HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s order for Zanu PF to import $3,6 million worth of service vehicles for the youth and women’s leagues ahead of the 2018 elections is an insult to government’s indigenisation drive.
While there are several car dealers in the country, several of whom are on the brink of folding because of a tight operating environment, Mugabe has the audacity to splash millions in foreign lands.
Mugabe — who over the years has been championing the indigenisation mantra — while addressing his party’s youth league national assembly last week, said they were trying to avoid being charged extra by importing directly.
He added this was to be done urgently.
For Mugabe, this is an admission that they are shunning local companies because they believe they are expensive, hence it is cheaper to buy directly outside Zimbabwe.
But what will become of local suppliers if all business is taken outside, what will happen if all other ministries in government take a leaf from Mugabe’s order and start buying their equipment and all raw materials outside the country while ignoring local suppliers?
And what has happened to our local car manufacturers, if we may ask Mr President? Can we be a country that survives on neighbours for everything including health care?
It is our hope that Zanu PF will also pay duty on all these imported vehicles because everybody else does and Zanu PF is not government
But Mugabe has to empower the youths because they should actually be the ones manufacturing these cars he is sourcing from distant countries that are organised and find sense in promoting their own.
Why should the ruling party try to hoodwink youths by buying them these cars now only because there is an impending election? What has the party really done to empower youths over the years? The youths, most of them university and college graduates, have no jobs.
It sounds like an exercise in self-preservation by Mugabe.
One thing learnt from Mugabe’s order for his party to immediately buy these cars is that anything concerning his survival is quickly acted on. The 2018 elections are about his survival and Zimbabweans are going to witness more surprises as he fences his territory.
If with the urgency he showed this time around was replicated all the time, Zimbabwe would be somewhere and the pressing socio, political and economic challenges bedevilling the nation might not have been in our midst.
How long has it taken government to release money for the 2018 elections, which is being released in drops?