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.

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.


Polls: Cash-strapped Zim appeals for help

16 April 2013, 10:30

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 News24’s Comments Policy

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

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...