Zimbabwe will require about US$200 million to conduct general elections next year, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Tuesday.
Biti told a news conference in Harare that government will spend US$100 million on the presidential election, while an equal amount will be used for parliamentary polls.
He said his office had already started working on the polling budget, but said it was up to the principals in the power-sharing government to come up with a date for the polls.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe have both urged their followers to brace for polls next year. But Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara says the country is not yet ready for elections.
Analysts also argue that Zimbabwe is not yet ready for fresh polls. Previous elections have been characterized by violence and intimidation.
Zimbabwe Election Support Network chairman Tinoziva Bere told VOA Studio7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that it is commendable that government is already working on the elections budget.