Controversy over Zimbabwe MPs vehicles

Temba Mliswa

An uproar has erupted in Parliament with some legislators questioning the rationale behind being limited to purchase vehicles from only two suppliers, a situations the lawmakers argue “narrows their choices”.

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Tsitsi Gezi last week promised to look into the matter after it had been raised by Norton legislator Temba Mliswa.

Some MPs who spoke to the media indicated that they preferred to buy the vehicles from other players in the domestic motor vehicle industry.

Treasury recently released funds for the purchase of vehicles for legislators, some of whom were reportedly commuting to their constituencies.

Speaking in the National Assembly last week, Hon Mliswa said forcing the MPs to buy from prescribed suppliers raised suspicions of corruption.

“I am also told there are people who had a choice to buy Isuzu vehicles from Paza Buster,” he said.

“I am told again that the ugly head of corruption has visited our august House where people are now being told where to buy vehicles and are being told not to go to Paza Buster.

“Madam Speaker, can you also look into that and find out why Paza Buster is not part of the list because other people prefer Toyota and others prefer Isuzu.

“That must stop. We have a choice of association. The Constitution itself talks about freedom of association, so whether I go and buy a vehicle from Croco Motors or Paza Buster, it is my choice. I thought Madam Speaker, I should raise these issues.”

Following Hon Mliswa’s complaint, Deputy Speaker Gezi promised to make a ruling at a later stage.

“I have noted all your concerns. I am going to look into them and will give a ruling later. I want you to give me the letter which you referred to,” she said.

Speaker of the National Assembly  Advocate Jacob Mudenda said he has been outside the county and expected to receive a briefing tomorrow (Monday) during a meeting of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee.

Clerk of Parliament Mr Kennedy Chokuda could not be reached for comment yesterday as his mobile phone was not being answered.

However, a letter dated 16 July from Mr Chokuda to all members of Parliament orders the MPs to buy vehicles from two companies. The letter, in possession of The Sunday Mail reads: “The following guidelines are to be read with Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001 as amended as well as the Vehicle Loan Facility Agreement. Faramatsi Motors and Croco Motors have been engaged to supply the vehicles to Members of Parliament.”