Zanu (PF) blows $3,3 million on conf

zanu_pf_logoReport shows finances in the red
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's Zanu (PF) party squandered US$3,3 million at its annual national conference held in Mutare last month, according to documents.

A central committee report says US$3,3 million was gobbled by accommodation costs, food, transport, equipment hire and renovations to Marymount Teachers College, which was spruced up for the annual gathering. About 4, 000 delegates attended the conference.

The conference attracted delegates countrywide, and its diaspora branches in Joburg and London.

The figures show that Zanu (PF) has spent millions of taxpayers’ money as they failed to devise a rescue plan for the political logjam that is still perilously close to the cliff edge of disaster and threatening the GNU.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party accuses Mugabe of stubborn defiance in implementing terms of the power sharing pact. The Central Committee report says Zanu (PF) this year got US$1,094 million of taxpayers money as a grant under the Political Parties (Finance) Act.

Party leaders produced a communique that papered over the cracks in GNU and pressed for renewed economic growth as the answer to Zimbabwe’s woes. They continued to repeat the tired sanctions mantra and urged the grabbing of western-owned companies.

The College was turned into a no-go area so that the leaders could enjoy their conference in peace. Details of the security bill for the summit were not included in the Central Committee report, which paints a picture of a party in financial distress. The partys printing company, Jongwe Printing and Publishing, has been mothballed, with a US$100 000 need. The report says it failed to print its propaganda sheet Zimbabwe News as a result. Zanu (PF) is also struggling to bankroll the party mouthpiece The Voice. The party has hit by acute donor fatigue, with a paltry US$114 679 raised in fundraising activities and groaning under a US$3,4 million budget deficit. Last year, the party spent US$6 333 581 and raised only US$2 929 991 as revenue from membership fees, donations, a government grant, fundraising and conference hall hire.

“How can anyone trust a party that throws away such large sums of money for a day’s partying or trust the rest of the Zanu (PF) leaders who attend such a meeting inside a wire fence fortress while they discuss how to win elections through violence,” said political commentator Ronald Shumba.

“There must be a less wasteful way of holding these get-togethers, and there must be a more productive way than these useless events to achieve cooperation on burning political issues.”

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