Zimbabwe: No sufficient funds to hold elections, Says Finance Minister
FINANCE minister Tendai Biti has written to President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai advising them that the country does not have sufficient funds to hold elections and the referendum set to next year.
Speaking at the monthly state of the economy address in Harare yesterday, Biti said the two processes could only proceed if there was funding from the diamond sector and the international community.
“I have already written to our two principals and impressed upon them that our own resources will not be sufficient, so there are two things that they must do, sit on Obert Mpofu about diamond mining and exports,” said Biti.
“It’s quiet clear that the international community must come to our rescue because we do not have sufficient funds to cover both the referendum and elections. If it was just the elections alone, we could try something.”
He said the total revenue for the country from January to November amounted to $3,5 billion.
The contribution of the diamond sector to the economy, according to Biti, was still worrisome as the country had received $45,7 million from the sector.
“All is not well in the State of Rome. The revenues have been static, having contributed $41 million last year. Now the sector has contributed $45,7 million,” he said.
He said mineral exports were $2,1 billion with platinum leading with $689 million, followed by diamond exports at $586 million and gold $579 million.
Biti said Treasury was disturbed by the operations of Anjin, building hotels, but not remitting taxes to Treasury.
“We are concerned with the Chinese outfit Anjin that has been building hotels yet it has not been remitting funds to us.
We are also looking at how we can revise both the Reserve Bank Act and Zimbabwe Revenue Act, so that we collect revenues on our own,” Biti said