Biti says Zimbabwe has no money to fund elections

Tendai Biti

Finance Minister Tendai Biti

By Tichaona Sibanda
21 December 2012

Finance Minister Tendai Biti on Friday said the biggest challenge facing Zimbabwe in 2013 will be finding the resources to stage a referendum and harmonized elections.

Biti explained that funding the two electoral processes in one year was simply not possible and that he hoped the international community will play an active role supporting the costs, estimated at between $150 million and $250 million.

In his last state of the economy briefing for 2012 in Harare, the Finance Minister said he had implored President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to ‘sit’ on Mines Minister Obert Mpofu ‘so that diamonds deliver.’

Diamond revenues have been an ongoing source of conflict within the inclusive government. A report last month said at least $2 billion of diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields – one of the world’s largest deposits – had gone missing.

‘I’ve written to our two principals and impressed upon them that our resources will not be sufficient. So two things must happen….number one, they must sit on Obert Mpofu so that diamonds deliver, because diamond mining is taking place and diamond exports are taking place.

‘Number two, it’s quiet clear the international community has to come to our assistance as Zimbabwe will not have sufficient resources of its own to fund both the referendum and election. If it was going to be an election alone, taigona kukiya kiya (we could find the money)’ Biti said.

Biti, who is the secretary general of the MDC-T, recently said he was hoping a referendum on the constitution could be held in the first quarter of 2013, paving the way for an election between June and August.

He has persistently argued that it’s impossible to have an election in March, as demanded by Mugabe, saying the newly drafted constitution, as well as electoral and media reforms, would need to be introduced first to ensure the result of the poll was ‘credible, legitimate and sustainable.’



24 Responsesto “Biti says Zimbabwe has no money to fund elections”

  1. gunner says:

    Why this hullabaloo of elections when we do not have the funds to finance them. i think its better to look for money first. My main worry is that these electiond will not lead us to a conclusive ending it is going to be the same situation as 2008 mark my words Tendai. This will be a waste of time and money you better continue with this GPA for now and implement the reforms and then have constitution and the referandum. When all this has been done I think we can have fair and free elections hopefully 2015 onwards.

  2. Ras says:

    Egypt held an election and referundum in less than 2 years,maybe we could learn from them

  3. wilbert_mukori says:

    This GNU was asked to prepare the nation for free and fair election and after four years not even one reforms has been implemented and theCopac draft constitution is NOT the democratic one the nation wanted. The dysfunctional government wasted nearly US$ 100 million writing this Copac rubbish and it is now asking for a further US$ 100 million to ask whether the nation accept the Copac rubbish! If the elections got ahead, we all know they will not be free and fair – AGAIN!
    We are so good at wasting money; the little we have and whatever we can beg from other people.

    • Mukanganyama says:

      Tell us how the Copac draft constitution can be improved upon to make it acceptable and appealing to you. You can be helpful if you let the readers of this site know the sections of the draft constitution you do not agree with and then we can debate about them. It is pointless telling the readership how rubbish the COPAC initiative is without explaining why you think that way. You appear a very polished man, but we obviously need more details for most of us to agree with you.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        You see, you have put him in his rightful position and he can not fly. As I have always said before, the guy is a poor mercenary who can not defend foreign capital adequately. Very soon he is going to be fired from his job for sure.

  4. Mukanganyama says:

    Biti is the Minister of Finance of Zimbabwe and if he can not find money to finance the elections then he is not fit to hold that post. He should think of the possibility of going to his rural home to herd goats and sheep or alternatively to go back to his law firm than holding that Ministerial position which should be given to someone else who is competent. In any case, Biti knows nothing about finance and economics and as such should never have been given that post.

    • Yepec says:

      Very intriged by this comment ! Tell the readers the functions and duties of the Minister of Finance where Biti is missing and passing the buck. Is this another Wilbert Mukori in the making?

