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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
is pinching its pennies
Maphosa, Mail and Guardian (SA)
July 26, 2013
going for broke. No government department is allowed to spend money
on any operational activities, including stationery, until after
next week’s elections.
The order comes
after the finance ministry suspended all government expenditure
except salaries so that all available funds are channelled to next
and parastatal employees have also been ordered to surrender their
government-issued vehicles as the central government battles to
mobilise resources for the elections.
Tendai Biti, who has tried unsuccessfully to raise funds from the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Southern African
Development Community, last week said there was no choice but to
halt all other spending activities.
Because of budget
constraints, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the body conducting
the poll, has failed to purchase vehicles, and only has the few
that were donated to the commission by the UNDP.
As a result,
the government has now ordered civil servants to hand back their
vehicles to enable the ZEC to transport voting material and officials
who will preside over the elections.
Republic Police has been directed to impound unsurrendered vehicles
and escort them to government complexes, or to the Central Mechanical
Equipment Department offices at district and provincial levels,
to ensure there will not be a shortage of vehicles for the electoral
a circular from the chair of the Public Service Commission, Dr Mariyawanda
Nzuwa, that has been put up on notice boards at government offices
countrywide, the vehicles were to be surrendered by midday on Tuesday.
reads: “Government requires vehicles to transport election
personnel and materials for the July 31 harmonised elections to
all parts of Zimbabwe. Accordingly, the Public Service Commission
is directing heads of ministries to surrender all government vehicles,
ie: one tonne to 10 tonne trucks, single cabs, twin/double cabs
and utility vehicles to the Public Service Commission by 12pm on
July 23 2013.”
says surrendered vehicles should be accompanied by a ministry or
Republic Police has been requested to stop and impound unsurrendered
vehicles with effect from Wednesday, July 24 2013, and to immediately
escort the vehicles to the nearest Central Mechanical Equipment
Department office or Public Service Commission office.”
Nzuwa said heads
of ministries should seek clearance from the Public Service Commission
if they want to retain any vehicles for essential services.
ZEC deputy chair
Joyce Kazembe said the body has enough ballot boxes and polling
booths for the elections. Ballot papers for four provinces were
delivered on Tuesday, and the commission has finished printing ballot
papers for six of the country’s 10 provinces.
ballot papers will have been delivered to all provinces by Thursday
and the ink needed for the voting exercise has been secured.
By Tuesday the
ZEC had only received $58-million of a budget of $133-million for
The ZEC commissioner
responsible for finance, Bessie Fadzai Nhandara, said the ZEC has
managed to put in place most of the material it needs to conduct
the polls, after securing services on credit.
the budget we wanted, we have only received $58-million, but nothing
has stopped us from getting what we want. We are just passing the
bills to treasury, and right now we are on course,” she said.
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