Zimbabwe fails to secure external funding for referendum

Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming

By Violet Gonda
22 February 2013

With less than a month before Zimbabwe holds a constitutional referendum, funding continues to be a thorny issue, with Finance Minister Tendai Biti announcing Friday that Zimbabwe had failed to secure funding for the referendum expected on March 16th.

Biti revealed that the Zimbabwean government is likely to fund the referendum on its own, despite facing financial challenges. Biti made the remarks soon after meeting the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming at his offices in the capital.

He told journalists: “We are also pursuing the UN, and in fact they are sending a team at the beginning of March but unfortunately because the date of the referendum is so close they have already written to indicate that whatever they are going to do will only be for the election and not for the referendum. So we are on our own for the referendum.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe further cemented bilateral relations with China after signing four agreements with Chen Deming.

Zimbabwe signed the interest free loan of about US$10 million to purchase road and agricultural equipment, food and an outside broadcasting van for the ZBC.

China is a close ally of the ZANU PF party and the visit had raised high hopes that Mugabe’s allies would offer a rescue package for the polls.

It’s reported that Zimbabwe is scouting for over US$200 million for both the referendum and general elections this year.

With the government coffers in the red, Biti had appealed for funding from Mugabe’s allies and neighboring countries, though with little success.

The presence of the Chinese Minister of Commerce in Zimbabwe, just weeks before the referendum, had raised hopes that aid would finally trickle in. However, speaking through an interpreter, the visiting minister said elections in Zimbabwe are a domestic affair.

Critics have questioned why Zimbabwe, with vast resources such as diamonds in Marange, is in the red and battling to find money.

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43 Responsesto “Zimbabwe fails to secure external funding for referendum”

  1. Yepec says:

    People who questioned Biti on the $217 in government coffers and no raise for the civil servants’ salary raise, can now eat their words. Of course, during Zanu PF’s period at the helm of the Ministry, the money would just have been printed by Gono at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe – Casino Economics.How can, of all countries, Zimbabwe not have money for the Referendum and elections when Mugabe can charter a Mbada Airbus for two weeks to Singapore to see his daughter? Can Muzvinavhu or Girinya tell us where the diamond revenues are going? Wilbert Mukori, the new, SW Africa Radio, Political Analyst tell the readers what this means for the electorate and democracy in Zimbabwe?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How can people expert China to offer funds for the referendum and polls? China is not a friend of the people of Zimbabwe but a friend of ZPF. Nothing I am aware of that has benefited the people directly that has come from the Chinese. Look at the ceremonies of the Chinese handing cash and goods and you tell who benefits from those handouts.

  3. Yepec says:

    When did the Referendum and “elections in Zimbabwe (became) a domestic affair” to the Chinese? Are thee shrewd capitalists telling the population that these issues do not safeguard their interests? The Chinese guiding principles despite strident efforts by Zanu PF to sanitise them, are Economic.

    Cry for the beloved diamonds of Zimbabwe at Marange, the military establishments and other structures in the country are the footholds that safeguard its interests. China, in addition, wants to easily exploit the mines on the Copperbelt of Zambia and the arable land in central Africa and South America. The West had Colonialism and Empires the Chinese have Economic Interests as their guiding principles. By extension, can one explain the meaning of the Look East Policy?

  4. infairness says:

    It willl be difficult as many responsible people throughout the world realise its illegal and are reluctant to get involved.
    You cannot have a NO vote to a new constitution and then government withourt a mandate decide to do another draft and have a referendum on it without approval for a new constitution.
    THose governments overseas will be reluctant to fund csomething that is unconstitutional

    • Yepec says:

      Here we go again. The above comment is based on inference or conjuncture, not what the GPA says. It is and would be the premises (law), under which to conduct both the Copa Draft and Referendum. So let the readers not waste time on that issue, unfairness..

      • infairness says:

        You may discuss changes to legislation in the GPA, but no agreement if any can circumvent the resiults of a referendum as noone in government has a mandate – its easy to understand.
        Ypou can discuss anything you like agree ewhat you want, but to go ahead you need a mandate from the electorate
        The current drafy has no providion to ignor the no vote in the same way as there is provision for an election – read it and you will begin to understand its really very simple.
        The GPA canot and soes not over rule the law.

