from DANAI MWARUMBA in Mutare
MUTARE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE has received assurances of $15 billion (about R180 billion) if the country embarks on credible, free and fair elections in the upcoming months.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa disclosed the figures this past weekend as the ruling Zimbabwe African Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) kicked off its election campaign in the eastern provincial capital of Manicaland – Mutare.
Some of the financial commitments for economic revival had come from countries such as Britain, Canada and the United States (US) whose relations with Zimbabwe have been strained over the past two decades following human rights violations by the regime of now-deposed President Robert Mugabe.
China, an ally to Zimbabwe during hostilities with the West, also assured the Southern African country of funds if polls were credible.
Last week, ex-colonial master Britain committed $100 million (about R1,2 billion) to ease Zimbabwe’s cash shortages.
Early this year, it had committed another $400 million (about R4,8 billion) for economic revival.
A Canadian investor signed a $5,2 billion (about R60 billion) coal-to-fuels deal that is expected to take off in June.
Mnangagwa reiterated elections would be free and fair, in line with Zimbabwe re-engaging the international community to rebuild the economy since he took over in November last year following a military coup.
His government, he said, would not tolerate violence.
“So, when that day of voting comes, we should vote wisely to safeguard our inheritance, economic revival and vote to ensure the new dispensation completes its mandate of luring foreign direct investment into the country,” Mnangagwa said in Mutare.
He pledged to announce poll dates for August in the next two weeks.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-Alliance) started campaigning in April with Nelson Chamisa being its presidential candidate.
Other notable opposition parties include Joice Mujuru’s People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) and Dumiso Dabengwa’s ZAPU.
– CAJ News