Source: Govt to splash $1,4m on top-of-the-range cars for MPs – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 31, 2016
GOVERNMENT is set to splash $1,4 million on top-of-the-range vehicles for the 40 newly-elected MPs, as part of their parliamentary benefits, despite the severe cash squeeze and food shortages facing the nation.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
The MPs were sworn in last year to replace those who were recalled by both Zanu PF and the opposition MDC-T due to factional fights.
Zanu PF chief whip and Gutu Central MP, Lovemore Matuke, told NewsDay yesterday that government had secured funds to buy the new wheels for the newly-elected MPs.
“Government has a priority list and it has now found it important that the newly-elected MPs, those who did not benefit from the initial phase, can also benefit from the parliamentary vehicle loan scheme, which is funded by Treasury,” he said.
“Our MPs, in most cases, use public transport like buses to come to Parliament while they waited for their vehicles. But now, they are going to enjoy similar benefits as their counterparts.
“We were told that government will prioritise the provision of cars and it has now come to pass. We knew it was not a deliberate move, but government is overwhelmed by financial obligations, which are more pressing than MPs vehicles.”
Zanu-PF expelled several MPs after they were linked to fired former Vice-President Joice Mujuru and the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T also did the same after some legislators crossed the floor to join former Finance minister Tendai Biti and ex-Energy minister Elton Mangoma’s People’s Democratic Party and Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe parties respectively.
Under the vehicle loan scheme, MPs receive the vehicles from a local car dealer and government pays for the cars on their behalf, while Parliament deducts money from the MPs’ sitting allowances until the loan is repaid.