Govt splashes $12m on vehicles

HARARE - Government is buying 360 new Ford Ranger vehicles worth about $12 million for legislators from Croco Motors, at a time it is struggling to pay civil servants’ salaries on time.

The 360 legislators were informed at a meeting held at Parliament yesterday that they could immediately collect vehicles of their choice at the car dealer.

The MPs requiring vehicles valued above $35 000 will have to top up on their own .

The purchase of the off-road monsters is likely to further rock the boat for a government accused of profligate spending on perks for ministers and government officials while turning a blind eye to the plight of lowly paid civil servants.

Government has this month been forced to postpone paydates for civil servants for a third month in a row.

While MPs are receiving vehicles worth $35 000, Cabinet ministers got vehicles worth anything between $50 000 and $60 000.

Remigeous Matangira, Zanu PF legislator for Bindura South told the Daily News that while he was elated to have the vehicle, he wanted to see government showing commitment to improve the lot of civil servants.

“I am an individual who has worked hard and I have a farm and a small mine so I can afford to buy my car. The parliamentary, vehicle is a bonus, so I think government should also consider civil servants’ welfare because it is important and I know they will be taken care of,” said the dreadlocked lawmaker.

Another Zanu PF MP, Enock Porusingazi, also said he was generally happy that their welfare had been taken care of although more could still be done.

Godfrey Sithole, MDC MP for Chitungwiza North, slammed government for giving preferential treatment to ministers who got top-of-the range vehicles soon after they were appointed.

Government reportedly spent about $6 million recently to buy the 100 commercially available fuel-guzzling vehicles for ministers.

Sithole said the fact they were obliged to get their cars only from Croco Motors had limited their choices.

He said they could access vehicles at a lower cost from other dealers.

However, many legislators expressed disappointment that government had decided to slash their sitting allowances from $75 down to $40.

Sithole said: “MPs’ allowances were slashed notwithstanding the fact that we were never paid these allowances since we were elected. Now MPs have been asked to get cars of their choice at Croco but the value cannot go beyond $35 000, something they have not done with ministers.”

Critics say government   should have purchased the vehicles from struggling auto-companies such as Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries to stimulate the local economy.

“Given the state of Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries, one would have expected any government sincere about reviving the local industry to prioritise them,” said Tatenda Chimombe a Harare-based car dealer.

The country’s largest car assembly plant is currently struggling under the weight of crippling debt and declining sales volumes caused by a spectacular meltdown in its diversified motor industry that has put 210 jobs at risk.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on State Enterprises and Parastatals Management on Industrial Development Enterprises last year recommended an urgent bail-out for the firm, but the calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Although the company has vast machinery at its disposal, there is no production taking place and the workshops are deserted, leaving the company with no option but to pay idle workers and other unavoidable fixed costs.

Comments (14)

If ever anyone was in doubt about Mugabe and ZanuPF priorities then this is clear proof they dont give a fack about civil servants. Next in line will be army, police, CIO and prison cars because these are the zealots who keep Mugabe in power. Unless Zimbos rise up against this extravagance, this will go on even unchecked.

Disaster - 15 May 2014

Minister of industry , Bimha is on record saying zanu pf doesn't have money to implement zimasset, but they do have money to spend on luxurious cars. This really boggles the mind.

kt - 15 May 2014

It simply shows us how dull is the leadership including the MDC. How can we buy cars when civil servants are working 40 days before pay.Buying these cars from Willowvale Motor Industries could have revived the company , give people jobs, they pay tax, they buy houses and reinvest into ZIM. Can any smart MP ask why CROCO, AND WHO OWNS CROCO MOTORS? And these cars - how much were other dealers selling them?? Greedy and Incompetence =Zim Gvt or NO gvt , we are just lacking leadership guys. Most countries in OECD, its a must that government vehicles including Prime Ministers are locally made. Australia is a good example. We must legislate this so that in future we promote local manufacturing. Australia has 800 billion dollar economy yet the PM drives Holden. Zim few million dollars economy- look what the President and his cronies drive. Cry beloved country

Lee Moyo - 15 May 2014

Why did Willovale Mazda not get the order?

`Dziva - 15 May 2014

talk about misplaced priorities. Povo continues to suffer and the politicians are the biggest beneficiaries.

Galore 123 - 15 May 2014

good question @ dziva. just try to go deeper and find out who owns coro motors, then you will have the answer to your question. that guy who once was involved with cricket and left when had made a beautiful apple rot. its him.

see - 16 May 2014

a smart way of being corrupt. make this need available let our guy be the one who wins the tender and we are home and dry. the is why all the tm store are forced to have the alpha and omega products over the dairiboard one. a smart way of being corrupt.

see - 16 May 2014

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.water,, - 16 May 2014

Spare us your crocodile tears Matangira, you are not being forced to accept that vehicle. We have legistators like Owen Ncube (Gokwe-Kana) who is an ex-informer with no basic education qualifications running around when it comes to vehicle procurement and yet in his constituency, just as in others, people that put them in power can barely afford a meal and have no access to safe drinking water. We the electorate should first consider the candidate's personality, level of education, social standing and other positive factors before we vote these greedy people into parliament. They are only worried about their own welfare and not ours.

Dr Know - 16 May 2014

I thot Croco Motors was owned by this guy Croco === Crocodile== Ngwena Translated : Chingwena Haasiye here veduwe?

sinyorita - 16 May 2014

This GOVT has no clue whats going on in this country. Where did they get that money?They are busy buying cars while hospitals have no drugs and essential medical services. Medical suppliers have seized supplying because they are owed over 30m USD. Social services are zero! There is no clean drinking water, no electricity, no jobs. The streets of Harare are lined with vendors trying to sell something, so that they can just have something to feed their families. At the top all is Glitter and Gold. If you try and do business the proper and ethical way, you get no deals. Every aspect of GOVT is just corrupt and more corrupt. Where the HELL are we heading???

Zuruvi - 16 May 2014

somebody says we are busy buying JUNK cars from Be Forward instead of buying from local Willowvale. then y croco instead of willovale

dzepfunde - 16 May 2014

Idyai vakomana povho ichimama vanokora vachikora zvekutokonewa kuzvipisika , ndozvamakarwira Hondo yechimurenga .Asvotwa ngaarutse.

njombo - 16 May 2014

Idyai vakomana povho ichimama vanokora vachikora zvekutokonewa kuzvipisika , ndozvamakarwira Hondo yechimurenga .Asvotwa ngaarutse.

njombo - 16 May 2014

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