Breaking News

Is China funding Zimbabwe's referendum and elections?

by Clifford Chitupa Mashiri
24 February 2013 | 5286 Views

All of a sudden Zimbabwe's cash-strapped coalition government has funds for polls despite making an appeal for help from the United Nations to foot its US$250m election bill only a fortnight ago.

Ironically, in April 2011, Zanu-pf turned down an offer by the United Nations to fund and supervise elections, accusing the UN of taking the wrong side in the Ivory Coast conflict.
But in a major climb down Zanu-pf's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa had co-written a letter with MDC-T's Finance Minister Tendai Biti to the UNDP asking for funds for the elections whose date still remains a mystery.

Just before putting down their glasses of champagne of celebrating that the UNDP had "approved" Zimbabwe's request for election money, another breaking news came "Zimbabwe fails to secure external funding for referendum" (SWRadioAfrica.com,  22/02/13).

Although, Finance Minister Tendai Biti reportedly wanted the referendum delayed for lack of funds, the Head of State and Government of disunity, Robert Mugabe told visiting bishops Zimbabwe will be able to raise US$200 million using its natural resources.

Curiously, the same natural resources Mugabe was referring to (presumably diamonds, platinum, elephants and rhinos) have not been used transparently to fund education, Zimbabwe's  employment creation efforts or health for all, but have arguably been given to China for a song.

As if the GNU was just playing cry wolf over poll funds, the Sunday Mail on 24th February 2013 quoted Patrick Chinamasa as saying the government has raised enough funds for the constitutional referendum scheduled for March 16, without disclosing the source of the money.

Now, the question is Where did Zimbabwe suddenly get the referendum money at such a short notice which did not exist before the failed joint bid by the two ministers for UN funding?

Given that Zimbabwean companies are operating at 50% capacity or lower and cannot easily part with US$200 million required, as seen from the unsuccessful rent seeking for Mugabe's 21st Feb Movement which secured donations from only two local businesses, Bhadhela and Jays wholesalers , so where has Zimbabwe secured funds for the controversial referendum and elections?

Arguably, people are left to speculate on the coincidence of the revived confidence with recent arrival in Harare of the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming, who, without delay signed three memoranda of understanding with Zimbabwe including one for an interest free US$9.6 million loan from China to Zimbabwe (ZBC, 22/02/13).

Is China colonising Zimbabwe?
At a time when Zimbabwe Republic Police is criminalising the ownership of wind-up short wave radio sets, the Chinese delegation handed over an outside broadcasting van and the uplink obviously to boost Zanu-pf propaganda while denying citizens the right to hear alternative news broadcasts by seizing donated radios from poor rural people.

As if to reassure her Chinese guest, the Acting President Joyce Mujuru reportedly declared that Western observers are not welcome to monitor Zimbabwe's harmonised elections. This is a bit strange considering the fact that they have not yet secured the necessary funds for elections.
 
Or, is this Zanu-pf's way of telling the European Union, to stay away from the 2013 elections, despite easing targeted sanctions on 21 Mugabe loyalists supposedly to reward him, in the hope of sharing the economic cake at the expense of human rights given the crackdown on NGOs in Zimbabwe?

That Zimbabwe is fast speeding towards an uncertain future is observable from the arrogance of the leaders who are stubbornly holding onto an arbitrary referendum date that nobody is ready for, while the judiciary appears uncertain on how to handle the NCA petition which seeks to postpone the event feared by many as potentially violent close to polling day.

While the source of poll funds may be puzzling, it may not be as curious as the MDC-T's endorsement of the unrealistic referendum date of 16 March given the poor logistics in the country.

Equally incomprehensible is Morgan Tsvangirai's approval of what some in both MDC formations view as Zanu-pf sympathisers to head the Human Rights Commission and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission ahead of the mother of all controversial elections.




Is  China funding Zimbabwe's referendum and elections?

Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, zimanalysis2009@gmail.com


Clifford Chitupa Mashiri


Disclaimer:
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

Source: Clifford Chitupa Mashiri

Do you agree that foreskins of circumcised men could be used for witchcraft?

