ZANU PF has splashed millions of dollars on cars, party regalia and improving the welfare for its chefs ahead of next year’s polls.
This is despite that the majority of citizens in the country are wallowing in poverty.
The party’s central committee (CC) report to the 7th National People’s Congress, which was held in Harare last week, readily admits that the majority of people in the country are wallowing in poverty.
The report states that in 2017, before the late former President Robert Mugabe was removed from power, the party only had 45 vehicles.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has boosted the fleet to 531 vehicles — the largest in Zanu PF’s history.
At the weekend, Zanu PF was in the eye of a storm after it emerged that it bought top-of-the-range vehicles for the provincial leaders of the women’s league, and the newly-formed war veterans’ league despite the deteriorating economy.
The central committee report also revealed that for the elective congress, which ended on Saturday the ruling party spent $1,8 billion and over US$4,8 million from January to September on staff salaries, gratuities, transport, health and allowances for party bigwigs among other expenses.
“In 2018, the Zanu PF party acquired an additional 438 new motor vehicles bringing the fleet size to 486,” the report read.
“In 2020, the department of transport and social welfare received 15 new Isuzu double cab vehicles from the party treasury, bringing the fleet size to 501. Between December 2021 and September 2022, his Excellency the President and first secretary of the Zanu PF party, Comrade Dr Ed Mnangagwa donated 30 double cab vehicles to the party bringing the current fleet size to 531. Accordingly, the department of transport and social welfare remains grateful to leadership for this, and other interventions that saw unprecedented acquisition of the biggest motor vehicle fleet in the history of the party.”
The report claimed that Zanu PF sources its funds from membership subscriptions, donations, allocations from government under the Political Parties Finance Act and “investments”.
In the report, Zanu PF also acknowledged that the majority of Zimbabweans were not formally employed but earned their living from the informal sector, which it described as the “new mass employer.”
“Vending has become the major safety net for most people who predominantly are women. The lack of formality makes entry (easy), however, this flexibility of informality is accompanied by many hazards, for example, running battles with the law enforcement agents and losing money to imposters of state agents and also space barons,” the report read.
“The resurgence of street money changers has posed even greater risk as this high value trade operates on streets outside the secure banking system. Cross border trading is another age-old trade that has gained prominence by the year and has become the lifeline for most homes.”
At his inauguration in 2017, Mnangagwa pledged to create more jobs.
The latest ZimStat survey on the labour force showed that half of youths in the country aged 15 to 34 years were loafers, with no employment, education or training (50%).
Human rights organisations have red-flagged lavish lifestyles of the elite in the country at a time when ordinary citizens are struggling to put food onthe table due to economic hardships.