ZIMBABWE CURBS aid agencies

HARARE - Authorities in Zimbabwe have imposed strict new conditions on humanitarian agencies operating in the country.

HARARE - Authorities in Zimbabwe have imposed strict new conditions on humanitarian agencies operating in the country.

In future all aid agencies will have to submit details of their humanitarian programmes and funding, as well as areas and modes of operation, to the government, the state daily The Herald reported yesterday.

The new restrictions were announced less than a week after the lifting of a similar ban.

"The government has introduced new reporting mechanisms for private voluntary organisations and non-governmental organisations ... that will see them constantly indicating to the parent ministry their programmes, areas and modes of operation," the government daily said.

Zimbabwe on Friday lifted a ban on aid agencies suspended ahead of the June 27 presidential run-off over accusations that some of them were siding with the opposition.

A leading official in the social welfare ministry, Lancaster Museka, told the newspaper that all NGOs were now obliged to fill in forms with details of grants they had received between July 2007 and June 2008, and how they used the money.

"Through the form the organisation will give its objectives, programme details and services that it provided, their implementation levels, sources of grants and what they were used for."

The form should be signed by the head of the NGO, who can be prosecuted if the information provided is inaccurate.

The government suspended the operations of aid agencies after accusing them of using food to direct people to vote for the opposition in the March 29 general elections. - Sapa-AFP

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