By Tonderai Mabasa
As Zimbabweans face shortages in foreign currency and potential economic meltdown, latest tender documents available to Nehanda Radio show that excessive foreign currency spending by government continues as usual.
As Zimbabweans prepare for shortages in basic commodities, documents show that 40 luxury vehicles costing approximately $3.3 million dollars were requested by RBZ from an unknown Harare based car dealership.
The list of vehicles included six brand new Toyota Prado VXL (SUVs) that came with a price tag of $100,000.
This information comes only days after the Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya said Zimbabwe was ‘living from hand to mouth’ and had no capacity to build foreign currency reserves.
The tender documents emerge during a critical period for businesses and consumers who already feel insecure as price hikes and shortages threaten their businesses and livelihoods.
The Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ) said their oil producers have been crippled due to foreign currency shortages and are unable to obtain much needed foreign currency through the reserve bank.
During his speech, an exasperated Dr. Mangudya called for structural and fiscal reforms, but denied reports that basic commodities were disappearing from shelves and blamed the shortages on the originator of a single WhatsApp message.
The Governor’s statement did not prove enough to assuage fears of his own party members who appealed to President Robert Mugabe for his dismissal.
In response to uploaded videos and pictures of long fuel queues and empty store shelves, Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo said his party would punish people ‘creating chaos in the currency markets’.
The Herald’s reporting which was echoed by Chinese state-owned Xinhua Net pushed the hardline position taken by government which blamed the shortages on ‘illegal price hikes’ and ‘fake social media statements’.
The tender revelations emerge just days after Zimbabweans had to confront images of two customised Rolls Royces’ which Grace Mugabe’s son imported and paid for with foreign currency.
The opulence exhibited by the Mugabe family and high ranking officials has raised serious concerns within the ruling party with some members calling for a lifestyle audit.
In the run up to one of the most important elections in our country’s history you would expect them to conceal the opulence but they are not even trying to hide it. Nehanda Radio