Tug of War and Conflict of Poorly Performing African States with Development AID Donors

By Nevson Mpofu

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is meeting with United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Brian Nichols at the State House in Harare
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is meeting with United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Brian Nichols at the State House in Harare

Have you noticed one thing very much frustrating to note with some African states? Leaders do not accept two aspects of under-development, defeat and failure. Normally these African countries beg for multilateral aid or they just get it after a disaster strike. Some of them get it through exposure to their failure and national poverty.

Despite the fact that there are certain principles guiding the distribution of donor funds, developed countries tend to think of the plight of the people then they financially aid a country. Three principles binding the outcome of funding for a country in need of aid range from the following.






-Good Governance

Countries in need of aid must be hold as well accountable and follow the above principles. Alas with many African states, this is never a true story at hand. Funding sometimes end up getting in a country through a donor country’s philanthropy to the country in need of aid. Countries get aid in line with challenges they face, disasters and hazards faced, magnitude of crisis and hunger facing a country.

There are mainly Five 5] types of aid ..

Multilateral – comes from many donors being disbursed to a needy country ..This may go to other countries , shared , teared for others to gain .  Good example is TEAR FUND, DFID [Department for International Development, USAID, European Union, Canadian International Development Aid, Development Aid from People to People [DAPP] The European Union Aid is mainly meant for food security and some sustainable livelihood projects in Energy and Agriculture. Good example if funding from the American people -USAID.

Bilateral-Comes from one donor and goes to a single country or to two not more t.  Good example is of a country with a fallen disaster like in 2019 Zimbabwe experiencing Cyclones .. This funding could be for a single country funded by one state or a single donor. United Nations Aid is good example that goes directly to a needy country churned out from a UN- Agency like for example funds from UNICEF towards BEAM [Basic Education Assistance Module] interests directly channeled to the Government through Ministry of Education.

Tied Aid is budgeted only for certain reasons normally to do with secrets or projects that are strictly targeted for various development in a country of choice. UN Funding could be a good example because it only gives aid to countries signatory to it . There are 192 member states in the UN .

Emergency Aid normally targets disasters like countries under cyclone dangers, climate change effects causing severe famine in a region, hunger, droughts of unexpected nature. One good example of the Tokwe- Mkhosi dam split caused horrible disaster that shifted thousands of families to a new location. Under this funding countries face severe natural hazards likely to make people suffer.

Political and Military Funding – Goes towards financing a war. There are African countries that have got this type. Examples of what they get is like paraphernalia of guns, sorts of weapons, food for soldiers, clothing and weapons of mass destruction. One good example is the funding RENAMO of Mozambique got from Portuguese who had been defeated in Mozambique yet they had businesses there. Many of them lost heavily. Do you know that when Samora Machel got power in 1975 he took over industries which already had malfunctional machines?

Countries that receive aid become contumacious to their Aid givers in the long run. Sometimes they just forget it . If they get around a problem again, they get all the support they need. I have heard some people say Developed countries give to Africa to pay back for the damage they did like European Union to Africa. A source with the EU, defies odds of criticism and hides for other reasons best known by the Writer. He quotes out.

‘’Developed countries give aid in return of their imperial and colonial cruelty’’

‘’Secondly they want to take political domination of superpowers’’

‘’They think of re-colonization

‘’Fourthly, they want to protect their business interests in the particular country ‘’, he says.

Have you discovered or ventured to delve into a tug of war between USA and Zimbabwe?

It is surprising that Zimbabwe does not appreciate the chunk of aid it gets from USA. President Mnangagwa does not thank the aid from USA and the point that USA is the circulating currency in the country. The tug of war between the two lies on the fact that ZANU PF the ruling party has over stayed in power at the expense of the suffering people.

.’’ USA is giving aid to leaders who come from a failing power. These people know their weaknesses. USA comes to rescue the people.’’

‘’The worry by end of day is the corruption that happens. Normally this is grant corruption that takes huge sums of money.

‘’Lack of rule of law because these people who claim to have liberated the country want to rule forever. Mugabe made a lot of problems because he had that notion ‘’.

‘’Above all he concludes, ‘’ these countries fail to be accountable for the huge sums of money spent under illicit finance flows.’’

