GOVERNMENT is set to splash in excess of $300 billion on cars and allowances for senators despite the fact that an increasing number of Zimbabweans are on the brink of starvation. <
Highly placed sources in parliament said government was currently putting in place a facility to procure Mitsubishi Colt, all-terrain double-cabin trucks for senators and also setting up constituency offices for them.
Senators are expected to procure the vehicles at the beginning of the year.
Vehicle dealers who spoke to the Zimbabwe Independent this week valued a Mitsubishi Colt at $4,8 billion, with part of the amount having to be paid in forex.
“US$19 500 of the price is payable in forex and the rest in local currency,” a sales rep at Croco Motors said.
The value implies that on senators’ vehicles alone government is set to spend around $316,8 billion. This amount can import 15 466 tonnes of maize at a landing rate of $9 million a tonne.
Sources said over and above the vehicles, senators would receive a monthly salary of $14 million, a housing allowance of $2,7 million and several other perks that are enjoyed by MPs.
The development comes at a time when the United Nations emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland projected an increase in the number of people in need of food aid from the current two million receiving food from the World Food Programme to three million people in February.