THE ruling Zanu PF has splashed about $3 trillion on its five-day extraordinary congress that started on Tuesday at a time when the country’s economy continues in an unprecedented free-fall.
Information gathered by the Z
imbabwe Independent revealed that in October the party’s politburo was told that the congress should be bankrolled to the tune of between $2 and $3 trillion to cater for about 10 000 delegates’ transport, food and accommodation.
About 2 670 delegates were drawn from the party’s district coordinating committees up to the central committee, while 6 171 were from districts and 210 from Zanu PF affiliate organisations — giving a total of 9 051.
The large number of delegates forced Zanu PF to move the congress from its traditional venue at the Harare International Conference Centre to the City Sports Centre.
Harare City Council that owns and run the centre provided the venue to the party at no cost.
Two weeks ago, the politburo was also informed that the organising coordinating committee of the congress had identified 45 sites for the delegates’ accommodation and that Zanu PF would hire 132 buses to transport the members.
In a clear abuse of state resources Zupco pledged to provide between 60 and 70 buses to augment the 132, while the National Railways of Zimbabwe chipped in with trains.
The Zimbabwe National Army and the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s staff messes were roped in to provide catering.
During the same politburo meeting concerns were raised over the disappearance of 21 beasts carried over from the 2005 Esgodini and 2006 Goromonzi conferences, which could have reduced drastically the catering costs.
The disappearance of the cattle is now the subject of investigations.
Zanu PF is also expected to splash out over $661 billion and US$1,2 million for capital expenditure and general campaign funds for next year’s harmonised polls.
The government is currently appealing to international agencies for US$320 million for food aid and medicines. — Staff Writer.