Zimbabwe claims it has no cash for poll

AFP-JIJI

Cash-strapped Zimbabwe is appealing for foreign help to fund presidential and parliamentary elections planned for later this year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Monday.

“It’s self-evident that Treasury does not have the capacity to fund elections,” Biti told Parliament.

He said the country needed $132 million for the elections, which veteran President Robert Mugabe’s party wants held as early as June.

However, Biti said the government would not borrow this money from local firms as it did for a March referendum on a new constitution, which paved the way for the polls to be held.

“This Ministry of Finance has no intention to emasculate the economy for this event, which will happen on one day. As far as we are concerned, the international community must come to assist.”

Biti said that, on top of an appeal for funding through the U.N., the government recently wrote to South Africa and Angola to ask for loans for the elections.