Zim ruling party heavily in debt

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12 December 2015 at 00:29am

Victoria Falls – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is ever more powerful and ever more broke.

The party faces no serious challenge from the political opposition. But it is riven by internal squabbling about succession and is catastrophically in debt.

About 5000 delegates to the party’s annual conference in luxurious Victoria Falls this week were shocked when they saw the balance sheet. They knew it does not include all the numbers so the debts may be larger then disclosed.

Zanu-PF’s stated debts are at about R225 million while its expenditure is a staggering 195 percent of revenue, and it only managed to raise about R4.5 million from special fundraising events in its most recent financial year.

In this period Zanu-PF received about R3.5 million from the state.

Between elections in 2013 and the end of last year, Zanu-PF’s debts doubled. The official report says Zanu-PF’s finances are “unsatisfactory”.

“There is need to explore strategies to grow the revenue base, to this end, intensifying the distribution and sales of membership cards as well as transforming M&S Syndicate (Pvt) Ltd [Zanu-PF’s investment company] into a well-managed corporate,” the report says.

“Effective cost-management strategies should be employed, particularly in view of [a] relatively high salaries bill and interest burden.”

Last year accountants noted that the proceeds from the sale of Zanu-PF membership cards worth about R1 million could not be accounted for.

Mugabe and his powerful first lady Grace arrived in Victoria Falls late on Thursday. Earlier in the week about 10 Zanu-PF leaders, including a former cabinet minister, were expelled from the party for alleged links with former vice president Joice Mujuru.

She was sacked last year after Mugabe allegedly discovered her popularity far exceeded his, and so the “old man” dispatched his wife, loaded with goodies for the people, to a series of rallies where she denounced Mujuru. Grace Mugabe told people that Mujuru had plotted to assassinate her husband.

After being sacked from her post, she was expelled from the party she had joined as a guerrilla more then 40 years ago, and hundreds of her supporters were stripped of their positions within the government and party. This exercise cost Zanu-PF dearly, and insiders say some of the party’s more financially secure members were expelled from the party which also contributed to its falling finances.




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