Zimbabwe, seeking election funding, turns to neighboring countries
July 11, 2013 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
The Southern African Development Community last month urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to ensure fair elections.
- 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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.