Government spends big on Chefs’ cars

THE cash-strapped government is understood to have splashed millions of dollars buying latest top-of-the-range vehicles for Cabinet ministers.

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By Andrew Kunambura

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MPOFU WEBGovernment insiders said resources were also expended on an undisclosed number of Land Rover Discovery 4 models and Toyota Land Cruisers for deputy ministers.At least US$1,4 million was expended on first rate Range Rover Vogue SE vehicles, which were allocated this year to seven Cabinet ministers.

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At least US$1,4 million was expended on first rate Range Rover Vogue SE vehicles, which were allocated this year to seven Cabinet ministers.

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Government insiders said resources were also expended on an undisclosed number of Land Rover Discovery 4 models and Toyota Land Cruisers for deputy ministers.

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The purchase of the vehicles has been viewed as serious extravagance and gross insensitivity by a financially struggling government that is currently in sixes and sevens as  to where it will source money to avert impeding hunger after a failed summer cropping    season.

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The spending spree on fast and luxurious cars comes at a time when the nearly bankrupt administration has been struggling to bankroll a string of critical services, including funding the deteriorating health care system and paying an increasingly restive and bloated civil service that is gobbling more than 80 percent of the government budget.
\nMost worrying is that some of the ministers appear to have accepted the golden offer at a time when their ministries are barely making ends meet, let alone able to pay wages.

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Officials at CMED (Private) Limited said seven ministers were this year allocated Range Rover Vogue SE vehicles.
\nThis is a departure from what government has provided in the past which has normally been Mercedes Benz and Land Rover   Discovery models.

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While the Financial Gazette could not immediately establish the full list of the seven out of the 28 Cabinet ministers who benefited, the paper can report that four ministers, Ignatius Chombo (Local Government Minister), Obert Mpofu (Transport), Saviour Kasukuwere (Environment, Water and Climate and rookie Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira are driving the unmarked gas guzzlers that normally come with three-litre engines.

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The four recently took possession of Range Rover Vogue SEs estimated to cost US$195 000 apiece.
\nIn comparison, the Mercedes Benz E350 and Land Rover Discovery 4 vehicles, which have normally been allocated to ministers, are respectively est-imated to cost US$130 000 and US$140 000. – Financial Gazette