      • Mukanganyama says:

        ‘In his last state of the economy briefing for 2012 in Harare, the Finance Minister said he had implored President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to ‘sit’ on Mines Minister Obert Mpofu ‘so that diamonds deliver.’ This statement from a Cabinet minister is unacceptable to any thinking person. Diamonds are not the only mineral endowed to this country as there are dozens of other precious minerals that are exploited by foreigners in this country at the expense of the indigenous people and yet we never hear this Minister addressing this question. The diamond question has become topical and highly controversial only because the indigenous people of this country have now decided to own and control their mineral resources with the help of a friendly country, China. If it was Tiny Rowland, as was well articulated by my friend Chimbwido Warvet, the exploitation of these diamonds could not have raised the eye brows of this Uncle Tom Minister. It is now time the indigenous people of Zimbabwe own and control their land and all its mineral resources as this is the basis of our nationhood. This is what sovereignty and independence of a country is all about for political independence without economic independence is hollow and meaningless.

        • Yepec says:

          Here readers are witnessing the brilliant/foolish economic imagination of Mukanganyama. The article is discussing about the Diamond Mining Companies producing or exporting a known output but not remitting taxes that go with that quantity to the Treasury. The Ministry through the RBZ, issues CD Forms to any company wanting to export its product stating the level of output and how much of that is to be exported.

          Obert Mpofu, as the Minister of Mining Development, he issues licenses and if the Mining Companies were not using them for a given period, he can give the licenses to other players who can use them and are willing to pay taxes on the quantities they are producing. This has nothing to do with the story of Mpofu’s move from rags to riches. The issue is of taxes paid per given quantities of minerals produced or exported rather than control of resources or their destination.

          • Mukanganyama says:

            The question I have posed is why pick on the diamonds at the exclusion of other precious metals we have in abundance? For instance we have abundant gold reserves in the country, platinum, chrome, emeralds, copper and zinc, manganese, tin and many other precious metals that are being exploited by foreigners. Nobody in the Ministry of Finance can give us an indication as to how much the country is benefiting from the proceeds of these precious metals and how much of it is remitted to foreign countries. In addition, it is not known who is benefiting more from our minerals foreigners or the Zimbabwean people. Let us get our facts correct here before rushing to write the crap that I have read above.
            Where is Chimbwido Warvet. I used to enjoy his power of argument on such topical issues. Has he been banned by SW Radio Africa or what? Come on Chimbwido Warvet take this foolish and small boy to task.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            My good friend Chimbwido Warvet has been sent by SW Radio Africa to Siberia, one of the coldest places on this planet where convicts of the former Soviet Union were sent to serve their prison terms. That is what SW Radio Africa does when it wants to stifle debate or silence those it considers troublesome. I will be back soon mate.

          • Yepec says:

            Mukanganyama is the same person as Chimbwido Warvet, the logic and reasoning power gives the clues. SW Radio Africa does not ban anybody and you might be forgiven for thinking as you do given your vivid imagination that makes you even fake your own identity (personality)..

            The simple answer to your question above is that diamonds were picked because the Companies are not remitting taxes proportionate to what they are saying they are producing and exporting. May be the difference is being smuggled across the border into Mozambique and onwards to other countries. As said before, the CD Forms from the RBZ tells the story as to who is paying the proportionate taxes and on what mineral to the Treasury.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            If you say ‘maybe the difference is being smuggled across the border into Mozambique and onward to other countries’, it clearly shows that you have no idea about the issues you are talking about. The problem with you is that you can not openly admit you know next to nothing about the subject you are writing about. I am sure the RBZ would not be inclined to divulge delicate information that would work against the Robert Mugabe government as this bank is still an arm of government. That is unheard of mate.

          • Yepec says:

            If the idea in the comment is wrong then prove it to be so and provide the readers with a correct one. For your information, the RBZ is under the Ministry of Finance, so Gedion Gono is under Tendai Biti. Furthermore, why should the Minister of Finance not know about CD Forms when they deal with taxes, production and exports? Here is another one like Wilbert Mukori’s unsubstantiated statements, “Biti knows nothing about finance and economics and as such should never have been given the post”. Really?

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            Of course, Biti was handpicked by Robert Mugabe to be the Finance Minister just to please the MDC-T because they were making a lot of useless noises. You and me know for sure that Tendai Biti is a lawyer by profession and still works for his law firm during the night and just shows his face or presence if you like at the Ministry of Finance during the day. This is the problem we have in this country because we do not have committed Ministers from the MDC camp who are prepared to work for the people. They are all now involved in their own personal businesses at the expense of the man in the street.
            I am fully aware the RBZ is under the Ministry of Finance only by name but the reality on the ground is that it is led by Gideon Gono who can never allow information that is damaging to the incumbent head of state and his government be divulged to members of the public. Were he to do that he would automatically loose his job. It is as simple as that mate.

