MPs, chiefs make quick buck from hiring out vehicles

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SOME MPs, chiefs and civil servants are taking advantage of the ongoing 30-day mandatory mobile voter registration exercise to make a quick buck by hiring out their vehicles for US$75 per day.

Report by Brian Chitemba

This is despite the fact that many of the vehicles are likely to develop various faults given the poor state of the country’s roads and rugged terrain.

The mobile voter registration started on June 10 and is expected to end on July 9, after which those who hired out their vehicles will be paid US$2 250. According to sources at the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED), there was a stampede at the parastatal’s depots countrywide as scores of legislators, government workers and individuals scrambled to ensure their vehicles were hired.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), which received US$20 million from Treasury for the exercise, will pay for use of the vehicles hired through CMED.

“A lot of people, including top government officials, jostled to hire out their trucks because they will make a quick buck in just 30 days given that most workers earn less than US$500 per month,” said a CMED official.

“We had to do it on a first-come-first-serve basis given that some wanted to muscle their way to register their vehicles for the voter registration.”

The official added that payment will only be made after the registration exercise ends next month.

MPs and chiefs have been hiring out their vehicles for government exercises.

During the constitution-making process, legislators and traditional leaders also made a killing after Copac paid US$80 a day and 40 cents per kilometre per vehicle. The outreach lasted 85 days.

Some MPs then were accused of hiring out vehicles loaned to them by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe under a vehicle ownership scheme.The cars were later withdrawn from the exercise by CMED.

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