Zanu PF secretly imported a fleet of over 200 top-of-the-range vehicles to traverse the country while seeking votes in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s re-election bid.
A senior Zanu PF official told The Standard that the party kept the importation of the fleet out of public attention to manage a possible public outrage which he said could cost it in the upcoming elections.
The ruling party has been accused of splashing funds on party cars and regalia at a time the majority of the citizens are wallowing in poverty.
The double cab vehicles are kept at a private residence in the leafy suburb of Mandara in Harare under guard by state security officers waiting for branding and distribution to party chefs.
“These are off-road vehicles, which are awaiting distribution to senior party members,” the official said.
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“The vehicles are for a rigorous rural campaign. Every place should be reached, hence the support.
“But obviously the party cannot parade the vehicles as it could stir anger among those whom it wants votes from.”
Zanu PF secretary for transport July Moyo curtly said he was not aware of the imported vehicles.
“The finance department is better placed to respond to your questions,” Moyo said.
“They are responsible for importing the vehicles and they will be handed over to me. I haven’t received any vehicle.”
Party secretary for finance Patrick Chinamasa was not picking calls.
Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha said he could not comment on importation of the vehicles, but defended the party spending on cars and other campaign resources.
“We really need the cars for rural mobilisation, in fact, many of them, because we are geared up for a massive campaign,” Bimha said.
“People should know that there is a difference between the government and the party.
“Zanu PF gets funds from well-wishers and also from membership subscription and other projects. It has no access to state coffers.
“Therefore, how it spends its money, it’s no one’s business. If there are complaints about public services, they must be directed to the government and not to Zanu PF.”
Zanu PF had only 45 motor vehicles and three buses when Mnangagwa assumed power in 2017, according to the party’s central committee report released last year.
The ruling party acquired an additional 438 new motor vehicles in 2018 alone, bringing the fleet size to 486.
The party also bought more vehicles in 2020 while Mnangagwa also donated 30 double cab vehicles last year, bringing the fleet size to 531.
Political analyst Elded Masunungure said while Zanu PF was not answerable to citizens for its expenditure, it was obliged to be accountable to its supporters.
“We have seen a fusion of Zanu PF and the state, which makes it difficult to distinguish between the two,” Masunungure said.
“Under circumstances where there is dire need of assistance among the populace, Zanu PF as an institution has the duty to at least serve its supporters, if not the whole nation.
“It cannot be accountable to every citizen, but it has its supporters. It is buying vehicles for the top chefs, but what about its supporters?”
— The Standard