Monday, August 05, 2013

(HERALD ZW) UNDP funds regime change
Monday, 22 April 2013 00:00

[Minister Tendai Biti] Caesar Zvayi Deputy Editor
THE United Nations Development Programme has been implicated in funding regime change NGOs in Zimbabwe to the tune of over US$5 million over the past three years.

The UN agency was in the eye of a storm recently after trying to impose terms of reference on the Government in the wake of the US$132 million poll funding request extended to it but differences soon emerged over the terms of reference of the UN agency’s Needs Assessment Mission.

The agency wanted its Needs Assesment Mission to overstep its mandate by including entities and civil society groups with nothing to do with elections and when Government put its foot down, UNDP resident co-ordinator Mr Alain Noudehou claimed the mandate of a non-existent General Assembly Resolution forgeting it was Government which had extended the funding request.

Government rejected the agency’s conditionalities, that dovetailed with the MDC-T’s plans to make the harmonised elections an issue for the UN agenda and withdrew the funding request opting to mobilise domestic resources to finance the harmonised elections.

Our investigations have since unearthed incontrovertible evidence that the UN agency has; along with some Western nations, think-tanks and donors, been secretly funding regime change activities with the latest tranche being disbursed as late as Tuesday last week.

In terms of the UN charter, the UNDP should channel all funds through the Government.

Information we exclusively obtained from unassailable sources, among them bank statements, shows that the UNDP is among a group of organisations, foreign ministries and purported foreign aid groups that have been secretly funding hostile regime-change NGOs such as the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the MDC-T election directorate disguised as the Election Resource Centre.

Our investigations revealed that between March 2009 and April 15 this year, ZESN received a total US$5 043 044,69 from the UNDP, Canadian Embassy, Norwegian Embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands, the Royal Danish Embassy, The Electoral Reform International, Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa, Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy among a litany of donors who have nefarious electoral interests in Zimbabwe.

What exposes the UN as having a hidden and unacceptable agenda to compromise and subvert the forthcoming elections is that while the UNDP is required to fund programmes in the country transparently and through the Government as stipulated by the UN Charter, the local UNDP office has in fact been secretly making direct payments to ZESN and UNDP funds for regime change.

Our investigations show that the MDC-T’s Election Resource Centre received US$151 456 from the UNDP in two separate transactions on January 26 2012 and June 26 2012, while ZESN received US$42 000 in three separate transactions on December 2 2011, September 6 2012 and November 16 2012.

The Royal Danish Embassy has also made significant payments into ZESN accounts between March 2009 and November 14 2012 amounting to US$1 733 353,17.

Among other embassies secretly funding ZESN is the Norwegian Embassy which availed US$245 398,77 on October 30 2009 while the ministry of foreign affairs of the Netherlands availed US$171 097 to the same organisation on December 3 2010 and November 15 2011.

Between June 25 2012 and April 14 2013, the International Republican Institute availed US$$114 949 to the MDC T’s Election Resource Centre in seven different transactions on June 25 and 26 2012, August 16 and 21 2012, December 28 2012, February 5 2013 and April 15 2013.

On April 16 this year, ZESN received US$368 251 from the EU in two separate transactions of US$168 258 and US$199 993 respectively for purposes of subverting the forthcoming elections.

ZESN is also getting significant financial donations from PACT, a United States donor agency that manages funds from US funding organisations. Investigations have revealed that PACT is managing the ZESN grant from USAID. Between December 1 2010 and December 08 2011, PACT disbursed US$164 550 into two separate ZESN accounts.

Electoral Reform International, a British based NGO specialising in capacitating electoral management bodies and observer groups is also heavily involved in funding ZESN. Between October 27 2009 and October 13 2010, the organisation made payments amounting to US$154 312 into one ZESN account.

The money was used in preparing the draft paper on electoral reforms that the organisation did for the MDC-T during electoral reform negotiations that pre-occupied GPA parties for the greater part of 2010.

The George Soros-funded Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, a traditional financier of regime change programmes, and its partner in crime, Freedom House, also fund various activities within ZESN and the MDC-T’s Election Resource Centre.

OSISA deposited US$40 000 (on December 24 2010) and US$31 970 (in September 2011) into two separate ZESN account numbers while Freedom House also deposited US$9 993, US$1 993 and US$4 463 on November 2, and 23 and December 20 2010 into the same accounts.

The National Endowment for Democracy, a purported “private, non-profit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world” which is directly funded by the US government wired a total US$49 979 into ZESN in separate transactions made on October 09 2009, 23 April 2010 and October 14 2010.

The funding is being used to subvert the electoral process by among other things printing fake voter registration materials, mobilising the youth to register to vote and paying them US$50 to commit to voting for the MDC-T using fake residential addresses, giving teachers cellphones to use to file false election results to feed an illegal parallel voter tabulation centre which the MDC-T has set-up through its Election Resource Centre.

Zimrights boss Okay Machisa and four others are in court facing charges of forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud after they were accused of manufacturing counterfeit copies of certificates of registration similar to the ones issued by the Registrar General’s Office when one registers as a voter. The four are accused of trying to discredit the voter’s roll.

MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti has since announced plans to violate the Electoral Act by using false information from his party’s ERC which works closely with ZESN to announce from the Stewart Room at the Meikles Hotel that his boss, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, would have won the presidential poll by “75 percent of the vote if ZEC does not announce the election results within 12 hours of the vote”.

Though bank statements say otherwise, the UNDP country office last night denied involvement saying: "UNDP would like to clarify that it is not involved in a US$5,1 million donor-funded programme in support of the two NGOs mentioned in your question, namely the Election Resource Centre and the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network.

All of UNDP activities in Zimbabwe are implemented in accordance with established procedures and guidelines. UNDP's current programme is guided by the 2012-2015 Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework (ZUNDAF), signed between the Government of Zimbabwe and the United Nations Country Team in Zimbabwe. All support is rendered in accordance with the Country Programme Action Plan signed between the Government of Zimbabwe and UNDP."

The phones at ZESN were not being picked up.

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