Yes
53.08%
No
15.17%
Hogwash
31.75%
211

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Jonathan Moyo confirms he's been to the police over Baba Jukwa saga

by Lovemore Chikova | 25 July 2014 | 1022 Views

Makokoba Health Care Initiative appeals for help - The fire that rend...

by Staff Reporter | 25 July 2014 | 266 Views

MDC Renewal Team Statement on the state of the national economy - The ...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 518 Views

Face to Face with Walk Against Litter man - Fungai Chiposi

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 697 Views

Jonathan Moyo fails to report to police - Information minister Jonatha...

by Tichaona Sibanda | 24 July 2014 | 2989 Views

Parliament budget unit to be established before end of year - Before t...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 392 Views

Mugabe launches teachers' capacity development programme

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1416 Views

Accident waiting to happen, BCC do something - WhatsApp updatye

by Concerned Citizen | 24 July 2014 | 1337 Views

What's the farce about Tsvangirai UK trip - Quite puzzling is the exci...

by Gugugu Magorira | 24 July 2014 | 1185 Views

Use Right To Demonstrate Productively and Focus on the Dictatorship - ...

by Makusha Mugabe, Information and Publicity Secretary - MDC UK Midlands North | 24 July 2014 | 538 Views

'Zim banks have no capacity to fund mines,' says BAZ - THE banking sec...

by Oliver Kazunga | 24 July 2014 | 499 Views

Murderer gets a wholly suspended sentence for poisoning his son - A 25...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1468 Views

Mnangagwa backs harsh minimum mandatory sentence for rapists - Justice...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1196 Views

Finally, Chingoka quits Zimbabwe Cricket - In what most people would w...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2370 Views

Chaos at Renkini bus terminus - WhatsApp update - 11:44am, 24 Jul - ...

by Concerned citizen | 24 July 2014 | 4622 Views

MDC-T Joburg District endorses Tsvangirai and Khupe - Press release 2...

by Lft Gen Simbarashe Mujeye | 24 July 2014 | 1905 Views

Why Zimbabwe has failed - The promise by ZANU (PF) to empower and deve...

by Vince Musewe | 24 July 2014 | 1574 Views

Newly appointed Zimpapers editor dies - Newly appointed Zimpapers and ...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 5620 Views

Scientists 'delete' HIV from human cells - Once HIV conquers a human c...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 5133 Views

'Thieving goblin raping man and ruining his business' - Apparently a t...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2863 Views

'Robert Mugabe out of touch,' says Chamisa

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2576 Views

Tendai Biti wants rand to replace US dollar

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 4278 Views

Zimbabwe diamonds stolen in Dubai - A parcel of Zimbabwe diamonds wort...

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 2281 Views

UK demo awaits Tsvangirai

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 1937 Views

Baba Jukwa saga, police summon Jonathan Moyo

by Staff reporter | 24 July 2014 | 3999 Views

Entertainment

Carl Joshua Ncube to tour with brand new material - The brand new stan...

by Staff Reporter | 24 July 2014 | 553 Views

Macheso gears up for UK tours - In an apparent joint preparation for t...

by Entertainment reporters | 23 July 2014 | 1329 Views

DJ Munya is back - After a two-year hiatus, DJ Munya - real name Munya...

by Entertainment Reporter | 23 July 2014 | 2173 Views

White guy plays chitekete - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp16XF-Tcf...

by Staff Reporter | 23 July 2014 | 3232 Views

Beyonce and Jay Z to separate - claims - Jay Z and Beyonce are reporte...

by Staff reporter | 22 July 2014 | 3385 Views

No talent is meant for the grave, Dr Nkomo Commemoration - The prepara...

by Nokutula Ncube | 22 July 2014 | 1063 Views

Miss Curvy dinner flops

by Yeukai Karengezeka | 21 July 2014 | 5280 Views

'He's going to be in trouble once I die' says DJ Cleo's father - 64-ye...

by Staff reporter | 20 July 2014 | 5678 Views