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Opinion: Did the allocated funds of the 2018 Budget for the General Election, become the War-Chest of Zanu-PF?

On the 7th December 2017, the Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa released the budgets for 2018. In that one, there was to allocations that is striking for today’s action. That is the 13th Cheque and the funds for the General Election.

The 13th Cheque was quoted with this: “A provision of US$176 million has been set aside for the payment of the 2017 13th Cheque awards” (…) “The programming of the above commitment during the first half of 2018 will be guided by revenue inflows, taking account of cash flow requirements of other National programmes, such as the General Elections”.

However, that wasn’t enough for that, so the direct funds for the General Election: “The 2018 Budget will provide resources amounting to US$132.2 million in support of the 2018 Harmonised Elections budget”. Therefore, there funds in the budget for the General Election and should be plenty. If you combine these allocated funds the amount would be US$308,2millions. And considering today’s news, part of these funds has found their way to the ruling party campaign.

Because Zimbabwe Independent wrote this today: “ZANU PF will today launch a momentous US$200 million general elections campaign at the Harare International Conference Centre amid revelations that several foreign governments, struggling parastatals as well as slush funds and investments from the security establishment will illegally contribute to the massive war chest” (Owen Gagare – ‘Zanu PF launches $200m campaign’ 04.05.2018).

There might be foreign funds to the ZANU-PF as they want to get rights and possible profits from the natural resources of the republic. However, the amount of funds needed are already baked into the budget, just that the state could be using directly from the allocated funds, instead of giving it to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission or anyone else securing the electioneering. Because 200 million US Dollars would leave behind 108,2 million US Dollar for the actual election. That wouldn’t be the first time a state party using state resources in campaigning. It is too common in the world, to be healthy. However, it is a practice that many does.

Therefore, I don’t think the reported Chinese or that the dictator from Equatorial Guinea has directed funds to the party war-chest. Unless, I see invoices and see the transcripts of the funds sent over. Because, they don’t need to do that, to get simple gates of mineral extraction in the Republic. That cost much less then 200 million US Dollars. You don’t need to pay that much and offer so much to get cover, get contracts and get fixed space in the Republic. That is overpaying and also serving the ZANU-PF an overload of cash.

Would believe more that the ZANU-PF are actually using the allocated US Dollars from December 2018, as they have plenty to eat off and not buy expensive ballot-boxes or having exported BVR Systems. Instead make it cheap and spend on itself ahead of time. The party could eat the funds themselves.

Why I question the numbers even more, as the reports in March 2018 showed a sudden shortfall of funds for the ZEC, this was the quote from the chairman: “Chigumba said government has committed to availing $98 million of the $148 million needed to bankroll this year’s harmonised elections” (…) ““We did present a budget of $148 million to parliament and the treasury has committed to providing us with $95 million dollars,” said Chigumba to the Media Portfolio Committee” (AllAfrica – ‘Zimbabwe: Election Budget $50m Short, but ZEC Says Ready Regardless’ 09.03.2018).

I understand now why the state only delivered and allocated 95 million US Dollars, because that gives the state a war-chest of 200 million US Dollars. Because that is 295 US Dollars spent and allocated to both the campaign of ZANU-PF and barely enough for the ZEC. In that regard, the state has still free funds of 13,2 millions US Dollars. That can be spent on other electioneering, might even grace some wheels. Since they are yet to be released, it wouldn’t be shocking if they went directly to Zanu-PF instead.

It wouldn’t be surprising, but the funds matches perfectly, nearly to neat. It might be monies from China that makes sure of the giant war-chest of the ruling regime. But this isn’t a regime well-known for its transparency or accountability. Therefore, Zanu-PF has the character and the history to pull these stunts off. That is why it is special, that the ZEC had the allocations in march adding to 95 Million US Dollars, while the party had 200 Million US Dollars. Meaning that the unused funds are 13,2 Million US Dollars, who has to figure one way or another into someones pocket.

It didn’t take much work or add the figures together. I know that the Herald will write what the President Emmerson Mnangagwa needs, even have all the adverts and the praises of the master. They are the servants anyway. However, I feel free to question this. As it is very obvious. Not so unlikely too… Peace.

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