LUXURY CARS FOR ALL MPs newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

LUXURY CARS FOR ALL MPs newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

The government has begun the process of purchasing premium cars for lawmakers as Zimbabwe looks for donations from humanitarian agencies to feed millions of people facing famine this year.

Members of Parliament and Senators were last week directed to different car dealers in Harare to choose their favorite cars.

They were asked to choose either a Toyota GD6, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Ranger, Ford Everest or the latest Isuzu.

Each Member of Parliament is allocated a car worth US$60,000. The chairs of the governor’s committees are scheduled to receive cars worth $70,000 each.

There are 210 members in the National Assembly where Zanu-PF has a two-thirds majority.

The constitution stipulates 60 additional members representing a women’s quota, in addition to 10 young men in the youth quota. The number of senators is 60.

It is a major prize for some senior Zanu-PF figures who have been in Parliament before as they get their third to fourth cars from taxpayers.

Some VIPs have luxury cars, which are given to them as ministers and deputy ministers.

In December 2022, representatives took out $40,000 in housing loans, dividing public opinion across the country.

Some Zanu-PF MPs told The Standard they cannot wait to drive away in their new high-quality cars.

“It is true that we were in Harare choosing the types of vehicles we wanted so that the money could be processed quickly,” said one of the MPs who requested anonymity.

“Some of us have already chosen the type of vehicles we need.

“Those who need to import from outside the country will receive free customs duties and members and chairmen of the governor’s committees will be the biggest beneficiaries and will receive vehicles worth US$70,000.”

Leader of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party, Clifford Hlatwayo, said party MPs could not wait to get their hands on the new vehicles.

He said: “There is nothing wrong with taking the car because this is allocated for it in the budget.”

“This was in the budget.”

Yesterday, Zanu-PF leader Buburai Togaribe declared his ignorance of the matter.

“I’m not aware of that,” he said.

“Who told you there was a budget of $60,000 per deputy for new vehicles?” Political analyst Rijois Ngwenya said the timing was wrong and revealed misplaced priorities when the country is in dire need of money to import maize. “The priority right now is to make sure every villager is well fed,” Ngwenya said.

“The other option is for these representatives to receive US$60,000 and invest this money in the constituency as drought relief to mitigate the effects of the drought.”

Lawmakers representing 210 constituencies have access to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which the Treasury has allocated to initiate development projects.

The government introduced the Comprehensive Development Framework in 2010.

Social commentator Tendai Reuben Mbofana said the MPs were selfish.

“What we are saying is that they should at least reduce the funds to at least $20,000,” Mbofana said.

“US$60,000 is a very large sum at a time when we are facing hunger.

“I’m not saying MPs shouldn’t have transportation but let’s get our priorities right first.”

In December, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube was beaten by MPs to increase budget allocations to Parliament after they threatened not to pass his “anti-poor” budget.

Last year, Zanu-PF instructed all its party’s candidates who lost in the August elections to return the luxury cars they had acquired before the elections.

In a display of its financial muscle, Zanu-PF distributed 210 brand new cars, including Nissan Navaras and Ford Rangers SUVs, to parliamentary representatives contesting the polls, but earlier warned that the losers would have to surrender their cars.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling party has seized millions of US dollars to purchase campaign vehicles in its bid to secure a second and final term in office and a parliamentary majority.

Mnangagwa last week asked for $2 billion after declaring drought a national disaster.

According to estimates by humanitarian agencies, at least four million Zimbabweans need food until the next harvest season. standard

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