By The News Leader
The Zanu PF regime is rolling out a charm offensive to key arms of the state, which has seen secret deals of pampering MPs with money and cars. Huge amounts are also being splashed on new fleets of vehicles and increased allowances for senior members of the judiciary.
Over US$1,6 million has also been sunk into a media project which has its relevance seriously questionable. At a time the rest of the nation is grappling with economic hardships, The News Leader can reveal that MPs have recently been showered with lots of cash in addition to top of the range vehicles, as part of the government’s plan to appease them and gain their support.
We have also established that MPs are being invited to take up pieces of land, a move deliberately aimed at ingratiating them. We established that parliament recently paid MPs huge amounts to cover for arrears.
The timing becomes questionable considering that government has also recently committed US$16 million on brand new top of the range vehicles for legislators.
Sources at parliament revealed to us that Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa was forced to splash on the legislators after threats from the legislators over their outstanding allowances and salaries.
‘It had become a political issue and government understood what was at stake. Chinamasa found means to avail the money,’ a source said.
MPs have recently taken delivery of new vehicles, each at a cost of US$38 000.
Chinamasa denied that he buckled under pressure from MPs.
‘Those are budgeted for expenditures and there was no pressure from anyone,’ he said.
He however refused to reveal how government had secured the money when it is broke.
We established that more than US$2 million is being spent on new vehicles for senior members of the judiciary, who are reported to have also receives cash windfalls.
These huge expenditures come at a time the broke Zanu PF government is failing to increase salaries of civil servants, raising eyebrows about the prioritisation of MPs and judges.
Information minister Jonathan Moyo has, within six months, gobbled US$1,6 million into the Information Media Panel of Inquiry (Impi). The project is purported to be focusing on gathering public views about the media fraternity and legislation.
As Moyo spends the huge amount on a group of few journalists, workers at Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings are going for several months without getting salaries.
Political analyst George Chafa questioned government’s priorities.
‘It would appear government is merely concerned with pleasing the MPs, members of the judiciary and the few journalists because civil servants have lost hope about getting salary increases,’ he said. ‘That raises a lot of questions about government’s real motives.’
The Zanu PF government has failed to secure financial bail outs due to the uncertainty caused by the crisis of political legitimacy, emanating from last year’s rigged elections. Economic deflation has caused huge falls in revenue, forcing government to consistently borrow to pay civil servants. National debt has now exceeded US$10 billion. The News Leader