        • Yepec says:

          Where does it talk of the expiration and the mandate on the NO votes in the Referendum? The mandate of the NO vote given the GPA language and all its signposts, is to continue operating under the present Constitution which is the Lancaster House Constitution. With the NO votes, are you looking for something that has no enabling document? In that case, there are countless ways to produce mandates that can be inferred from any dissenting votes.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            Babamunini murikutikudii. Ndirikushaya musorowenyaya apa babamunini. Ndipirei ndinzwe nechekwamai wamai. Togokutaura nechekwamai futi kutitinzwanane babamunini. Saka ndeipi.

          • Yepec says:

            Once you are cornered, you start writing in Shona claiming that you do not understand what you have been discussing and with the same person all along. It is your strategy and at times, it works to confuse your opponent to your advantage.

            In any case, to make it simpler for you Chimbwido Warvet and to follow the comment and discussion of “unfairness”, some questions based on his comment are itemised.
            (i) legislation in the GPA,
            (ii) mandate of the results of the Referendum and
            (iii) the way forward if the NO votes carry the day.

            Possible Answers to the items above, are stated below.

            (I) The GPA is a SADC Heads of States resolution on the political situation in Zimbabwe not legislation, since there is no SADC Parliament. The GPA is a Heads of States agreement. Can unfairness write or Chimbwido Warvet and inform the readership where legislation comes in?
            (ii) The GPA stipulates that the “Yes” votes are for the Draft Constitution and the “No” votes rejects the Draft Constitution and the country continues operating under the present Constitution which is the Lancaster House Constitution. So the inferred mandate is for the votes that prevail.

            (iii) Finally, the way forward is to have elections because the GPA ends on June 30, 2013., so is the coalition Government known as the GNU. The purpose of the elections is to have a new government according to the YES or NO votes.

            If the above interpretation of the GPA is wrong then “unfairness or Chimbwido Warvet”, must write the correct interpretation of the GPA document signed by the Principals representing the three parties. Is that simple enough for you Chimbwido Warcvet?

          • infairness says:

            The GPA is just a political agreement not the law.
            The electorate and revised zimbabwe constitution are the law.
            Not your non existant Lancaster House constitution which is not at the government printers or any library world wide.
            The GPA and other counries do not have a mandate to make laws for zimbabwe.
            Which clause states that we are going to have a referendum for a new constitution – I have a copy read yours.
            It agrees certain legislation which can be agreed in Parliament now rejected in the new draft.
            What a mess they aghree legislation then head for a new constitution that haas a referendum no vote.
            I agre the way forward is elections and forget the illegal draft.
            As either way ithe GPA will expire or once this illegal draft is accepted withour agree legislation the GNU will fall away as the MUC will have breached the GPA.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            Mose murivaviri hamusikuziva zvamunonyora nekuti hapana chandanzwa chamurikutaura vana blazo, Why don’t you all write in simple English for the simple Chimbwidos Warvets to understand you. You see, the purpose of communicating with one another is for us to be understood, otherwise the idea will be defeated. Make it simple and to the point guys.

          • infairness says:

            GPA is an AGREEMENT NOT THE LAW. Thats where most have been conned, It cant overrule the law or our constitution.
            Pollitician can agree antything, discus anything but that doesnt make it legal because they discussed it – they still have to do things by the law, the constitution – where does it refer to the GPA agreement in the constitution – that a few idiots think can overrule the constitution.
            Its just a political agreement, wjich can be broken like most things politicians promise – you cant break the legislation in the constitution.
            This is my point – there are some MPs who think the are so important now they can over rule the law thats the problem, you believe them.

          • Yepec says:

            The GPA is the 19th amendment to the Lancaster House Constitution of Zimbabwe, that is how it is part of our Constitution enacted by Parliament in Harare in 2009 – that is the connection. What is your point now?

