ZANU PF is in a financial mess after incurring a US$3,4 million deficit this year, posing a threat to the party’s restructuring and elections campaign scheduled for next year, a report by the party’s central committee has shown.
The report, which provides an insight into the state of the party, its finances, mobilisation strategies and other party activities, showed that Zanu PF was consuming more than it generated.
“Generally, there are high expenditure requests from service departments, but there is need for prioritisation, considering the small inflows of revenue from donations, sale of membership cards and subscriptions, among others,” read the report.
Due to the financial problems, Zanu PF failed to revive its propaganda mouthpiece, Zimbabwe News, which is a monthly publication, the report said.
The party was also in a quandary as to how it would be able to replenish its ageing vehicle fleet ahead of the anticipated elections. The current party fleet stands at 200 running and non-running motor vehicles.
Zanu PF’s expenses during the year amounted to US$6 333 581 compared to a US$2 929 991 revenue that the party generated from membership fees, donations, a government grant, fundraising and conference hall hire.
At its current expenditure and fundraising rate, Zanu PF has to more than double its revenue generation efforts, and keep expenses down, if it is to break even.
The largest cash gobbler was last week’s conference in Mutare, which consumed US$3,3 million for accommodation, food, transport, equipment hire and renovations to Marymount college and a clinic in that area.
In a report that was presented during the conference, the party’s finance department said given the tight liquidity prevailing since the adoption of multiple currencies in February last year, Zanu PF was surviving on bank overdrafts with high interest charges.
As a result, Zanu PF paid US$826 970 in bank charges during the year.
Apart from paying dearly for the conference, Zanu PF’s wage bill was the second largest expense after conference hosting bills at US$1,171 million during the year.
This, according to the party’s finance department, was a 102% increase on the previous year as they had moved from paying allowances to real salaries.
Zanu PF also spent US$423 446 for its constitutional meetings.
The party received its largest chunk of money — US$1,094 million —- from government through a grant under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.
The Political Parties (Finance) Act stipulates that parties with a representation in parliament enjoy a government grant for purposes of administration.
Other revenue generation efforts have largely drawn blanks and despite printing more than 1,6 million cards for sale to members across the country, Zanu PF only managed to raise US$166 384. The cards are sold at US$1 each.
“The low sales of cards and payment of subscriptions are indications of how the generality of membership is finding it difficult to raise the required cash due to the economic hardships,” said the party.
Zanu PF received US$721 280 in donations and US$ 114 679 through fundraising. The national fundraising committee had set a target of US$1,5 million and each province was supposed to raise US$150 000 each.
Zanu PF has been hit hard by the economic difficulties as there was no dividend from its investments.
The party has investments in listed companies, joint ventures and firms which are wholly owned by Zanu PF.
Zanu PF said some of their companies had to be recapitalised and given the state of the party’s affairs, it remains to be seen how they would be able to raise the required cash.
One company, which was singled out for recapitalisation, was the party’s printing and publishing firm, Jongwe, which faces serious problems.
“At the time of reporting, the company’s state of the art Solna machine could not print colour works forcing them to print colour sections on a smaller machine which is not adequate for the newspaper industry,” said the information and publicity secretariat in the report.
“The origination of films is being outsourced because the company machine is down. Jongwe Printing and Publishing needs about US$100 000 to enable it to repair machinery and bring it back to its feet.”
It was also reported that the People’s Voice, the weekly publication, was faced with serious constraints and had no vehicles for its functions.