US$188 million was channeled towards August 2023 elections – ZEC

HARARE – At least 71 percent of an initial Z$860 billion (US$188 million) budget allocation by treasury was used towards both preparation and holding of Zimbabwe’s August 2023 harmonised elections, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has said.

The budget, according to a report just released by ZEC, also supported the acquisition of electoral material and equipment, vehicles, equipment hire, training, welfare of election officials among related costs.

A total of 132,958 electoral officers of varying responsibilities were recruited for the poll which did not experience any shortages of personnel, according to ZEC.

In its report on the 2023 polls, ZEC commended treasury for timeous release of the election funding.

“Treasury allocated the commission Z$860 billion activities leading to the conduct of the 2023 plebiscite and the actual election.

“The commission procured sensitive and non-sensitive election materials and equipment through government funds.

“Unaudited expenditure as at 18 September 2023 is Z$612 billion (71 percent).

“Treasury availed the budget in time save for delays experienced in some circumstances which was urgently attended to.

“The ministry of finance is commended for timely releases of the budget,” said ZEC.

The remainder of the funding is expected to go towards the holding of the December 9 by-elections.

The commission also received support from the European Union funded Zim-ECO project which mainly covered publicity programmes and media monitoring.

EU formally communicated its intention to suspend its $5 million financial support for ZEC due to concerns raised by several international Electoral Observation Missions regarding the independence and transparency of the commission during the 2023 harmonised elections.

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