          • infairness says:

            My point is parliament may vote in legislation but it may not vote in legislation that nullifies the result of a referendum.
            If parliamentarians feel the people have changed their minds then they have to ask this first by way of a referendum simply stating should we have a new constitution yes or no.
            I n this case there has been an attempt to circumvent demovracy by the MUC (move,ent for undemocratic chamnge)
            patliament may not say there was a no vote but we have decided that this should be changed by our agreement – they wrree voted in by the electorate and therefore have to honour their wishes.
            Now do you understand.
            Its a joke, and the fact that you try to justify it means you have never asked how they can nulify a referendum.
            Answer – cant be done unless a new referendum is held on EXACTLY the same issue – not on content as that wasnt the subject of the last referendum.
            I mean why have an election if parliamentarians can decide this without us.

  5. infairness says:

    Its nothing to do with diamonds its to do with the illegal and unconstitutional constition and the political backlash internationally afterwards.
    You cant vote NO to the idea of a new constitution – have an irresponsible element in government decide content is different and spend money on a draft for a constitution that is prohibited in law.- then complain no foreign country wamts tpo sponsor you.
    Conning peoplle in Zimbabwe is simple it takes

    • Yepec says:

      Which law or rather Constitution is referred to here? The GPA, under which the Copac Draft was crafted would have expired despite its incorporation into the Lancaster House Constitution. However, it stipulates that should the NO votes prevail, the country continues with its then Constitution (the country currently operates under the Lancaster House Constitution), and elections to choose a new government would follow.

      On the other hand, should the Yes vote prevail, it is followed by gazetting the date when the Draft takes over as the new Constitution to be followed by the gazetting of the date when elections should take place under it. Though the GPA would have expired, it would have ushered into a new Constitution Any law found contrary to it would be struck from the country’s books. So, the question is asked again as to which law is being referred to in the comment above?

      • infairness says:

        You need to read the existing constitution before you write.
        Any YES vote will only refer to a draft for an illegal constitution that by referendum was thrown out.
        You cant say no to a new constitution, then yes to the content for the constitution that is not allowed and gazette it, its unconstitutional.
        Go to the faculty of law of any university and ask if you dont understand common sense.
        The question which law is refered to is simple, the existing constiotution, which does not give an expiry date to the results of a referendum, as per intenational law – quote them if you think it does.
        No agreement may over ride the constitution of a country – that is addirtionally international law.
        Problem is journalists get carried away with politics and are unable to do investigative journalism.
        They think because parliamentarians did it, it is legal – its easy to con in Zimbabwe because everyone seems to believe the foreign sponsored propaganda that local journalists have decended to printing.
        You in essense as usual have it back to front, you dont provide a law that says you may not do something you provide a law that says you can, in much the same way as the electionion legislation and presidentional election laws.
        The way forward was if the MPs thought there was public or electoral support for a new constitution or a change of mind then you debate a referendum for this – therereafter if a yes vote would mean you could begin a draft – as explained in the previous referendum the general public as is clearly exposed here are not qualified to vote on content and this in proper format goes through a legal committee in parliament.
        In UK there was a referendum on the EU, there are many electorate who now think differently so they will have another referendum NO or YES vote, nNOT ON TERMS, this is a legal parallel.
        We just get to vote yes or no to a constitution whicgh we have already done with a NO vote.
        Journalistic propaganda depicts the current ZIMBABWE constitution as the Lancaster House constitution which some sheep in the electorate believe – in fact the current constitution has been amended to suit the country and is called the REVISED Zimbabwe cobnstitution,.
        The Lancaster House constitutionhas never existed in any library either in the Law faculty or general library at UZ.
        It was the propaganda at the last referendum which ceased when members of the electorate asked where the can read same.
        Why you might ask did the MUC (Movement fot Undemocratioc Change) embark on this drive to replace the current constitutionwhen they can vote to change any legislation they like in parliament – its simple if you change the lot you can sneek things through that may be objected to if presentec on there own.
        By example in return for illegal political funding and regime change propaganda funding Britain wanted their liability removed for compensation to former white farmers. a view stated in the GPA and signed by all parties.
        It doesnt appear in the draft, but no journalist states well its in the GPA so it is a condition.
        This will save Britain approximately 10 billion in return for fundinmng an illegal draft – once done funding will diisapear.
        This is the reason why we dont get to vote on content.

