THE Zimbabwe Republic Police, buttressing its capacity to respond swiftly to political protests which have stretched the security establishment to the limit, has taken delivery of dozens of brand new Ford Focus vehicles.
Bought through local car dealer Duly’s, the vehicles are of British origin, but assembled in South Africa.
They cost between R420 000 (US$28 000) and R699 000 (US$46 600) each, according to the manufacturer’s price guide.
The cars are coming complete in police colours and were last week delivered in batches to the Beitbridge Customs and Excise yard from where they were loaded onto trucks to Harare.
The splurging on the cars comes at a time government is struggling to pay civil servants on time due a shrinking revenue base.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday announced a raft of cost-cutting measures amid a deepening fiscal crisis in government.
A heavily armed team has been escorting the vehicles to Harare has been dispatched to the border town.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said she was busy when comment was sought.
“Call me later, I am busy now,” she said.
An employee of Vehicle Delivery Services, a company contracted to transport the vehicles, said he was not aware of the number of cars bought by the police.
“We are not the only ones contracted to transport the cars, but there are dozens that we are carrying. We are sharing the consignment with other companies,” he said.
“The vehicles are being cleared at the border by a special release order that is being handled by the President’s Department at the border post.”
He said all the vehicles were to be delivered to the Duly’s depot in Harare.
According to the manufacturer’s description, the 2016 Ford Focus attracts a lot of attention, whether it’s parked or being driven.
It consumes between 6,5 to 7,7 litres for 100 kilometres and can reach a top speed of 266 kilometres per hour.
The Ford Focus model can go from zero to 100km/h in just 4,7 seconds.
Some of the cars are expected to be issued to traffic police. They have modern steering wheel controls for stereo, phone and auto-cruise devices. The vehicles are also equipped with in-built bluetooth.