News / Africa

    South Africa to Fund Zimbabwe Elections

    People line up to vote in a referendum at a polling station in Harare, March 16, 2013. Officials say South Africa has approved $100 million in aid which will fund elections by October. People line up to vote in a referendum at a polling station in Harare, March 16, 2013. Officials say South Africa has approved $100 million in aid which will fund elections by October.
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    People line up to vote in a referendum at a polling station in Harare, March 16, 2013. Officials say South Africa has approved $100 million in aid which will fund elections by October.
    People line up to vote in a referendum at a polling station in Harare, March 16, 2013. Officials say South Africa has approved $100 million in aid which will fund elections by October.
    Zimbabwe's government has failed to raise money for elections, but South Africa has approved $100 million in funding which will be used to pay for the polls, Finance Minister Tendai Biti told journalists.

    However, he said South Africa has approved $100 million in budgetary support to Harare, which will be used to pay for the polls.

    “We are already under pressure, being stifled, being suffocated with fiscal pressures," Biti said. "I'm aware the South African cabinet has made a decision on the budgetary assistance and a positive one. What is outstanding is a question of implementation."

    Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections by October of this year to replace a fragile four-year-old coalition government which unites the parties of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

    However, the planning for the polls has been stalled due to financial concerns.

    Zimbabwe cannot borrow from institutions like the World Bank because it has defaulted on its loans, and a request for funding from the United Nations was held up when officials would not approve a visit by the world body's assessment team.

    In March, Zimbabwe managed to hold a constitutional referendum by borrowing money from local companies.

    The referendum went smoothly, and voters overwhelmingly approved the constitution, but observers fear the elections may be tainted by violence and intimidation tactics.

    Police have been confiscating radios that pick up foreign stations, a measure that would force Zimbabweans to listen to state-run media, which generally support Mugabe.

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    Comments
         
    by: Charlie from: California
    April 17, 2013 2:13 PM
    Nobody else will say it so I will. The grand peace of 1980 ending white rule in Southern Rhodesia and allowing, naturally enough, the rebel leader Mugabwe to take power has led to ruin there. I place the blame on a man who resembles Papa Doc more than George Washington. It didn't have to turn out this way. It could have had a much sunnier outcome for everyone. And one reason that we gotten this outcome is that we were blinded by race when we should have ignored it as soon as the rot began.

    by: ali from: johanneaburg
    April 17, 2013 7:45 AM
    I wish they could pay for the E-toll. im sure that money can cover

    by: Stealth from: Eshowe
    April 17, 2013 2:14 AM
    The IMF and Worl Bank cannot lend Zim money as they have failed to pay back loans so SA have made a great bussines decision to lend Zim money. Sounds like a SA state owned enterprise decision. Makes one wonder if there is any hope????

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