        • Yepec says:

          Stop showing your ignorance and stupidity. Once the NO votes are passed in the Referendum, the Lancaster House Constitution operates as it does today then we would like to see how your international law would override it or be operative under such circumstances. Your mambo jambo cannot be substituted for facts, who can unearth the layers of hallucination in your mixed up brain?

          • infairness says:

            Your comments do refer to you.
            The revised zimbabwe constitution should operate today, yours the lancaster house never existed it was just propaganda.
            Internation law supports the zimbabwe constitutoion not some crooks who disregard same.
            What i wrote are facts to try and hhelp you, speak to a uni professor or your kinderrgasten teacher for some help

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            Give him a right hook at short range for my friend to understand what you are talking about, or is it ‘Chematsenganzungu’ in my Shona language. This is the only language my friend Yepec understands. You need to talk tough to him because he can really be a nutter or one who gathers nuts if he really wants to go at you, mate. He once played his usually silly games with me when I corned him during a debate and I gave him a left hook at long range and he has been quiet for sometime now.

      • infairness says:

        There is a need to correct – the GPA is an agreement which cannot be incorporated into the constituion – its simply an agreement between politicains.
        You may only incorporate legislation into a constitution not letters or an agreement.
        Those in never never land go and get a copy of the revised zimbabwe constitutioin today from government printers – it is supplied without the booklet of the GPA agreement which i also possess.

  6. Chimbwidos Warvets says:

    If the UNDP can not provide the funds they had earlier promised the country, Chinese and Russians will fill the void by helping the nation. Those who were born yesterday may not be aware that when the western world propped up an illegal regime led by Ian Smith in governing and subjugating the indigenous people of this country, the Chinese and Russians assisted us in providing the moral and financial assistance in toppling the illegal rule of these bastards. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind why they can not do it again if the Zimbabwean government asks for their financial assistance in running both the referendum and general elections. These countries are our true friends who helped us at a time we desperately needed assistance. Anybody who thinks otherwise, will simply be ignorant of our history and I will not be prepared to debate on an issue that is self-explanatory and non-negotiable, end of story.

  7. mike hondo says:

    i just cant understand how such a mineral rich country cant even raise enough money for an election if zimbabweans are asking for funding from foreigners no wonder those countries are interfering in the politics of the country .east or west there is no free lunch money what will zimbabweans have to give in return for this money, i say raise the money yourselves have a bit of pride and pay your own way even if you have to sell your mercedes or 4×4

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      If other people market your minerals, cut your diamonds, refine your gold and determine the prize they pay for your minerals and not the owners of the minerals, such people are still slaves of others. With its abundance of precious metals, Zimbabwe should be richer than most European countries but it is poor because it does not determine the prizes paid to its products but determined by its slave masters abroad. No country can raise enough funds under such conditions.

      • Common Sense says:

        Even if Zimbabwe controlled 100% of Production, it would NEVER determine the price of her exported minerals. It is determined by the MARKET. So what is your point exactly

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          Of course, that is what they always say but one who owns and controls the market has the last laugh all the way to the bank, mate. I will give you the following scenarios and tell me if any African state and Zimbabwe in particular has any say in the prize of their commodities:-

          1. Zimbabwe and many African states have abundant diamond resources whose market is controlled by the western world. In the case of Zimbabwe, the nation has not been able to openly sell its diamonds on the international market for reasons the western world say our precious metals are blood diamonds, whatever that means heavens knows. There is no better way of controlling and owning the diamond trade than this, mate. This is total ownership and control of the world diamond trade. Hapana ma African countries anoti pwee, blazo. Zvataurwa nevakuru vedimond market ndizvozvo, blazo.

          But those fortunate African countries that sell their diamonds on the international market have no say in the prize they are offered by the consumers of their raw diamonds. They just accept any prize offered for their diamonds. The western markets will call this the market prize for African diamonds.

