Mzembi explains $50 million Indian vehicle order

via Mzembi explains $50 million Indian vehicle order | The Source  April 4, 2014

Tourism Minister, Walter Mzembi has defended the decision by his cash-strapped ministry  to buy $50 million worth of vehicles from India’s Ashok Leyland,  saying it would boost tourism.

“It’s basically a suppliers’ credit up to the tune of $50 million and is meant to resource us, particularly in the area of domestic tourism,” Mzembi told The Source in an interview on Friday.

He said the deal had just been concluded and that the loan would be repaid over a period of between 10 to 20 years at “nominal” interest.

Mzembi said the order included government vehicles, some for National Parks, game viewing equipment, luxury buses and school tourism buses.

“If we are going to do serious school tourism as we used to do in 1980, each province must have at least 30 buses,” he said.

On Thursday, Ashok Leyland announced on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) that it had bagged a contract from the ministry to supply 670 vehicles worth around $50 million.

Leyland manufactures buses, trucks, light vehicles and defence vehicles.

The ministry was allocated $6, 1 million in the 2014 national budget with the 2015 projected at $6,4 million. Its capex for 2014 was set at $340,000 and $410,000 in 2015.

Mzembi said the ministry was the least resourced, saying government fails to understand the role of tourism in the economy.

He said globally, tourism generated $1,3 trillion out of 1.1 billion arrivals, with  Africa’s share being only four percent.

“It’s four percent because of those reasons of failing to conceive what tourism is meant to do for national economies,” he said.

Zimbabwe earns close to $1billion dollars from tourism annually and plans to push the figure up to $5 billion by 2018.

“To get there, I must be creative and look for non-traditional sources of funding outside fiscus,” Mzembi said making reference to the Ashok deal.



  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Mzembi tell us what is your cut? All the rest is lies.

  • comment-avatar

    Was this national liability discussed in cabinet with the finance minister? Does Chinamasa realize that he somehow needs to come up with another $50 million that was not budgeted for?

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    Saddened 8 years ago

    Either the writer has edited was said by the minister or the minister didn’t give much information which is not unusual for government. We need details if we are to fairly assess the explanation given & also to be objective. We are tired of being kept in the dark.

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    Zeezee 8 years ago

    They should be spending money marketing Zimbabwe as a tourism destination and enhancing the image of the country, and this should be done internationally! Buses for school tourism is not going to generate revenue for the country! Someone’s been a paid a big kickback for this order….. once again bribery and corruption rules!

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    Tiger Shona 8 years ago

    From reading the news, it is common knowledge that the Minister is a dishonest person.
    All I see here is irresponsibility and corruption.

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    Gondobwe 8 years ago

    Does anyone remember the Layland buses? This brand of buses or trucks are junk – real junk. Minister Mzembi, does he know how much it will cost in terms of spare parts buying them from India? There is nothing like nominal interest over 10 -20 years. Mzembi is mortgaging future generations for nothing. He will not be in government by that time. We are not fools Mzembi.

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    Tongoona 8 years ago

    Mzembi, I didn’t know you are this daft. In 10 to 20 years time these vehicles will not only be nonexistent but recycles. You took the decision to enter into this deal as though Ministry of Tourism is your private business. If it were your private business you would have killed it. Why did you not involve the entire cabinet before deciding to commit the country in a loan arbitrary taken by you. Your reasons for taking this decision are very puerile.

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    roving ambassador. 8 years ago

    These are for the boarder gezis to be trans ported to Zanu rallies and farm invasions. What a shame.

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    Gondobwe 8 years ago

    Roving Ambassador, you have spotted the plot! Its for 2018 election engineering for Zanu-PF.

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    allen 8 years ago

    Another “Santana” type of deal here. We will be stuck with these unknown vehicles and the Indians will laugh all the way to the bank when the inevitable happens and we have to start buying spare parts.