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NGOs Forced to Open Offshore Accounts

International donors are forcing Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the country to open offshore accounts following the introduction of bond notes into the Zimbabwean economy.

This was revealed during a National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) meeting held in Gweru on Tuesday organised to review performance and operations of NGOs in the Midlands region.

“Some donors are now refusing to fund projects, being skeptical on directly injecting money into the country saying organisations should open offshore accounts for the security of their funds.

“Maybe this is due to the introduction of the bond notes recalling the bearers cheque era where some of the donor monies disappeared in some of the local banks.

“I know of two organisations so far in the (NANGO) Western Region who were supposed to get funding sometime in April this year but with the bond note talk until now they haven’t received anything with donors preferring offshore accounts. The funders are saying they are still assessing the situation,” said one senior NANGO member who however declined to be named saying the issue which needs protocol.

“Now such accounts have a serious risk in that if an individual sent to withdraw that money from outside the country and says I was robbed along the way, then you are done,” he added.

NANGO Midlands regional chairperson Mr Cornelia Selipiwe however said in the Midlands region no such report has been made but did not dismiss the possibility of other regions getting such demands from donors in light of the current economic situation.

Organisations in the region generally bemoaned donor apathy and fatigue in the closing year saying serious financial challenges crippled some of their projects, especially for smaller organisations.

Jointed Hands Welfare Organisation (JHWO), Heal Africa Trust, Padare, Women in Coalition Zimbabwe (WICoZ), Hands and Feet Zimbabwe, AVANTE GARDE Association, Gweru Residents and Rate Payers Association (GRRA), Governance and Development Trust (GDT), Nkabazwe Community Radio, All About Love Trust Zimbabwe (AALTZ) are some of the organisations who attended the meeting, among several others.

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