          The iron of it is when they buy the African diamonds, which are eventually cut and processed by the western markets, they will decide for these African countries how much they will pay for the processed diamonds. Once again the western world will call this the market prize for the processed African diamonds. Which ever way you look at it, the African countries are exploited just as they were during slavery, the only difference nowadays being that it is being conducted in sophisticated ways. Only fools will not see this day light robbery of the African precious metals and many other products which they just take for peanuts.

          2. The same scenario relates to our gold and platinum precious metals we have in abundance. Since 1890 to this present day our gold deposits and most recently our platinum deposits have been exploited for a song by western capital. Our people dig out the precious metals from the ground, process the metals, and sell the metals to the international market whose prize is predetermined by the international market and never by Zimbabweans who are the owners of the metals. However, when the metals are further processed into finished products, this time the western markets determine the prize they want the finished product to be paid. If you do not call this daylight robbery of our precious metals by the western markets, then you must be a fool young man.

          I have only given you a scenario that involves only three precious metals endowed to Zimbabwe and yet the nation has so many minerals and other resources that are falling in the same trap. A country whose economy has been raped since 1890 when the country was colonized to the present day can never be characterised as poor. It is only a rich country that can survive those pressures and quite frankly Zimbabwe can be jewel of Africa if we are allowed to have an influence in determining the prizes of our products on the world market. And secondly, we can be a rich nation if we own and control all our minerals and other natural resources endowed to the country. This is only possible if we kick out all foreigners who are enjoying the riches of our nation while we suffer. Kick them out of our mines and land and pave way for our people and see what happens, mate. If we can not look after our people, nobody will do it for us mate. That is the truth of the matter.

  8. wilbert_mukori says:

    The way this government has handled the constitution writing process and the they plan to have people voting in the referendum before they have even had the chance to read the new constitution real leaves a bitter taste in one’s mouth. Everything points to one thing – that the politicians have nothing but contempt for the people. It is not surprising then that few nations would want to have anything to do with the whole fraudulent process, not even the Chinese!

    • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

      Did they tell you this crap Wilbert or as usual it is a figment of your weak imagination? You make it appear that Zimbabweans are like children whose minds are not well development to think for themselves. This is far from the truth as our people are intelligent, educated, civilized and have fully read the draft constitution to understand its implications. By the way, there is no new constitution yet but a draft constitution which by its very nature can be changed to suit the prevailing situation. It only becomes a new constitution once it has been signed into law by R.G. Mugabe as the Head of State and Government, which he has not done. If you can not know or understand these basic facts then you are not fit to be the political analyst for SW Radio Africa. You are always fumbling and talking nonsense most of the time.
      The whole process is fraudulent to you, a man who is critical of almost everything Zimbabwean and yet you have dismally failed in coming out with your blueprint. A man or woman who is good at criticising others should equally be good at offering solutions to problems but you have not shown us that you have the brains and aptitude to do just that Wilbert. The English people characterise a person like you as ‘good for nothing’ or simply a big mouth.

      • wilbert_mukori says:

        For once I have to agree with you, “our people are intelligent, educated, civilized”; the real reason we find ourselves in this hell-on-earth situation is because the nation is being ruled (ruined) by buffoons backed by a battalion after battalion of morons and village idiots like you, Chimbwido.

        Our people “have fully read the draft constitution to understand its implications”, you say. How could they have read it when no draft has ever been circulated and the tyrant has maintained a total blackout of all debates on the constitution in the public press, radio and TV? Now you see why you are a moron!

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          If you do not know what is going on in the country, your best bet is to shut up Wilbert. Both the print media, radio and TV in Zimbabwe are busy selling the idea and have been in the process of educating the people for sometime now. Of course, you wouldn’t know much about the goings on in the country because you are in the self-imposed Diaspora where you are drinking beer and eating horse laced buggers, mate.

          I for one, have read the draft constitution many times over to acquaint myself of what is expected of me and all people that I know are doing just that, mate. You will be the biggest fool if you have not read the draft constitution which has been available to the inquisitive eye since last year, mate. I am sure, it is the official date Zimbabweans are expected to cast their vote that is bothering people like you. But be assured that we know what we want, and we can not be taken for granted by anyone, including you.

