PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s demand for elections since 2010 has left most Zanu PF MPs broke, throwing their re-election bids into disarray as they struggle to fund their campaigns.
Report by Elias Mambo
The MPs have spent huge amounts of money campaigning for re-election as Mugabe kept vowing to call for polls since last year with or without a new constitution saying the current coalition set-up is dysfunctional.
Zanu PF legislators spent large sums of money trying to woo party supporters to vote for them in the party’s primary elections so they can contest the general elections which Mugabe has been promising since 2010 would be held before end of each year.
One senior Zanu PF MP said Mugabe’s stunts had kept them in election mode, but it is now clear polls can only be held in 2013 and most of them would struggle to pool resources to fund their campaigns unless the party chipped in.
“It is a pity we have been on the ground for too long because we all believed the president’s call for early polls,” lamented the MP.
Some MPs had hoped they would get their share of the US$5 million Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to cushion them until elections, but Finance minister and MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti has dashed hopes the CDF would be disbursed before harmonised elections.
“Zanu PF had made an internal arrangement for MPs to get loans of US$22 000 from CBZ as soon as the party gave campaigns go-ahead but the deal was later cancelled,” said a source.
Local politicians are known to splash out money on prospective voters and “income-generating projects” before elections in a bid to lure voters.
However, Zanu PF secretary for administration and acting treasurer Didymus Mutasa dismissed the claims saying the party always comes up with options to fund MPs in every election.
“The party has always come up with funding options and we have not yet tabled such ideas,” said Mutasa. “We have not deserted our MPs and as a party that is preparing to win elections we will come up with a variety of options to aid our candidates.”
The sources said Zanu PF is broke and is currently struggling to pay its 180 workers. It is also facing mounting debts that currently stand at more than US$3 million.