By Pieter Ziegler
Treasury this month released $1,5 billion that was shared by two political players under the Political Parties Finance Act.
The money was shared between ZANU PF and the MDC Alliance and was split based on the number of seats a party commands in the National Assembly and the percentage of votes obtained in the previous election.
ZANU PF, which obtained 70,03 percent of the votes cast in the previous election, got $1 050 450 000, while the MDC Alliance, which received 29,97 percent of the total votes cast, got $449 550 000.
All Passion And No Money
However the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), which is expected to provide the most formidable challenge to ZANU PF in the 2023 election, was not included in the category as it did not contest in the previous elections.
The Nelson Chamisa-led party has since resorted to begging for donations and fundraising initiatives.
However, with only about 5 months before elections its Chamisa Defend The Vote Go-Fund is still at around US$300 000.
According to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), oppposition parties need water-tight systems that track the political environment and the integrity of the electoral management body.
“This can be done by including a robust parallel voter tabulation system, well-trained and equipped polling station party agents, targeted voter mobilisation and using domestic laws to enforce fairness,” it said.
This is where the problem is because CCC doesn’t have money for such things.
It’s engine is driven solely by passion and the hunger to drive out ZANU PF.
Most of the party cadres involved in its activities have to sacrifice their personal resources for much of the work.
On the contrary, ZANU PF is wallowing in a sea of financial possibilities, avenues and openings, of which the most notable is gold.
A sudden wave of gold dealers has shown the financial potential of the ruling party exhibited in the brand new vehicles and the extravagance by some of its aspiring candidates.
Extravagance of Candidates
In Mabvuku Scott Sakupwanya has created a refuse collection fleet of his own, branded and campaigning with each round.
He has also promised all registered voters that they will be receiving food hampers every two months.
In Norton Constance Shamhu, wife to ZANU PF Deputy Commissar Webster Shamhu, has also emerged daring to go toe-to-toe financially with incumbent Temba Mliswa.
“I heard Temba boasting that he has money but I will show his that I also have money of my own,” she said.
Early this month 38 chiefs were given brand new vehicles potentially strengthening the party’s hold in rural areas.
The list of good dealers and alleged runners within the ZANU PF camp have shown the party is well-set financially against the opposition.
Even candidates contesting in known opposition strongholds such as Lynnete Mahlaba in Tendai Biti’s Harare East have been rumoured to have received hefty campaign packages.
As ZANU PF continues flexing its gold-backed financial muscle the opposition finds itself in a tight sport, armed with nothing more than anger and frustration.