Zim too poor for elections

2010-08-27 15:51

Harare - Zimbabwe's electoral commission will not be able to draw up a clean voter's roll and organise elections next year because of lack of money, a state daily reported on Friday.

"Ultimately, the economy of the country will determine when and whether we hold elections," Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson, Simpson Mutambanengwe, was quoted by the state-run Chronicle newspaper.

"The biggest challenge is financial resources to conduct elections.

"The election date itself ... it is a political decision. However, the time-frame is no longer what appears to be envisaged by the political parties because we have a very big task."

Electoral reforms were needed for credible polls and funds also required to clean up the voters' roll, he said.

"As it is, the voters’ roll is in disarray. It is a topical issue which needs to be addressed," said Mutambanengwe.

Ghost voters

Contestants and observers in previous elections have reported about the ghost voters on the roll.

Zimbabwe's two main political rivals Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai formed a compromise government to pave way for fresh elections after a bloody presidential run-off election in which Mugabe was the sole candidate.

The parties have indicated they are ready to go for polls when they are due next year according to the timeline of the power-sharing government.

Parliament is to amend electoral laws to speed up the announcement of results and create a system for reporting political violence before the new polls.

The parties also agreed to draft a new constitution before the next elections but a drive to gather suggestions for the new constitution has been marred by reports of intimidation.