Zimbabwe says it has found funds for a referendum

By AP Updated at 2013-02-24 15:35:25 +0000


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's broke coalition government says it has raised enough money privately to pay for a referendum on a new constitution scheduled for March 16.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the vote, just three weeks away, "will not be stopped because of lack of money," the state Sunday Mail newspaper reported.

Chinamasa said the financing was "sourced locally" after the United Nations and possible outside donors weren't given enough time to contribute. The referendum date was announced a week ago.

The state election commission says it needs $85 million for the vote ahead of national elections later this year to end the nation's shaky coalition between President Robert Mugabe and the former opposition formed after the violent and disputed elections in 2008.

All coalition leaders have called for a 'Yes' vote.