CIO splurges US$3m on cars for elections

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THE Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), whose budget is secretive, recently splashed US$3 million acquiring about 100 Nissan double cab vehicles from a Harare car dealership for use by its members in rural areas ahead of crucial general elections.

Paidamoyo Muzulu

The spy agency acquired the new 4×4 Nissan NP300 double cab vehicles through a dealership known to the Zimbabwe Independent, which were distributed to its officers in the rural areas last week.

The agency has in the past been involved in political activities, including abductions and torture of MDC formations and human rights activists countrywide.

Investigations by the Independent show the vehicles cost on average R245 000 each in South Africa. It could, however, not be established if the vehicles had been imported from South Africa.

“The organisation bought new trucks for field operations, and distribution started last week to all district officers,” a source said.

The security sector, which includes the police and army, has invested heavily in new fleets during the course of the year.

Last year the army spent US$45 million on 1 000 vehicles ahead of elections.

President Robert Mugabe is on record saying CIO spies for Zanu PF and keeps him informed of political activities within the party and MDC formations.

The Joint Operations Command (Joc) has over the years been taking an increasing political role in the governance of Zimbabwe.
The security services politicisation and partisanship still remains one of the outstanding Global Political Agreement issues.

Joc has been playing a commissariat role for Zanu PF since the emergence of the MDC as a serious contender in the political arena.

Hurungwe East MP Sarah Mahoka early this year told a Chinhoyi magistrate that Zanu PF candidates for 2013 general elections were sending their applications and curriculum vitaes to the CIO for vetting.

Mahoka made the revelations while testifying in an intra-party violence case where she accused Temba Mliswa of setting party thugs on her in Hurungwe.

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