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$20m ZANU PF Campaign Regalia Arrives After Elections

$20m ZANU PF Campaign Regalia Arrives After Elections

Two senior Zanu PF officials were taken to task by President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa following delays in the delivery of the party’s campaign material which eventually arrived after the July 30 general elections.

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Zanu PF won two thirds of the House of Assembly seats, though the main opposition — the MDC Alliance — is currently challenging the presidential election result. Mnangagwa won 50,8 percent of the vote while the alliance front-runner Nelson Chamisa garnered 44,3 percent.

In the run-up to the first elections without former president Robert Mugabe, Zanu PF mobilised $200 million to oil its campaign material which included electronic and print media adverts; billboards; flyers; party regalia and other accessories. Most of the campaign material was accessed from China and had been stuck in the Asian powerhouse due to logistical challenges.

Senior ZANU PF officials who spoke to Business Times said the order was made in time, but the Chinese manufacturer held on to the material demanding a $20 million payment upfront.

But ZANU PF could not make a direct payment to China due to restrictions from the Bank of International Settlements.

Last week, US President Donald Trump renewed American sanctions against Zimbabwe under the 2001 Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, one of the most disastrous foreign laws impinging on Zimbabwe’s economic freedom ever imposed in the country’s history.

During ZANU PF’s election post-mortem in Harare, a politburo member who requested anonymity said party officials opted to have the election material distributed in all constituencies.

“Most of our regalia arrived a week after the polls on August 8 and 9,” the politburo member said.

“They were stuck in China. The manufacturer was reluctant to release them because it wanted payment upfront.

“The President had to intervene. He called President Xi of China, and asked him to release the $20 million that China had pledged to us during President Mnangagwa’s visit to China in April.” A decision to distribute the regalia across all constituencies was made and each constituency is likely to receive 3 000 items.

“It was a hot issue in last week’s politburo meeting,” the politburo member disclosed.

“Now we don’t have anywhere to keep the regalia, so it is being sent out to the constituencies.”

During the election campaign, some ZANU PF candidates bemoaned the unavailability of regalia, claiming this was aimed at frustrating their campaign efforts.

In the end, “almost 7 million items arrived in the country from China,” the politburo member revealed. When reached for a comment, ZANU PF’s Secretary for Information, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, said people were still interested in receiving the regalia.

“No, that is not a story at all. People are only concerned with receiving their regalia,” he said.

While addressing ZANU’s winners and losers of the just ended elections in Harare last week, President Mnangagwa said an investigation into the late arrival of the regalia would be instituted to avoid a repeat.

Already, a deputy minister who lost in the elections is in hot soup after he allegedly gave a contract to manufacture African prints (known also as ma-zambia) bearing President Mnangagwa’s face to a company that did a shoddy job, resulting in the President ordering the regalia be removed from State House.

Some of them were later distributed in rural constituencies.

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