Harare – Cash shortages don’t seem to be hurting President Robert Mugabe’s party, which is shipping in brand new cars worth millions of dollars for its campaign for the 2018 elections, reports say.
@Team ZANUPF Live posted a picture of a gleaming line-up of Ford Fiestas to its Facebook page late last week with the caption: “New kids on the block: 2018 here we come.” (See picture below).
The cars have the Zanu-PF flag emblazoned on their bonnets.
Reports in January said the ruling party would buy at least 320 cars and trucks for their campaign. It may be that the vehicles are being brought in to the southern African country in batches: the photo from @TeamZANUPFLive shows just five cars.
The @uk_zanupf Twitter account (unverified) said at the weekend that the recently-delivered cars “are for our party programmes which include those of our Transport and Welfare Department”.
The Daily News has put the total cost of the cars to be imported by Zanu-PF at “up to $60 million. There is no confirmation of that figure. Cars are also to be brought in for at least 200 traditional chiefs, a top government official told parliament last week.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change wants to know whether Mugabe’s party is paying duty for these new vehicles.
Said party spokesperson Obert Gutu: “We challenge the revenue authority, ZIMRA, to provide concrete and credible proof that import duty for the vehicles in question was paid.”
“Our investigations have revealed that the ruling elite within the rabidly corrupt Zanu-PF regime is in the habit of smuggling various items and commodities for their personal use,” he said in a statement on Monday.
Despite the introduction of “bond notes” more than six months ago, Zimbabwe is in the grips of worsening cash shortages that see locals standing in bank queues for hours to be able to withdraw only small amounts of cash.
Mugabe, 93, has said he will stand for re-election in 2018. But his mounting frailty has many in the top levels of his party worried including his wife Grace, the Zimbabwe Independent reports.