'Chiefs' new cars a careless expenditure'

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s move to award perks to “partisan” chiefs at a time the country’s economy is on a free-fall is an indication that the 90-year-old strongman is out of touch with reality, analysts and political rivals have said.

As he officially opened the chiefs’ conference in Gweru on Thursday, Mugabe gave the traditional leaders a blank cheque to choose the cars they want.

He also promised to review upwards their allowances, something he is struggling to do for the country’s civil servants.

Despite the fact that the country is bleeding, Mugabe has not cut back on government expenditure, with cabinet ministers and legislators spoilt with choice cars.

Over 280 chiefs, key pillars of the Zanu PF regime, are set to benefit from Mugabe’s latest largess.

Maxwell Saungweme, a political analyst said Mugabe’s priorities were misplaced.

“It is very irresponsible for Mugabe to make such promises.

“We all know some of these chiefs have over the years been used to drum up support for Mugabe.

“But with an ailing economy and with Chinamasa literally running out of options in terms of reviving the economy such promises should be condemned in strongest of terms,” Saungweme said.

He added that the country cannot afford to splash money when it is saddled with foreign debt.

“As a country, we cannot afford such careless expenditures when the government is broke with a staggering fiscal deficit, $10 billion foreign debt overhang and serious liquidity crunch with about four banks facing collapse,” he said.

“His promises demonstrates how he and his government are out of touch with reality on the ground.”

Jacob Mafume, spokesperson of the MDC renewal team said Zimbabwe, whose citizenry are heavily taxed, cannot afford such a “waste”.

“The government must get its priorities right because it cannot dish out cars like confetti at a wedding,” said Mafume.

“The government should create an environment where people are able to buy cars for themselves.

“The government should create job opportunities and ensure that people get decent salaries.

“Right now the government is struggling to pay civil servants.

“So, why would Mugabe want to splash money which as a country we do not have.”

Mounting economic woes have however, not deterred Mugabe and his ministers, who drive top-of-the range vehicles and lead affluent lives.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, a political think-tank said Mugabe only cares about returning power and not the welfare of his people.

“This is his patron client relationship. It is patronage, and he uses traditional leaders to promote his political interests.

“He does not care what the country is going through and is now vote-buying in order to receive the chiefs’ backing come congress in December.”

Zanu PF is headed for an elective congress in December.

Comments (6)

People still do not see our situation for what it is- Mugabe does not give a fack about the povo and he is going to do everything he can to safeguard his family's and cronies' interests until somebody steps up and stops him. Who is going to step up and stop him? Tsvangirai has done a good job of keeping this brutal dictator in check so far but his peaceful demos will not be enough. Mugabe needs to be shown that the suffering he is inflicting on the population can also be inflicted on his family and friends. Gadaffi thought he was invincible but he got what was due to him.

Disaster - 14 September 2014

cars they will get but do we have roads to chiefs homesteads shame shame, try the kadoma -sanyati road its a shame people think they got a govt

road dziripi? - 14 September 2014

Our fate is our hands. We need to put a stop to this madness. These chiefs are traitors. They have not changed an inch from the chiefs of Smith's era. What has simply changed are the masters and not their victims. Neither Mugabe nor his chiefs are with the people or for the people. Havanyari vese.

Kufakwejeyi - 15 September 2014

Its not only careless but totally irresponsible given the fact that Uncle Pat has just hiked prices. Can someone in Zanu PF please explain to the Cde minister that increasing revenue and expenditure at the same time has ZERO net effect!

Johno - 15 September 2014

What we need to do as a people is to ganner all our effort to coil up liberation struggle so as to free ourselves from this irresponsible govnt. armed conflicts have always proved a quick solution. please i need your comments on my suggestions please

tozvireva - 16 September 2014

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