Ministry borrows to purchase luxury Mercedes-Benz cars


THE Ministry of Finance is set to purchase luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicles after successfully negotiating a US$1,4 million loan with the African Banking Corporation of Zimbabwe (BancABC), the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Herbert Moyo

Highly-placed ministry sources and bank officials confirmed that the ministry had approached the bank for the loan facility described as “lease hire finance”, which was subsequently approved on July 9.

The bank then wrote to the ministry’s permanent secretary, Willard Manungo, on the same day communicating its decision on the matter.

“BancABC is prepared to place at the ministry’s disposal (US$1,4 million loan facility) subject to the approval of the bank’s board of directors,” reads the letter seen by this newspaper.

The ministry was offered the loan at an interest rate of 15,5% per annum and on condition it repays in “12 monthly instalments starting 30 days after disbursement”.

Desmond Ali, the BancABC country head of marketing referred all questions to the managing director Hashmon Matemera, who had not responded at the time of going to print despite promises from his office to do so.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa also did not respond to telephone enquiries despite initially promising to do so during his press conference on the state of the pension fund industry held in Harare. Manungo was also unreachable as his office phones went unanswered.

The letter does not say what type of Mercedes-Benz vehicles the ministry seeks to purchase, who they are for and what they will be used for.

However, government has previously splurged on Mercedes-Benz E350 sedans which cost US$126 000, meaning that the US$1,4 million loan can buy about 11 such vehicles.

The ministry’s car purchases come in the wake of similar purchases for ministers and legislators running into millions of dollars despite the biting liquidity crunch that has seen the country desperately trying to court international financiers for assistance and failing to pay civil servants on time.

A few months ago government spent close to US$20 million on luxury cars, including Mercedes-Benz and SUVs for 26 cabinet ministers, 13 ministers of state and 24 deputies.

The government also spent US$15 million on luxury cars for its 355 legislators in April. Earlier in February, Mercedes-Benz E350 sedans, Toyota Land Cruisers and Range Rover Sport vehicles were bought for provincial ministers.

In the midst of the extravagance, Zimbabwe is battling high unemployment estimated at 80% and Chinamasa has been criss-crossing the globe in search of an elusive financial rescue package to kick-start the moribund economy.

As many as 400 workers are being retrenched on a weekly basis as companies continue to close, while service delivery has deteriorated.

10 thoughts on “Ministry borrows to purchase luxury Mercedes-Benz cars”

  1. Goredema says:

    Vava kuba gwechikwengu!

  2. Sirius says:

    So you borrow money to buy ma benz but workers are not getting paid?

    And people tell me I must help fix the economy?!

  3. Chatunga says:

    Vanhu vanogwara ava shuwa!!! Kutongwa nembavha chaidzo!!!

  4. tzv2020 says:

    iiiii does chinamasa know what the economy really wants. kunyangwe iwo maminista anotengegwa kugamuchira kuratidza kusafunga kokupedzisira

  5. tzv2020 says:

    if he puts the $1400000.00 dollars as loan to business he will get at least $210000.00 every month as VAT . he can then go to buy those luxuries

  6. New fleet of Mercedes Benz’s, that will fix the economy.

  7. Wedu wee says:

    How can anyone explain this madness please? And you expect any progressive change? I weep for my Zimbabwe!

  8. just saying says:

    As with most things it takes two so in this case the other party is BancABC. They then are complicit in bringing the country down when they make loans to buy expensive vehicles knowing full well what the state of the economy is. Probably don’t have the courage to say no to the ‘big boss’

  9. pasipamire says:

    Why is our govt obssessed with super-luxury vehicles? Are we not able to drive modest vehicles and still govern?

  10. Chen Chikezha says:

    It’s because of sanctions we buying these Mercs, then if there wasn’t any sanctions we would not have bought……….kkkkkkkkkkkk. what a bunch of clowns

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