Ministry borrows to purchase luxury Mercedes-Benz cars

via Ministry borrows to purchase luxury Mercedes-Benz cars July 25, 2014 by Herbert Moyo

THE Ministry of Finance is set to purchase luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles after successfully negotiating a US$1,4 million loan with the African Banking Corporation of Zimbabwe (BancABC), the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Highly-placed ministry sources and bank officials confirmed that the ministry had approached the bank for the loan facility described as “lease hire finance”, which was subsequently approved on July 9.

The bank then wrote to the ministry’s permanent secretary, Willard Manungo, on the same day communicating its decision on the matter.

“BancABC is prepared to place at the ministry’s disposal (US$1,4 million loan facility) subject to the approval of the bank’s board of directors,” reads the letter seen by this newspaper.

The ministry was offered the loan at an interest rate of 15,5% per annum and on condition it repays in “12 monthly instalments starting 30 days after disbursement”.

Desmond Ali, the BancABC country head of marketing referred all questions to the managing director Hashmon Matemera, who had not responded at the time of going to print despite promises from his office to do so.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa also did not respond to telephone enquiries despite initially promising to do so during his press conference on the state of the pension fund industry held in Harare. Manungo was also unreachable as his office phones went unanswered.

The letter does not say what type of Mercedes-Benz vehicles the ministry seeks to purchase, who they are for and what they will be used for.

However, government has previously splurged on Mercedes-Benz E350 sedans which cost US$126 000, meaning that the US$1,4 million loan can buy about 11 such vehicles.

The ministry’s car purchases come in the wake of similar purchases for ministers and legislators running into millions of dollars despite the biting liquidity crunch that has seen the country desperately trying to court international financiers for assistance and failing to pay civil servants on time.

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.

The government also spent US$15 million on luxury cars for its 355 legislators in April. Earlier in February, Mercedes-Benz E350 sedans, Toyota Land Cruisers and Range Rover Sport vehicles were bought for provincial ministers.

In the midst of the extravagance, Zimbabwe is battling high unemployment estimated at 80% and Chinamasa has been criss-crossing the globe in search of an elusive financial rescue package to kick-start the moribund economy.

As many as 400 workers are being retrenched on a weekly basis as companies continue to close, while service delivery has deteriorated.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 30
  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 6 years ago

    It is unbelievably crass that fortunes are STILL being spent on unnecessary posh cars while the Ministry of Health purports to have no money for even basic medical supplies – and all the other ”budgetless” essential requirements. How ANYONE (including ‘the rest of the world’) can even pretend to take these government clowns seriously is way beyond me!

  • comment-avatar
    Expat 6 years ago

    Hear Hear Angela, and at 15.5% interest means a minimum of $1 600 000 – 00 tax payer money just so the can look the part, pity they cant play the part. if they did it would be well deserved.

  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 6 years ago

    Thank you for your approval of my comment Expat. I do not, however, concede that ministers etc. deserve ‘bonuses’ even if they do ‘play their part’. After all, that is what is expected of them. I believe the previous government and officials, from the Prime Minister down, rode about in their own ”jalopies” and rarely had ‘escorts’. I don’t remember EVER hearing scandals about fancy cars during the UDI days.

  • comment-avatar

    hazishamise izvi ndochi Zanupf chacho busy fiddling while Rome burns

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    How disgraceful while the hospitals are running out of drugs expensive cars are being bought ooh perhaps the one and only arrogant Mliswa has been making alot of noise bet you these thieving scumbags will be re-selling these cars – no comment from civil society they should produce a list who is getting these cars and why?

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    No name supplied of the company where the vehicles will be purchased from???

  • comment-avatar

    Yet in another article here this is what happens

    Govt begs for foreign investment

    GOVERNMENT has pleaded with Western diplomats to help bring investment to the country to fund its economic blueprint, ZimAsset, assuring them that a number of laws that hindered foreign direct investment are being amended.

    And we know the fate of the money they are eyeing once they have access to EU coffers MORE LUXURY CARS.

  • comment-avatar
    Shamhu YeNhanzva 6 years ago

    That’s what I was thinking too LUCY. It’s pathetic how these losers expect foreign investment in a country that can not afford to buy drugs for hospitals but are willing to borrow money for luxury cars.

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    these theiving scumbag morons are sic and pathetic

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    read another article that a shortage of bread is looming??

    • comment-avatar
      Angela Wigmore 6 years ago

      So what’s new? There was a shortage of bread when I fled in 2003. Back then flour was mostly unobtainable so you couldn’t make your own. If you were successful in the long queue to get a loaf, it was half mealie-meal. Do you ever have anything POSITIVE to say Petal? Is the sun shining? Are the birds singing? You ALWAYS have negative comments – so why are you still in Zim? Perhaps you can’t escape and, if so, I feel for you. But please try to lighten up sometimes. I know how hard it is but this is where the renowned Zimbabwean sense of humour is essential!

