Human Rights Group Closes Shop in Zimbabwe

Amnesty International has shut down its Zimbabwe branch over alleged abuse of donor funds and fraud by staff. The human rights group says it has launched further investigations with the help of police into suspected graft and misconduct involving millions of dollars and Amnesty Zimbabwe has indefinitely been placed under administration. The alleged fraud was exposed in a forensic audit conducted last year. The country director has resigned while the chair and finance officer are currently suspended. In a statement Amnesty said: “An extensive forensic audit was conducted in late 2018 which uncovered evidence of fraud and serious financial mismanagement by individuals in AIZ. National law enforcement agencies were notified of the findings earlier this year and the organisation also commenced the legal process of civil recovery in order to recoup lost funds. Amnesty Zimbabwe is one among many civil society organisations in Zimbabwe to be implicated in the abuse of donor funds. Last year USAid suspended funding for NGOs that included Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights), Election Resource Centre (ERC) and Counselling Services Unit (CSU) for alleged gross financial mismanagement.SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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