A political analyst has said the underfunding of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by the ZANU PF-led government was a calculated move by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to avoid by-elections at all cost.
Professor Austin Chakaodza made the remarks after it emerged that the Ministry of Finance allocated a paltry $2.3 billion to ZEC, with electoral officials making it clear that they needed $12 billion to conduct by-elections in 2021. Said Chakaodza:
The levelling of the playing field can’t be achieved thr ough the current approach towards politics where there is a suspicion that the ruling party will dictate what Zec must do, including when and how elections should be held.
The current political landscape will continue to be bad news for all opposition parties in Zimbabwe including the MDC -T and MDC alliance.
ZEC chief elections officer Utoile Silaigwana told a post-budget consultative meeting on Thursday before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that they cannot guarantee credible by-election unless the government provides the $12 billion needed for the exercise.
The MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa lost 32 MPs and 165 councillors to recalls by the rival MDC-T faction led by Thokozani Khupe and by-elections to fill the vacancies are now overdue.