      • comment-avatar
        Fedup 6 years ago

        You should be deported back, full stop. Then you can turn all of the negatives into postives yourself.

      • comment-avatar
        Petal 6 years ago

        you probably have not had members of the same family die in a short space of time and leave children behind Angela due to lack of health facilities you probably could afford all that is why you left so do not tell me anythinig you do not know me how i feel and why

      • comment-avatar
        Doris 6 years ago

        Easier said than done Angela. You have no idea of what Petal or anyone else who comments negatively, have been through. There are always reasons why there are negative comments. We have nowhere to go, nor could we afford to due to the fact that everything we have worked for has been taken from us. No doubt Petal has also had hard times. Be more tolerant and be grateful.

  • comment-avatar

    Zimbabweans, educated fools.

  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 6 years ago

    HERE WE GO AGAIN. WE BACK IN TOWN AGAIN. When are the people going to wake up to themselves. We are suffering to survive and these things are living it up at our expense! Wake up people wake up! PLEASE. Pasi ne zanu.

  • comment-avatar
    feared by zanupf 6 years ago

    By not taking to the streets meting out mob justice to zanupf shows you really condone the looting

  • comment-avatar
    mark longhurst 6 years ago

    you have to have a merc to inspect the slaves on your farms and the looters on your mines…oh and wave like the quenn to the povo cooking chibage and sweet potatoes on the roadside because there are no jobs—u effen useless buch of thieves and murderers–wtf?

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 6 years ago

    BancABC the bank that has been reported due for a willing majority shareholding bid by Atlas Mara (which requires RBZ and therefore government sanction). I’m sure loaning the boys money to buy even more cars won’t harm this process.

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    you probably have not had members of the same family die in a short space of time and leave children behind Angela due to lack of health facilities you probably could afford all that is why you left so do not tell me anythinig you do not know me how i feel and why.

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    @Angela not just leave children also grandchildren learn to empathise

  • comment-avatar

    These guys are crazy, vanopenga, bayahlanya, maburutu etc!! How can they buy Mercedes Benz when the country has collapsed!! When is this going to end??? I am very very angry!

  • comment-avatar
    mafuta 6 years ago

    Hell, Ian Smith just had a Pugeot 404.

  • comment-avatar

    What is wrong with the cars they are using now. These guys are clueless as to what they are doing to the economy. This is not the time to buy luxury cars. A few days back one of the silly ministers was suggesting to give civil servants holiday incentives yet the majority of civil servants have no accommodation.

  • comment-avatar
    Atheist 6 years ago

    These thug’s fixation with cars is pathological. They tell me cheaper cars won’t do the job?
    Just imagine the cost of maintenance and running those guzzlers.

  • comment-avatar
    Angela Wigmore 6 years ago

    Well I guess I should be polite enough to answer the several critics of my post to Petal. Firstly Petal: I made my comment because you were not content with responding just to the topic in question but felt the need to arouse anger about the possibility of another bread shortage, which may or not be true. You do not know the circumstances of my departure from Zimbabwe so should not make assumptions that I could afford healthcare etc. In fact, my 15-year successful business folded after the farm invasions and I was forced to leave because I had no way of supporting myself. Unbeknown to me at the time, a CIO member ‘bought’ my property, for nothing, since he and his pals descended on my home with a false search warrant accusing me of being a safe-house for MDC and looking for ”weapons, drugs and subversive material”. I was dragged off to Harare Central in an open-backed vehicle and subjected to hours of interrogation, during which time they stole the foreign currency they had found at my home, thanks to a tip-off from a PTC worker called Charles who I had regarded as a friend. Stupid me! Throughout their interrogation they insinuated I would be sent to Chikurubi. Having got their filthy hands on my money, they finally released me to leave my home within 2 hours.

    As their deadline, 6pm, approached, it was clear that I could not vacate the property by that time (I had already stated that I meant to be gone by the next day, January 31 2003). So until way after midnight I and some friends continued to collect stuff from outside the property.

    So you, and Doris, and Fedup, do not presume to tell me that I should be more tolerant and grateful and that I do not know what Petal has been through. I most certainly DO know and I do NOT like living in the UK, even though it has given me a place to exist. Existing is NOT the same as living.

  • comment-avatar
    Miimo 6 years ago

    banks face collapse, medicines run out of hospitals, loans here loans there loans everywhere – got to pay them back 10billion will quickly grow to 12 billion just digging deeper and deeper into the hole. And they want new mercs? Absolutely gob smacking.

  • comment-avatar
    Justice 6 years ago

    When will the people get angry enough to rise up and kick out these murderers and rapists and looters?

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    will continue the story of the family that lost people in a few space of time because of lack of medical facilities. the daughter was turned away from the Hospital because there was no doctor on duty so she collapsed and died in the house and her brother tried in vain to resucitate her. where should the money be put wasting on expensive vehicles or upgrading and making sure there is medicine available?

  • comment-avatar
    Johno 6 years ago

    The government must default on re payments then BankABC will learn their lesson.