Skip to main content

Zimbabwe, seeking election funding, turns to neighboring countries

By CNN Staff
July 11, 2013 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
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
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
April 17, 2014 -- Updated 1614 GMT (0014 HKT)
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT)
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
April 19, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1230 GMT (2030 HKT)
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT