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Biti is playing to the gallery: Zanu PF

ZANU PF has said Finance minister Tendai Biti must stop moaning and ensure that funding for a referendum on a new constitution and elections is made available as a matter of urgency.

BY OUR STAFF

Biti on Friday said he had written to President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai advising them that the country does not have sufficient funds to hold elections and referendum.

Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo yesterday insisted that funding would be made available at the “right” time, but could not say from which sources.

“We are not worried about what Biti said,” he said. “Biti knows that funding is available. He is playing to the gallery and trying to show that he can influence when elections are held.”

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) requires close to US$200 million for holding both the referendum and elections.

Gumbo said nothing was going to stop the holding of elections early next year as demanded by his party.

He said the two MDCs should ensure that the constitution-making process is concluded by Tuesday in line with a Zanu PF resolution at its recent annual people conference in Gweru.

Biti said it was clear that the country could not fund elections from its own resources, urging Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu to remit diamond revenue for the process.

“I have already written to the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and to the President Robert Mugabe informing them that our resources will not be sufficient,” he said.

“They must sit on Obert Mpofu about diamond exports. It is quite clear that the international community has to come to our assistance. Zimbabwe will not have sufficient resources on its own to fund both the referendum and the election.”

The Finance minister said lack of transparency, accountability and looting of diamonds have made his job a nightmare.

Biti also revealed that Mugabe and the service chiefs have agreed to a free and fair election next year.

“I am coming from a national security council meeting attended by service chiefs,” he said.

“The President, Prime Minister the Vice-President (Joice Mujuru) and everyone present were talking about one thing, the importance of having a clean election next year. I am hopeful that we will have that clean election next year,” Biti said.

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