Zanu PF vote rigging juggernaut well-oiled with $4b to MDC's $2m - will bullet train run out of gas before race is done
"If you take go into the elections next month you are going to lose; the elections are done," SADC leaders warned Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends at the Maputo SADC summit in June 2013.
SADC leaders were able to judge the election as "done" months before the first ballot was cast because of Zanu PF's electoral superiority is also every field of the contest. One of these areas was finance; Zanu PF was awash with cash.
Zanu PF parliamentary candidates were given all the t-shirts and other campaigning materials, $10 000 in cash plus a brand new Ford Ranger‚ Toyota Hilux or Ford Everest. Everyone, including the losing candidates, was allowed to keep the new vehicle.
"Former Zanu-PF member Jonathan Moyo‚ who was part of the party's 2013 election campaign and is now in political exile‚ took to Twitter to reveal the alleged source of Zanu-PF's 2013 campaign funds. He claimed that diamond revenue and state funds to the tune of at least US$70m were used," reported Bulawayo24.
Professor Moyo is way off the mark! The cash and new vehicles for 200 Zanu PF parliamentary and 89 senatorial candidates alone would cost more than $70 million. Add the $58 million in University fees arrears Mugabe to Presidential Scholarship student; $10 million paid to NIKUV, the vote rigging specialists; millions paid to PR companies in UK, SA and USA; hundreds of millions paid to hired crowds and party youths who were bussed around; etc. Many people believe Zanu PF's 2013 elections campaign bill must be $4 billion plus!
In contrast, MDC-T parliamentary candidate got $700 and council candidate got $100 each, according former MDC-T cabinet minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo. MDC-T total budget would be $2 million, maximum.
So Zanu PF out spend MDC-T by a staggering 2 000 to 1 in the 2013 elections!Zanu PF's financial situation is even rosier this year. The party has already splashed millions of new twin cab Isuzu trucks for each of the country's 282 Chiefs, $ 60 million on new vehicles for party leaders.
"Last week Zanu-PF's national commissar‚ Retired Lt-Gen Engelbert Rugeje‚ told members the party would soon distribute millions of campaign materials to the masses," reported Bulawayo24.
"As for regalia‚ we have 15-million T-shirts‚ 15-million caps and some of them have already arrived‚" he said. "We also have 2-million [body] wrappers for women."
"When the party won‚ we kept the cars‚" said an election candidate from the Midlands‚ who lost. If his candidature is approved‚ he is due for another car."
All told, Zanu PF will probably spend $6 billion this time round! The party has kicked out most other players in Marange including the party's "all weather friends" the Chinese. So the consolidated loot from diamonds is considerable!
MDC Alliance's financial position has not improved. The donors who deserted the party in droves just before the 2013 elections in disgust for the party's failure to implement even one reforms during the GNU have continued ignore the party.
"We are likely to see Zanu-PF outspending other political parties on regalia‚ campaign vehicles and a sustained media blitz in terms of visibility. I foresee Zanu-PF being miles ahead of the MDC Alliance‚ People's Rainbow Coalition by end of May. Whether that will translate into votes will be known once election results are announced‚" Political analyst Prof Philani Moyo from Fort Hare University.
It is ironic that MDC Alliance, party with a shoe string budget, should be the one holding rallies up and down the country bussing supporters around at great expense and the race has not even started! Even bullet trains need a source of energy to keep them going. In terms of funding alone, it looks like the Nelson Chamisa bullet has "enough gas to take you to the nearest petrol station," as car salesman would say. And Chamisa is wasting the gas on warn-ups!
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