How to waste $8 million in cash-strapped Zimbabwe, and what it could buy


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That a broke ZANU-PF now plans to blow an equivalent amount over a few days of praise singing shows how little it knows about managing money.

Eight million is the kind of money that desperate businesses would be glad to lay their hands on.

For instance, it almost matches the $7.7 million pre-tax profit that Pick n Pay made from its rest of Africa division in the last half year.

ZANU-PF’s congress budget is $2 million more than what OK Zimbabwe, the country’s largest retailer, toiled to make in profits for the whole of last year.

And $8 million is what contractor Yellow River Consultancy of China needs to pay suppliers and continue work at Gwayi-Shangani Dam, a dam first mooted since 1912.

Do you know that $8 million can build a small power plant? Power company ZPC is looking for an investor to commit $8 million for the Tsanga Power station in Manicaland, according to a schedule of planned projects on its website.

But ZANU-PF wants to spend the equivalent cost of a power station over a few days of political bootlicking.

Eight million is the same amount that Government begged from millers to refurbish worn out grain silos.

There is an $8 million loan that Government is expecting from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development to fund an irrigation scheme.

While it is not a political party’s job to fund welfare and national production, one cannot ignore the indecency of trying to spend so much in the midst of such widespread lack.

There is nothing a congress can decide that Mugabe cannot do all on his own, given the power he has amassed for himself.

ZANU-PF doesn’t need a special congress, and yet wants to spend millions on it.

Crucially, coming from a party that is itself broke and survives on grabbing State funds and forced donations, ZANU-PF’s plan to spend $8 million on a needless meeting shows why the economy it runs is where it is.

Just as it does in Government, this yet again is just ZANU-PF wasting money that it does not have, on things that it does not need. – The Source

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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