Govt to fork out US$15m on MPs’ cars

via Govt to fork out US$15m on MPs’ cars April 11, 2014 by Elias Mambo Zimbabwe Independent

THE cash-strapped Zimbabwe government will splurge close to US$15 million on luxury cars for its 355 legislators at a time government is struggling to pay salaries for civil servants, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Sources close to the development said talks were at an advanced stage, with MPs set to get loans to purchase vehicles locally instead of importing them.

“We had a meeting this morning (Wednesday) on the issue and it is increasingly clear that each legislator will be given a US$30 000 car loan to purchase vehicles locally,” said one MP.

“We have had a series of meetings which also discussed allowances and salaries.”

This comes at a time MPs are failing to perform key duties, including visiting constituencies and carrying out fact-finding missions outside Harare, amid revelations they have gone for six months without allowances and other benefits.

The MPs are yet to receive sitting allowances amounting to US$1,4 million since parliament opened last September.

They have also gone for weeks without fuel coupons, a situation that has limited their visits to constituencies.

In an unprecedented move last month government failed to pay its workers on time, postponing the pay date by three days — a sign of a worsening financial crisis.

A few months ago government spent close to US$20 million on luxury cars, including Mercedes Benz and SUVs for 26 cabinet ministers, 13 ministers of state and 24 deputies. Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo said the delay in financing the parliamentary vehicle scheme will cause problems because it will affect the repayment period.

“We have had meetings with the Ministry of Finance and we are worried the delay in disbursing the fund will affect the repayment period which normally ends at the sunset of each parliament lifespan,” Gumbo said.

“Government has not increased the loan, which is currently capped at US$30 000.”

Zimbabwe’s bicameral parliament has 350 legislators with 210 elected into the National Assembly (lower house), which also has 60 females who make up the women’s quota, while the upper house is made up of 80 Senators and five non-constituency members appointed by the president.

Government bought top of the range Mercedes Benz E350 sedans and Toyota Land Cruisers VX200 for ministers and their deputies.

Last year the bloated parliament abruptly adjourned amid reports parliamentarians in both Houses were gobbling up at least US$200 000 per week in sitting allowances and accommodation.

Sources said the adjournment was a desperate measure to cut expenditure which the parliament has already incurred since the opening of the Eighth Parliament.

“If both houses sit it means 355 legislators will require sitting allowances close to US$79 000 per week with 271 legislators requiring hotel accommodation at an average amount of US$108 000,” said one legislator.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar

    Zimoco and Chris Parvin who owns that company import all the Mercs into ZW – thats the company that makes all the dough !! – some outfits still able to print money due to ZW government stupidity

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    ZPF are truly clueless. For 2 decades all I read about are luxury vehicles and useless politicians. Zvakwana

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    Zim Patriot 7 years ago

    Priorities, priorities, priorities my friends….they are all misguided. Enough greed and opulence while the countrymen starve!!!!MPs and government are here to serve the people, are they not? It seems as soon as they are sworn in, they conveniently forget how they got in and start their more equal than others diatribe…this from both MDC and Zanu politicians. May the Lord truly work on these servants of Zimbabwe and teach them to look after their own people. Civil servants, teachers in particular and the health sector should be given priority, they have such an incredible influence on their countrymen, women and children….MPS should be paid last….and should use their own personal vehicles and stay with friends or relatives for the few days they attend parliament!!!!!!After all they and their greedy and ignorant policies are why Zimbabwe has suffered for so long…May God bless Zimbabwe and her people!!!!

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    Zim Patriot 7 years ago

    NBS, honestly speaking it is not only ZPF who are greedy, MDC MPs have proven just as demanding and are all enjoying the fruits of parliament while their fellow countrymen are starving and struggling, the grass roots have had enough as in most instances they have proven they are not entirely different, the only area they have proven is the respect for fellow Zimbabweans lives and safety….

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    Nyoni 7 years ago

    True NBS Zanu are so clueless they are discussing right now what does clueless mean.

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    Gondobwe 7 years ago

    I honestly think MPs should get Nissan Micras – they are fuel efficient, easy to run, and reach the same destinations as Mercs and 4 X 4 Toyotas. There is no money in the treasury to go for such extravagance. People are starving out there! There is about 90% unemployment – graduates selling air time cards. This is cruelty by Zanu-PF at its worst.