          • Yepec says:

            When readers laugh at your comments loudly, please, forgive them, it is because they cannot help the strange drunken logic or Wilbert Mukori’s unsubstantiated style of writing. Consider if you may, the following statements :

            (i) Biti knows nothing about finance and economics and as such should never have been given the post.
            (ii) Biti was handpicked by Mugabe to be Finance Minister just to please MDC-T because they were making a lot of useless noises,

            (iii) We do not have committed Ministers from the MDC camp who are prepared to work for the people, and

            (iv) Gedion Gono who can never allow information damaging to the incumbent head of state and his government be divulged to members of the public.

            All the above four items, word for word were picked from your comments. Which of the four, can you vouch to be true Chimbwido Warvet, knowing very well that you are fake (acquired identity or personality traits)?

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            There is nothing to prove as what has been articulated in my article is factual and to the point. I will therefore not waste my time, enough has been said, mate.

          • Yepec says:

            You are not being asked to prove anything since there is nothing to prove but to say “Yes” or “NO”, as to whether the above items are from your comments. Employing your distraction scheme, means that you are vouching for the statements. In that case, can you see the contradictions in them?..

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            And as I write this note, most of the articles that have been compiled by Chimbwido Warvet for our readership have been deleted by SW Radio Africa so that nobody has the opportunity to read his work. And yet they say they are the champions of human rights, human dignity and freedom of speech. It is all fu…g lies because they never respect any of these so-called rights. Their philosophy is that commentators should toe their line of thought and any divergent views are suppressed. SW Radio Africa are the oppressors of the freedom of thought and can never be trusted.This is the truth.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        Yepec you and Mukanganyama are two sides of the same coin; you are both myopic. You accept everything Tsvangirai says and does without question and Mukanganyama for his part accepts everything Mugabe says and does without question. On the other hand I see Tsvangirai as a flawed and indecisive character and Mugabe as a ruthless murderer.
        Tsvangirai was supposed to deliver democratic changes but after four years of blundering he has failed to deliver not even one democratic reforms. You do not see these blunders, Yepec, because you are myopic; interesting enough Mukanganyame see them.
        Mugabe murdered over 30 000 Zimbabweans and still people like Mukanganyama refuse to Mugabe for the tyrant he is. Here, full marks to you Yepec, you accept Mugabe is a tyrant.
        People like you two are not exactly myopic in the normal sense of the word but rather have mental filters so you see one thing but not the other. We are in this mess because people would not see Mugabe for the tyrant he is and we have failed to get out of this mess because many would not see Tsvangirai for the blundering and incompetent leader he is. We will never ever get out of this mess as longer as there are myopic people out there who refuse to see the world as it is and not through filters of blind loyalty to one leader or another.

  5. Gwaya says:

    “Out of the diamond exports of US$563 million by October, only US$43 million had been remitted to treasury”

    This is the real reason behind the lack of funds within the treasury. Mpofu himself has never even questioned these figures. So while zanu/ cios come to this site telling you all is well in the mines ministry the truth is the “friends and family scheme” at Chiadzwa is losing money out the counrty so fast that if not stopped it will permamnently affect the soverieign wealth of Zimbabwe (remember these diamonds belong to the country not Zanu pf/China).

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      Tell the readership the remittances from all the precious metals we have in the country. Diamonds are a recent discovery in the country and yet we do not hear you talk about the platinum, gold, chrome, emeralds etc etc that are being exploited by foreigners and whose proceeds are remitted overseas. Your argument will be meaningful if you give the readership details about these other precious metals that are being exploited by foreigners in Zimbabwe. You have told us that $43million has so far been remitted to the Ministry of Finance.

      • Gwaya says:

        I will not debate with a confirmed idiot like you.

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          The site is meant for the informed and enlightened people who just can’t accept any trash that is not backed by evidence. In any case, any article that written without sources of information is hollow and meaningless. Of course, you can not debate with me because you have a small mind.