HARARE – Morgan Tsvangirai’s opposition MDC has accused President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF of milking dry Zimbabwe’s parastatals to fund ruling party operations.
This comes as Mugabe’s ruling Zanu PF on Friday took delivery of 320 vehicles, as the party escalates preparations for 2018 election campaign.
At least 45 samples of the vehicles were presented to Mugabe at the party’s Harare headquarters last December.
Of the 45 Ford Ranger trucks, Mugabe handed over 13 to war veterans through their minister, Tshinga Dube.
This brings the total number of vehicles procured so far to 365.
MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said reports that Zanu PF has acquired 365 brand new Ford Ranger SUV motor vehicles and buses vindicate what the party has always been saying that the Zanu PF regime was illegally and fraudulently raiding financial and material resources from various State corporations such as Zesa Holdings, Zinara, Zupco and Nssa in order to fund the operations of the ruling party.
This comes as parastatals are grappling with high overheads, inter-parastatal debts, maladministration, under-capitalisation, corruption and lack of good corporate governance which have negatively impacted on their operations.
“At a time when the government is struggling to timeously pay civil servants their salaries and bonuses, we are witnessing a situation whereby the insipidly corrupt and incompetent Zanu PF political party has embarked on a massive motor vehicle buying spree.
“We have got it on very good and credible authority that Zanu PF has used no less than $20 million to acquire a brand new fleet of SUV motor vehicles,” Gutu said yesterday.
Zanu PF secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo confirmed on Friday that his party has acquired 365 brand new Ford Ranger SUV motor vehicles although he did not publicly disclose the source of the money that was used to buy such a huge fleet of very expensive, all-terrain motor vehicles.
“As the make-or-break 2018 harmonised elections are fast approaching, we can expect the crumbling and deeply-divided Zanu PF regime to continue to ransack and defraud financial and material resources from the 77 or so State-owned corporations all of which are now technically insolvent,” Gutu said.
“That Zanu PF politicians are thieves and looters is no longer subject to debate. Jonathan Moyo, the Zanu PF secretary for science and technology, also recently publicly admitted that he looted thousands of dollars from Zimdef in order to buy bicycles and other goodies for traditional leaders in Tsholotsho North constituency!
“Such is the brazen stealing and ransacking of State resources by senior Zanu PF politicians that it is actually fashionable and trendy to loot and pilfer State-owned funds and other material resources.
“Right now, top Zanu PF politicians and Cabinet ministers are competing to steal and loot the little that is left of State assets in Zimbabwe.”
Gutu said the MDC as the government- in-waiting, “when we take over State power in 2018, shall immediately institute a thorough and holistic audit of all State resources to ensure that all those persons who have ransacked and stolen from the State and its various institutions shall be held to account.”
“In fact, the new government will effectively trace and recover all looted assets; including the billions of dollars in public funds that have been fraudulently externalised to foreign countries such as Dubai, Hong Kong, China and Singapore,” Gutu said.
This comes as typhoid has broken out in the capital, Harare, due to people consuming contaminated water and food.
An estimated 150 people have been infected with the contagious disease, which causes diarrhoea and can be fatal, the Harare City Council has said, confirming two deaths so far from typhoid.
Gutu said: “Hundreds of people have fallen victim to water-borne diseases such as typhoid and dysentery whilst Mugabe and his huge entourage of hangers-on are still on an extended annual holiday in the Middle and the Far East; busy squandering millions of United States dollars that have been taken away from the bankrupt national treasury.
“The road and railway infrastructure has literally fallen apart but our absentee nonagenarian president is not bothered one iota. This is most saddening and tragic.”