The Zimbabwean government’s decision to require donors and non-governmental organizations to report their activities may hamper the flow of much-needed foreign aid, a top diplomat says.
“The essential philosophy of US aid and the way I influence wherever I work is… I refuse to have someone write a set of rules and tell me that I must follow those rules, I look for what works,” U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Charles Ray told the Zimbabwe Independent.
“We try to put aid where it’s most effective, and I don’t believe having a rule that says everything must be [done] one way or another. As it stands right now the bulk of our aid goes directly to communities and goes through NGOs,” he added.
However, Zimbabwean Minister for Regional Integration and International Cooperation Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the government should play a key role in aid coordination and aid distribution. She insisted that donor nations should inform the government of their activities and total funding for Zimbabwe and partner NGOs.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said she would soon compile a database of all donors and NGOs working in Zimbabwe, as well as the programs they finance, the quantity of funding and the criteria they employ in selecting beneficiaries.
“They have to know that they are dealing with a country which has a government and they will have to follow certain rules. They can’t just operate in this country the way they want,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.