Polls: Cash-strapped Zim appeals for help

2013-04-16 07:56
Tendai Biti. (File, AFP)

Tendai Biti. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

Cash-strapped Zim finance minister announces hefty new traffic fines
Cash-strapped Zim finance minister announces hefty new traffic fines

Zimbabwe’s finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has announced steep new fines of more than R1 000 for various traffic offences, in a move that would be widely resented.

Harare - Cash-strapped Zimbabwe is appealing for help to fund crunch presidential elections planned for later this year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Monday.

"It's self-evident that treasury does not have the capacity to fund elections," Biti told parliament.

He said the country needed $132m for the elections which veteran President Robert Mugabe's party wants held as early as June.

However Biti said government would not borrow this money from local firms as it did for a March referendum on a new constitution which paved the way for the polls to be held.

"This ministry of finance has no intention to emasculate the economy for this event which will happen on one day. As far as we are concerned the international community must come to assist."

Biti said apart from appealing for funding through the UN, the government recently wrote to South Africa and Angola to ask for loans.

He said "all is not well" with Zimbabwe's economy, battling to recover from a decade-long downturn marked by galloping inflation which at one point peaked at 231 million percent.

This has since stabilised and while the economy is growing, at five percent last year, public finances remain in disarray.


"We are already under pressure. We are being suffocated even before we include the elections of 2013," Biti said.

He said the government received no revenue from diamond mines in January and February and only $5m in March against a target of $15m.

"If there was honesty from diamond revenue we would not be asking for money from anyone for the elections," the minister said. Tsvangirai's camp has accused Mugabe's Zanu-PF of pocketing diamond revenues.

"We essentially raped the economy for the referendum," Biti said adding that the funds borrowed for the elections could have been lent to companies to increase production.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections later this year at the expiry of the power-sharing government formed four years ago by Mugabe and long-time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

There is no agreement yet on the date of the elections with Mugabe targeting elections before 29 June, while Tsvangirai wants the elections later in the year to allow for reforms to ensure a fair vote.

Read more on:    un  |  zanu-pf  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  tendai biti  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe elections 2013  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

It may be hard to maintain a steady rhythm as you find yourself juggling a zillion things. Slow down a little and let go of some...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.