grace Balotte, said civil society organisations must
confine themselves to their humanitarian mandate.

Speaking during a recent tour of Humana People to People international headquarters in Shamva
recently by the Provincial Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Senator Monica Mavhunga, she

“This is what all NGOs should stick to, mind their own business and stick to their missions as well as
co-operating with the government.

Balotte thanked the Government’s support in allowing Humana People to People to conduct
developmental work in Zimbabwe.

“Our connection with Zimbabwe started long back during the liberation struggle, when we were
supporting guerillas with clothing and after the country attained independence in 1980, we decided
to join it in rebuilding the country,” she explained.

“We were part of the construction of Chindunduma School and many clinics. We were out in the
bush together with the people, building.

“We grew up with freedom fighters and the people of Zimbabwe. This made us grow closer to the

Chindunduma School, which is under the Zimbabwe Foundation for Education with Production
(ZIMFEP), was established in 1981 to give freedom fighters a chance to pursue their education and
protect the legacy of the struggle.

Humana People to People is in nine SADC countries that include Zimbabwe.
It also has footprints in a total of 45 countries across the globe that include India, China, Brazil, and

Balotte said they now fundraise for development work in the health sector fighting HIV, tuberculosis
and malaria.

“We are also supporting small-scale farmers in conservation farming and teacher training in 54
colleges and vocational training,” she explained.

Humana has established small-scale farmers’ clubs to address climate change challenges and to
encourage conservation farming, by training farmers how to grow crops that are drought tolerant.

The late Perrance Shiri, who was the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural
Development, was influential in assisting the institution to design programmes specifically to equip
resettled farmers.

“The programme was experimental and instrumental. It was the brain child of Cde Shiri and if funds
permit, we want to roll out the programme across the country together with ARDA,” she said.

Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Senator Monica Mavhunga, said the
development work being spearheaded by Humana People to People had helped improve people’s
livelihoods and the province’s economy.

Minister Mavhunga said she was impressed by Humana’s gender-sensitive programming.

“Our province is riddled with issues of child marriages and these programmes assist young girls in
familiarising with their rights,” she said.

“Our people are trained in various climate change adaptation techniques. This is helping
communities become food secure despite droughts.

“Vocational training is equipping our youths with skills and keeping them off drugs,” said Minister

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