So dire is the party’s financial position that despite claims that it enjoys “widespread support”, it has this year managed to raise only an embarrassing US$675 from subscription fees despite disbursing 1,6 million cards which should have been sold to supporters for one dollar each.
A report seen by the Zimbabwe Independent shows that the party is relying on the generosity of “friends” and “well-wishers” to keeps the party going.
But the party does not seem too worried by this development and intends to “find an appropriate strategy” to address the matter.
Records indicate that all provinces except Mashonaland East have stocks of membership cards expiring this month, the report says.
“Most provinces have not yet submitted to headquarters the membership fees they have collected,” the report says.
The party says provinces were allocated a total 1,6 million membership cards. Of the 1,6 million sent out to provinces only 593 000 cards were sold while a balance of over a million are still in the provinces. The sold cards have apparently not been paid for.
Although Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland East, Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Midlands’s provinces sold close to 500 000 membership cards, only US$675 was forwarded to headquarters.
With membership fees of a dollar for ordinary party members, the party is still unable to sell cards. Ironically, the top structures of the party — the politburo and central committee members — who should pay US$20 and US$10 per person in subscriptions are not paying either. The politburo with 45 members and the central committee with more than 100 members could have raised at least US$1 500 from subscriptions.
The party has had to run overdrafts with banks attracting huge interest and auction of vehicles. But Zanu PF believes that its financial fortunes can still change saying its many supporters will come to its rescue.
The report said: “The widespread support for the party should enable us to meet these challenges of generating sufficient income to meet our expenditure in line with commitments and responsibilities.”
Zimbabwe’s oldest political party claims it will “devise more imaginative ways” to generate income for the party next year.
According to the report, the party’s expenditure was US$4,5 million for January to December against income of US$656 334.
Party restructuring and meetings cost the party US$113 679. Constitutional meetings expenses amounted to US$267 404. The party says the money went into travel, accommodation and “subsistence”.
This is despite the fact that the constitution-making process has largely been off the rails for part of the year.
The party spent US$81 650 on external relations — an outfit set up to help the party “explain the real and true issues” relating to the land reform programme — which Zanu PF believes is at the “core of the campaign of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States and European Union.
But the US and EU argue the sanctions have nothing to do with land reform saying Zimbabwe’s violent and flawed elections coupled with general human rights violations prompted the sanctions.
External affairs effort involves, according to the report, attending “external briefings, meetings and conferences”.
At least US$317 169 carried over from last year’s harmonised elections was for legal fees while US$21 379 was this year’s legal expenditure. The report does not give specifics on legal issues the party dealt with.
The party’s Women’s League Conference and Youth Conference held earlier gobbled almost US$1 million combined.
The main National People Congress is expected to cost the financially troubled party around US$2 million. The conference is on this week.
The report said there is serious need to get politicians and party workers off the phone after incurring telephone expenses amounting to US$65 000.
“Telephone usage continues to incur high costs and tight control measures need to be enforced,” recommended the report.
Although the party is spending heavily, there is minimal income coming in. This year, Zanu PF’s income stood at US$656 334.
This is because of a “harsh economic environment” coupled by low subscriptions and membership fees — the party’s traditional sources of income.
Other avenues such as “donations from friends and supporters, and so on” have not been shaking their wallets as much this year.
Even so, the bulk of Zanu PF’s income — US$656 334 — came from the fiscus under a government grant of US$485 000.
The party had to dispose of cars to raise US$60 489 and hire out its conference hall to raise income.
A mere US$22 284 came from fundraising which Zanu PF says was mostly in kind — cattle and grain against a target total of US$1 million from all provinces.
This comes amid reports that the party was coercing teachers and villagers to contribute money or some form of goods to the party towards its main congress. The Zimbabwe Independent