According to a survey carried out by Freedom House developing countries in conflict with their development aid countries fail to institute good governance and the rule of law. Developed countries pump in aid on grounds of

Good Governance

Accountability of the Ministries of Finance of the respective countries that gets aid, their transparency and exercised credibility is important.

Developed countries favor Democracy, good rule of the Law and freedom of the people whom they save in a peaceful country that abides with conditions of money signatures and the basic principles. They also hate Dictatorship and totalitarian rule.

A good example of the conflict around this subject gives true reference to Former USA Ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dale in 2008 who criticized Zimbabwe for human Rights abuses. During those years aid to Zimbabwe from USA was little compared to other countries and compared to aid to Zimbabwe in the reign of some Ambassadors.

‘’USA does not really hate Zimbabwe but we hate the system of dictatorship, lack of rule of Law and the fact that human rights abuses are trampled to an extent that ordinary people suffer much. USA’s sanctions to Zimbabwe are not economic ones but personally targeted to ZANU PF bigwigs,’’ he would always say out.

Because of Dale’s censorious stance against the country Mugabe would always refer him as ‘Hell’’ not Dale. In most of his speeches looking at sanctions he purported were targeted on Zimbabwe he would angrily speak.

‘’;I do not know Dale but I know Hell’’.

Such is the flow of hate speech that divided the two. Zimbabwe has never accepted failure due to their mismanagement but due to sanctions which they say were economic. Even up now President Mnangagwa still spits out that ‘’its sanctions of the West that causes economic hardships. With the advent of covid-19 he adds on it under the list.

‘’Yes, the country is under economic hardships. This is caused by a number of factors.  Countries of the West like USA and Britain have increased their sanctions. We are however trying to mend relationships with the World so that we can overcome such challenges’’.

Recently a local newspaper ran a story on its first page titled USA piles pressure on E .D Mnangagwa . Contents of the story retracts on how sanctions are growing up on a daily basis. The paper does not however points at USA as the real problem. It pontificates on failure due to corruption and lack of good governance of which is the reason why Zimbabwe is put on sanctions. Besides President Donald Trump talking about it , Senators in the USA Government have trickled to take a stance on Zimbabwe as well.

Two [2] USA Senators, Senator Jim Risch , Chairperson of the USA Foreign Relations Committee and Chris Coons of Africa and Global Health Policy mounts pressure on President Mnangagwa who has kept on blaming USA for Zimbabwe’s economic downfall .

 The two Senators wrote to the USA Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa builds and sustains his Leadership blaming USA on targeted sanctions yet USA has up to date for the past 10 years spent US2 billion on Humanitarian and Development Aid.

The Letter stated as follows ..

”While the US has been top provider of Humanitarian and Development Aid to meet needs of Zimbabweans, the Government of Zimbabwe has implemented a misinformation campaign blaming USA for targeted sanctions.”

A source from a USA civil society in Zimbabwe notes that President Mnangagwa now under various pressure is reeling under stress as more pressure mounts on him. He further notes that Zimbabwe has failed under Mnangagwa because of corruption not sanctions. Even Brian Nichols USA Ambassador   points out that Zimbabwe has failed because of corruption.’

”It’s not sanctions. Its corruption, mismanagement that is causing problems in President Mnangagwa;’s Government ”

On the other hand, EU Ambassador who is head of the European Delegation to Zimbabwe Tim Olkonnen criticizes Zimbabwean Government’s downfall on abuse of Human Rights, failure to observe rule of Law and Democracy.

The Senators have up-dated the list of the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. The update of people on the sanctions list targets individuals not Zimbabweans as a whole, notes the senators Letter.

Zimbabwe has done much work in exposing USA and Britain as the Western Powers mounting much exerted pressure for what they call Economic sanctions since 2002.  Robert Mugabe launched the Land Reform Program in 2002 causing problems the country faces today. Upon realization of his failure he spearheaded the 1 million men march against the USA Government which failed. President Mnangagwa is still pointing figures on targeted and economic sanctions harnessing to work in solidarity with SADC.

*Nevson Mpofu is a Development Studies Lecturer, Published Author, poet and renowned Zimbabwean Journalist

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button