Govt diverts MP vehicle purchase funds towards anti-cholera strategies?

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By Leopold Munhende

FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube has hinted government could be channelling part of the funds earmarked for the purchase of vehicles for newly elected MPs towards strategies aimed at combating cholera.

He was speaking Wednesday while receiving private sector donations which were accruing through government’s controversial crowdfunding to fight cholera.

Ncube said the initiative was reaping rewards.

Asked why government had decided to go to ordinary Zimbabweans to raise funds when the same administration was preparing to splurge US$20 on MPs’ cars, Ncube said some of the funds could be channelled towards anti-cholera strategies.

“That is exactly what we have really done; this $15 million that the government has paid is exactly that we have had to suspend certain things, programmes to make sure that we deal with this (cholera outbreak),” Ncube said at an briefing also graced by Health minister Obadiah Moyo.

Efforts to glean more from the suggested expenditure shift were however unsuccessful.

This comes after Zimbabweans have taken to social media to share their displeasure on what they perceived were government’s misplaced priorities.

“MPs are getting vehicles worth $20 million, government owes $1 million to the cholera fund; I voted for you Mr President please rectify, this is unacceptable,” posted one Jerry Nyazungu on twitter.

Zimbabweans are also angered by the Emmerson Mnangagwa administration’s decision to charter expensive flights during former President Robert Mugabe’s private visits to Singapore where the latter and his wife were receiving treatment for undisclosed ailments.

There is a $35,1 million funding gap out of the $64 million needed to effectively defuse the cholera epidemic.