Skip to main content

Zimbabwe, seeking election funding, turns to neighboring countries

By CNN Staff
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu July 11, 2013
The Southern African Development Community last month urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to ensure fair elections.
The Southern African Development Community last month urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to ensure fair elections.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Finance minister: Zimbabwe is well short of the $132 million needed to run its election
  • He spoke today with for SADC member nations, but wouldn't say which
  • SADC nations pressured for a power-sharing arrangement in Zimbabwe in 2009
  • A prior effort to obtain funding failed when a UN team wasn't allowed in the country

Harare, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- Zimbabwe has asked neighboring southern African countries to help fund elections scheduled for the end of the month, the country's finance minister said Wednesday.

Tendai Biti said he had released about $40 million of the $132 million the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission needs for the July 31 vote, "but we are far away from reaching the target. We do not have the money. We can't increase taxes."

Biti is a member of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC).

"I have been in touch with the (Southern African Development Community) secretariat on the issue of trying to raise funds from the region. So it is something we are going to pursue. In fact it is something we have already started pursuing. We spoke to four countries in the region today. I can't disclose their names and what we discussed."

Zimbabwe crackdown ahead of elections
Mugabe's many birthdays in power

The 15-nation SADC pressured President Robert Mugabe to form a power-sharing government with Tsvangirai in 2009 following a violence-marred election. The 89-year-old Mugabe had claimed victory over Tsvangirai, the opposition leader at the time.

Robert Mugabe: Fast Facts - Morgan Tsvangirai: Fast Facts

Biti said he had written to Mugabe asking him to force diamond-mining companies controlled by his party, ZANU PF, to release more than $150 million in profit they made in June.

He added that his efforts to get international funding from the United Nations had been frustrated by Zimbabwe's justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa, a ZANU PF member.

The UN said in March it was prepared to fund Zimbabwe's elections. But that fell through after its assessment mission was barred by Chinamasa from entering the country.

That has left Harare with few options for funding; one such is the SADC.

While launching his reelection bid Friday, Mugabe threatened to pull out of SADC, accusing it of being biased against ZANU PF.

Last month, the regional bloc asked Mugabe to ensure a free and fair election.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT