25 November 2015
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Zimbabwe makes US$250m poll cash appeal
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by Staff Reporter
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ZIMBABWE has appealed to the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and other donors to help raise the US$250 million needed for a constitutional referendum and general elections later this year.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who along with Finance counterpart Tendai Biti were charged by the coalition administration to find the money, confirmed the appeal Thursday.

“I can confirm that we wrote a joint letter with the Finance Minister Tendai Biti to that effect,” Chinamasa told NewZimbabwe.com.

“What I can also say is that we have not factored in the money needed by the police for security provision, and authorities are interrogating the figures to come out with the exact figure required for the two processes.”

Biti, who recently revealed that the government was left with just over US$200 in its accounts after paying civil servants last month, says Zimbabwe does not the capacity to fund the referendum and the elections.

The top MDC-T official recently said it was "too much" for any government to fund a census, a referendum and elections within a short period of time. Zimbabwe held its population census late last year at a reported cost of $35million.

President Robert Mugabe and rival Morgan Tsvangirai agree fresh elections are needed to end their power-sharing government which they say is no longer workable due to policy differences between their respective parties.

A new constitution, part of a raft of reforms expected to lead to new elections, was this week endorsed by Parliament and is expected to be put to a national referendum at the end of next month.

New elections are expected before year end although Mugabe wants the polls held in June.


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