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Zimbabwe civic groups dismiss charity groups ban

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – Civic activists say moves to ban 29 humanitarian organizations in southern Zimbabwe are a breach of the nation’s laws and affected groups need to ignore banning orders by the president’s party.

In a new crackdown of non-governmental organizations, a provincial governor appointed by President Robert Mugabe suspended the activities of the groups on Wednesday, alleging they did not clear their operations with his office.

An alliance of independent civic groups said in a statement Thursday the governor did not have legal powers to wage “this fresh onslaught” against humanitarian work providing food, medication, water and vital services in the drought-prone Masvingo province.

Mugabe’s party accuses private charities of supporting its opponents and has repeatedly threatened to shut them down.

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