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ZEC demands a "frightening" $274m for 2018 elections, Makarau says confident Treasury will release the cash

18/07/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
 
Certain to get the cash ... ZEC boss, Rita Makarau
 
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THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it needs at least $274 million for the 2018 elections.

This comes as the opposition says it is certain ZEC is out to "fix" next year's election for Zanu PF.

In previous general elections, the financially crippled government has struggled to meet ZEC’s demands resulting in donors, particularly the UNDP, assisting.

During the 2013 election, the Joint Operations Command ordered the private auctioning of Chiadzwa diamonds to raise part of the $164 million.

Nevertheless executive spending remains high to the dismay of opposition parties who have been calling for its trimming.

While reaffirming that government has the responsibility to bankroll elections, ZEC chairperson Rita Makarau told the Women Affairs Committee of Parliament on Tuesday that the body believed Treasury, which has already received the budget, will be able to mobilise enough resources.

“It’s a frightening figure. A consolidated budget requirement has since been submitted to Treasury for funding in the sum of $274 million,” Makarau said.

She added, “ZEC is confident that Treasury will avail the funding as it has funded all the past by-elections and the acquisition of the Biometric Vote Registration (BVR) kits. Treasury is seized with a budget for the required election materials and equipment.

“These include but are not limited to the hardware that will be necessary such as alternative and supplementary lighting in the form of gas lamps, voting booths, ballot paper printing and the distribution of such material to the polling stations.”

The funding, according to ZEC, will be used to procure the necessary election material and to pay allowances to guarantee successful voter registration exercise as well as a free and fair election in 2018.

ZEC also said national mapping pilot to demarcate polling station areas has been done, BVR equipment and software expected is expected soon and voter education material are at production stage.

Makarau appealed to politicians and civic organisations to begin educating communities about BVR and registration requirements.



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