$700k windfall for Zanu PF candidates in Masvingo

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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S free-spending ruling party has doled out loads of cash towards each one of its aspiring MPs’ election campaigns with its Masvingo candidates reportedly receiving $10,000 each while those vying for local authorities seats also receiving $2,000 each.

With 26 parliamentary seats up for grabs in Masvingo province alone, coupled with an additional 252 council wards, Zanu PF has spent a generous total of $764,000 for its candidates.

One of the aspiring councillors for a Masvingo urban ward, Allan Sibanda confirmed receiving the money from the party but still said it was not enough to cover his campaign activities in his ward.

“There are over 12 000 registered voters in the ward and the money is not enough to cover the entire ward.

“The leadership has made it clear that they will monitor how we are going to use the money and people should know that this money won’t be used to cover personal problems for individuals but will be used to cover expenses we incur while campaigning for the party,” he said.

However, political commentators differed with the aspiring councillor saying the ruling party’s expenditure priorities were misplaced and in fact cast the party as one which will stop at nothing to retain power.

“The elections are now on home stretch; giving money for campaigning to individuals at this time is misplaced.

“The party should have channelled that money towards bigger projects which benefit the community as a whole rather than giving it to a few individuals,” said a Great Zimbabwe University Law lecturer who preferred not to be named citing professional reasons.

He said the money would have gone a long way in the rehabilitation of the county’s schools infrastructure, procurement of drugs for marginalised rural clinics and other social amenities that benefit communities.

Zanu PF has pulled all the stops to secure victory in the July 30 elections with its presidential candidate and incumbent State President Emmerson Mnangagwa spending generously on campaign billboards seen all over the country.

The party has also splurged in procuring other campaign material, among them vehicles.