Zimbabwe’s 2018 election to cost more than $270m

Harare – Zimbabwe will reportedly need at least $274m to fund next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), chairperson Rita Makarau has told the women affairs committee of parliament that she believes the financial squeezed treasury will be able to bankroll the polls.

“ZEC is confident that treasury will avail the funding as it has funded all the past by-elections and the acquisition of the Biometric Vote Registration (BVR) kits. Treasury is seized with a budget for the required election materials and equipment,” Makarau was quoted as saying.

Makarau has since appealed to political parties and civil organisations to begin educating communities about BVR and the registration requirements.

The southern African country is expected to hold crunch polls next year, amid calls by opposition parties for electoral reforms.

The opposition parties, through their New Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera), said that their patience was “running out” and that they would use various channels to ensure that the reforms were implemented before the elections, said reports.

Previous ballots have been marred by allegations of the existence of ghost voters, with names listed of people who were long dead, were under age, or who never even existed.

Opposition parties are trying to forge an electoral alliance, in a bid to oust long-time Preesident Robert Mugabe.

But Mugabe has scoffed at the planned alliance, saying it would make victory easier for his ruling party as it could now focus on one common rival, rather than separate opponents.

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