THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is expected to mobilise about $36 million to cover administration costs for the forthcoming by-elections in 18 parliamentary constituencies, most of which will be held on June 10 this year.
This emerged as Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau yesterday admitted that the electoral body still owed substantial amounts of money to service providers for past by-elections and the 2013 harmonised elections.
She disclosed that Zec owed CMED $3 million for vehicle hire during the 2013 elections.
The by-elections came about following the death of some MPs and the recent mass expulsion of 21 former MDC-T MPs after they crossed the floor to join the MDC Renewal Team.
“I can confirm that we have come up with a budget for the forthcoming by-elections and the figures are with the chief elections officer,” Justice Makarau.
“We have since paid some of the service providers we owe, but others have not been paid, but we do receive periodic payments from Treasury for by-elections,” she said before referring questions to her secretarial staff.
In February, Justice Makarau told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Harare West MP Jessie Majome, that Zec requested a budget of $2,144 million for the recently-held Chirumanzu and Mount Darwin West by-elections after daily allowances for election officers were reduced from $55 to $40.
More by-elections are likely to be held this year amid reports that Zanu PF was planning to recall MPs aligned to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s camp.
Presently, Parliament has 27 vacant seats, but eight of them will be filled through proportional representation.