Cash-strapped Zimbabwe’s electoral commission on Tuesday said it needs $104 million to organise a referendum on a new constitution that would pave way for a vote on a successor to the country’s shaky coalition government. No referendum date has been set yet, but longtime President Robert Mugabe said he wants to hold it next month. However, the election body said it needs six weeks to make arrangements for the vote. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chief Joyce Kazembe said it was ready to hold a referendum if funds are made available.
In a court filing last week, Mugabe set out plans for the popular votes to be held in the next six months, listing a “referendum, expected to take place during the first week of November.” Zimbabwe is expected to hold new elections some time next year, the first since a presidential run-off election in 2008 marred by violence.