By Leopold Munhende, Chief Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has been advised to do away with the culture of splurging on top of the range vehicles for ministers and top bureaucrats and instead use the funds to develop the country.
The message came from opposition party, Alliance for the People’s Agenda (APA) in its independence message.
Zimbabwe commemorates 42 years of independence from British colonial bondage on Monday next week.
The party said government must instead save the money and use it to fund critical areas like education and health.
“We owe it to ourselves to start building an economy that can carry the weight of what we need in social services. We need to start cutting spending at the very top,” reads the statement.
“Our propensity for expensive cars must be stopped. By removing the need for personal cars for top servant leaders and politicians we can save the tax payers tonnes of money, money that can be used to resuscitate our schools and hospitals,” the party said.
“It is travesty of freedom and justice that top civil servants and politicians have brand new cars every 5 years while our teachers, schools, doctors, nurses and hospitals that serve the general population are literally closed. We are killing our people through greed. Where’s our shame?”
The independence commemorations come at a time the country’s economy is crumbling.
Decades of poor administration by successive Zanu PF regimes have seen industries close, employment opportunities dwindling and standards of living extremely deteriorating.
“We have destroyed the foundations Rhodesians built. We have shown complete lack of creativity despite the abundance of natural wealth in our country. We have demonstrated an unparalleled expertise for corruption and mismanagement. The spending bug caught us very early. Smith was very frugal. His administration wasn’t as corrupt as any of the Zanu-PF administrations. The white population was united and worked for development of the country they were trying to develop,” APA said.
“What is clear is that we started spending money we didn’t have at a time we were assuming Rhodesia’s huge war time debt. It is not surprising that we dug ourselves into a huge hole. We started the irresponsible spending at a time when we were trying to expand the economic benefits to cover all 6 million black citizens from a mere 250 000 whites the Rhodesians were properly catering for. Clearly the economy could not cope with the increased load. As we look forward to independence day, let’s remember both the good and the bad that came with independence. It’s not all a bed of roses.”
Zimbabwean parliamentarians get top of the range vehicles each term while cabinet ministers and deputies get a selection of three high range, executive and expensive cars to use over their usually five year terms.