Still no money for Zimbabwe polls: Biti

THE July 31 poll date remains in doubt as Finance minister Tendai Biti yesterday disclosed government had no money in its coffers to fund the elections.


Zec is currently preparing for polls after President Robert Mugabe proclaimed the July 31 election date in accordance with a Constitutional Court (Concourt) ruling on May 31.

While poll funding could complicate matters, other political factors also have an effect as the Concourt is set to decide on Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s application to defer the polls today.

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, Biti said the government was yet to secure the $130 million needed by Zec to enable the holding of the elections.

“We are working on a budget of $130 million. We do not have this money at all. We have been doing a number of things and we are trying to engage the international community to raise this money. We funded the voter registration process and the nomination court on our own, but we still require funds to hold the election,” Biti said.

He said he was having a hard time in trying to raise the funds as they were required as soon as possible to cater for the elections.

Asked if he would be able to raise the money by July 31, Biti said: “As the Finance minister, I am between a rock and a hard place. I am trying to move mountains; it’s like trying to squeeze water from a stone. The greatest impediment has been the cross-talk, fights-talk, mischief and dishonesty in government.

“People must be allowed to do their work.(Justice minister Patrick) Chinamasa has meddled too much in fund-raising activities, he is the Minister of Justice and we love him like that, he must not try to be Minister of Finance.”

Efforts to get Chinamasa to comment were fruitless.

Last month, Biti told members of the House of Assembly that he would accompany Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Augusto Salomão on a visit to regional countries to seek poll funding.

“Donors are ready to fund the election, but they want a clear, transparent mechanism of disbursement. No one wants to put hard-earned money from their taxpayers into an uncertain election. No one will put money into something that is going to fail,” Biti said.

Contacted for comment Zec deputy chairperson Joyce Kazembe said questions to the commission should be directed to the chief executive officer through an email to their public relations officer.

The commission was yet to reply to the e-mail by the time of going to print yesterday.

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  1. So wat are saying biti if chinamasa is clever than u should he sit and watch while Zim is being denied there right to vote cause u are not looking for ways to get money

    1. what can you expect from a Secretary General of a Party seeking deferrement of elections to say.

  2. biti zvakanzi nema zpf basa rakapera nekudissolver parliament kwasara president chete ka?siya vatsvage vega.iwe hausisiri finance siya patrick aite.iwe enda kunoita campaign kuconstituency kwako.siyana nazvo.

  3. Maybe rural folk has an idea of where to get the money. Please tell us or Biti.

  4. What can be expected from a Secretary General of a Party seeking postponment of elections. Mr Biti we will have elections on 31 July whether you like it or not. Anywhere, we had our constitutional referendum even though your financial support was appallying.

  5. Zanu pf for life. Icho!

  6. Biti, why lose sleep on this one? Those who proclaimed the election date know where the money is. Zimbabwe being a kleptocracy izvozvi mari yacho iri muzamu mevamwe mai kana kuti pasi pe mattress !

  7. mugabe has the power yet the MDCs have the people and the VIZA Card. Then who must set the election day …Ans.: mdc

  8. why $130mil? remember this is US$ this is too much for 3+million ppl. i`m shocked @ the figures presented.

    1 Use All civil servants personnel -allow 3 lieu days for election participation taken within 6mths (teachers esp)
    2 we have a wide selection of gov.printers/newspaper printers/ can be summoned to design our own ballot papers with fair charge
    3 God blessed Zimbabwe with diamonds,tin.cooper,coal,phosphates,gold etc how do we find ourselves in this penniless situation-All diamond sales proceeds can help solve this without need of looking elsewhere
    4 seek to establish a electoral commission body that is ready to undertake All aspects of elections be it local or national and dates. this body must have full authority in-order to function orderly in the event of untimely death,resignations/expulsions/retirements
    zimbabwe is our motherland and our laws must make sense to us First…rushing election dates without due care does not help anyone at all

  9. Why is every story about chinamasa every day is with a note that ”comment could not be obtained” Is it that he is hard to find or its lazy people working for the newspapers

    The only time we hear chinamasa is on ZTV

  10. How about selling all the benz, cherokees, prados from ministers, deputy ministers & perm sec’s, and their deputies tell us how much will be short? You bought all that so that you can beg?

  11. This is the problem. ZanuPf has diamond money which is not in treasury that is why they say the funds are there.What they want is to employ their own people to be election agents, pay them and do the stuffing of boxes. Makotsi MDC wants election as soon as possible but a how to you run a race where your lane is full of potholes and the other competitor’s lane is clear?

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