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          f you do not know what is going on in the country, your best bet is to shut up Wilbert. Both the print media, radio and TV in Zimbabwe are busy selling the idea and have been in the process of educating the people for sometime now. Of course, you wouldn’t know much about the goings on in the country because you are in the self-imposed Diaspora where you are drinking beer and eating buggers laced with horse meat, mate.

          I for one, have read the draft constitution many times over to acquaint myself of what is expected of me and all people that I know are doing just that, mate. You will be the biggest fool if you have not read the draft constitution which has been available to the inquisitive eye since last year, mate. I am sure, it is the official date Zimbabweans are expected to cast their vote that is bothering people like you. But be assured that we know what we want, and we can not be taken for granted by anyone, including you.

      • infairness says:

        You dont undetrstand the difference between a reporter and a journalist.
        Areporter reports fact a journalist embelishes a story to sell newspapers cause unrest.
        For example if you reported truthfully and said the President went to Singapore for a medical examination it wouldnt sell newspapers or cause unrest and you wouldnt get paid for propaganda by the Brit government.
        If you shout bomb at an airport you go to jail for causing alarm.
        I f a journalist states that the President is dying he says it is freedom of speech.
        I n fact it is worse, it is terrorism, they should be arrested not for defamation but for terrorist activity.
        It is also terrorism to be funded from another country to promote regime change propaganda.
        The journalists demand freedom of speach but show no responsibility and do not comply with the law that others have to.
        Like criminals they sometimes hide in other countries, fearful that they will be arrested for their criminal acts.

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          I do not understand the argument here mate. Kindly make it simpler for Chimbwidos Warvets as I do not want to speculate as you can make it less difficult for me to understand. It seems you have good ideas only if you can be specific and to the point.

          • infairness says:

            We are commenting on what journalists write – there was a need to tell him not to take it seriously

    • super mondo says:

      some advice wilbert,your theory of a no vote is correct ,and gpa agreements should be implimented before elections take place.you should continue to expose the constitution for the joke it is,just look at the land ownership issue re foreign investment.and look how zanu have tried to protect themselves from reparations.this is not what the people want.the people want their assets back.

      • super mondo says:

        also wilbert take no notice of of the warfart he has been talking out of his bum so much he has teeth growing in his rectumn

        • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

          Of course, being a fool for which the two of you are, Wilbert who I suspect could be your husband or is it your wife will take your advice? But for the well informed and intelligent, like my friends Yepec, Dumbu, Martin Hondo and Comrade Chinx will not accept this crap from a former rhodie who is in hiding in Ireland. Nobody in his/her right frame of mind can dispute what has been said by Chimbwidos Warvets for he is the truth, mate. And nobody is courageous enough to say it as is other than Chimbwidos Warvets. Quite frankly, it will not be long before his doubting Thomas, his detractors such as Super Mondo or his political and security opponents whose names Chimbwidos is not at liberty to spell out, will cut short his tail or even kill him or do other silly things you can think of for speaking his mind and telling the world the truth. It is a prize, he is prepared to pay.

          • Fat says:

            Why are they focusing on draft constitution leaving out important matters ,rebuilding the country ,they have started their squabbles

          • Fat says:

            They have not built a single respected road in the entire country not even a respected bridge ,these people are political fanatics of this generation

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            You can ask them as I do not have their mandate to answer for them.

  9. super mondo says:

    foreign aid is given on the capability of repayment .zim is somewhere in the region of 10.5 billion in debt thanks to zanu and mugabe.investment and aid has dried up the economical damage done in zim since 1980 will take decades to balance,thats mugabes legacy.

  10. Common Sense says:

    Fascinating. Zimbabwe KNEW 3years ago that would have a referendum and elections this year.

    And so 1-2 months before the Referendum (which overran anyway) we decide to put our begging bowls out.

    In the meantime we buy Mercedes and 4×4′s and recruit more into the Army and spend Millions on RGM’s Birthday… etc. etc. etc.

    If you wanted this place to be governed properly, why the frick didn’t you STOP SPENDING, Dammit Zimbabwe when will you ever learn!

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