We knew that it would come to this, as the Zimbabwe Parliament had the tabled amendments to secure more transparency and secure the electoral process in the in-coming elections. The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) would muster resistance against that. Because that would shoulder more open and transparent effort for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), which is an electoral body appointed by the ruling regime and they want to deliver for the ruling regime. That is why there is need for electoral reforms, that the regime has no interests in changing. All of that will weaken the party even more.
That is why the 8th May Plenary Sessions with the Amendments from Hon. Gonse of the Electoral Law was important. Even as the Zanu-PF was working hard against it. That is why the end-game was postponing a clear vote on the amendments and sending it to the Committee for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. As a way of shelving the ideas and putting it to the side. Because Zanu-PF cannot reform itself. That can only happen if Gen. Chiwenga orders the army to switch the leadership again.
We know that the Minister Ziyambi fears electoral reforms, that was evident with the statement like this:
“However, I reject the submission that we replace Section 157 of the Act. It proves an unwelcome burden on the Electoral Court to disqualify from future elections candidates alleged to have committed electoral malpractices. The Electoral Court, Hon. Members, is not a criminal court. If you want to disqualify me or perhaps Hon. Gonese to withstand from future elections on the basis of mere allegations, it is better for that issue to be adjudicated by the criminal courts and not the Electoral Court. Let the convicting court make the decision on the basis of facts before it” (Hon. Ziambi, 08.05.2018).
We see the significant differences with the opposition as Hon. Gonse answered this:
“Electoral court may disqualify persons responsible for electoral malpractices and it is very clear, we are saying if a person who is either a candidate or an agent of a candidate or an office bearer of a political party is convicted by any court, we are not talking of allegations here. We are talking of a person who has been convicted. We want to deal with the culture of impunity. People have been doing it and they have been repeating it knowing that no drastic consequences will befall them. We want to ensure that if people are aware that if they do any of these things, if they engage in violence for example or any other malpractice, whether it is bribery, intimidation and so on, they know that the consequences are so drastic and again, the Electoral Court is now given sufficient power to decide which are the more grave offences” (Hon. Gonse, 08.05.2018).
That is the major reason for why there are no wishes or changes of Electoral Laws before the Elections that is coming up. Because Zanu-PF have no interests in changing this. They fine the way it is. Zanu-PF can live with it, they can rig it and secure it for the Zanu-PF Politburo. Because at this point, the election is all in favor of Zanu-PF, even if they are not as organized as they thought they were. They are a bit shaky after the hectic and shambolic primaries. However, they will pull out all the guns to secure the Lascoste and the new elite another term in office. Legitimize it and eat of the plate a little while longer.
But they will not change laws few months ahead of the elections, take away the mandate of ZEC and give way to opposition voices now. They are slowly preparing for another term, this time not by the military, but by the ballots. Even if they are rigged and fixed to be altered to the narrative the Zanu-PF needs. As Mnangagwa lies to make beautiful puff-pieces in the Herald. The reality, is they are gearing up for another show-down and will not accept any interference in it. That is why the Amendments are sent to Committee, the Zanu-PF cannot change now, they are on the way to another term. A term they will get into no matter what it costs, as they are doling out SUVs, paying of people and securing loyalty in and outside the country. Peace.
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.