Zimbabwe Raises Price Of Fuel To Fund Elections?

The Zimbabwe government is moving to raise the price of fuel to find money to fund elections, according to  a statement from the Finance Ministry released on Monday evening.

Brace yourselves too, it’s a whopping 25%. This is with the public already feeling the pinch with recent price increases. This means that the price rises to close to the $2 mark for petrol up by about 5 cents.

The new price was gazetted on the 9th of March and so will be effective immediately.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti, in a statement released this afternoon, called the situation ‘unavoidable’. As it stands Zimbabwe has raised $40 million from a special 365-day bond floated to the local unit of Old Mutual and the state pension fund to help finance a constitutional referendum this weekend. $31 million has already been provided for the referendum to be held on 16 March. $132 million is needed for the election set for the middle of this year.

Also allowances for election officials will be cut to fund the referendum.

Biti bemoaned the stream of tax coming in, which he said ‘depressed’ him. he was also critical of the diamond companies who he said were not remitting funds to Treasury.

Biti says that we will have to look for external funds to cover the shortfall. Zimbabwe has failed to secure funding from UNDP.

But that 25% though… time to buckle up. Prices will be going up in the next few days. This is to fund an election the politicians want more than the people.

Remember, you and I still have to pay that $40 million. We are borrowing from the future to service the present. Imagine if that diamond money was making it into the coffers.

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