The Movement for Democratic Change has been struggling to raise funds for its election campaign and some of its former donors are now a little more cautious, according to the London fortnightly Africa Confidential.
The subscription-only publication said the decision to have elections by 31 July, even if they were delayed, would not help Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s faction of the MDC “which, we hear, is struggling to raise election campaign funds, even at this late stage.”
The story was published last Friday but was obviously written before the publication knew about the Constitutional Court’s decision on Thursday evening.
“Meeting in London in late June, senior MDC officials announced that they would need at least another US$10 million to take on President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF),” it said.
“This year, some of the MDC’s former donors are a little more cautious, given signs that ZANU-PF has improved its political and economic positions over the past year. There are strong suspicions that a large part of Zimbabwe’s $500 mn. a year income from rough diamond exports to the United Arab Emirates and India finds its way back to the party through politically-connected business people in Harare.
“Whenever the elections take place, ZANU-PF will start with huge advantages in campaign funds and its continuing alliance with senior officers in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO),” the confidential said.
Tsvangirai gave no hint of this at his first campaign rally yesterday except that his party was going into the elections with a heavy heart because reforms necessary to have free, fair and credible elections had not been implemented.
Reports say the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation demanded $165 000 to broadcast the MDC’s campaign launch something it did not do for ZANU-PF.