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Tafara Mabvuku MP, James Maridadi, has challenged political opponents not to blame non-existent enemies for the current economic mess, adding the country’s bloated cabinet was a huge burden to the fiscus.
Maridadi was debating a motion in Parliament this past week in which Zanu PF legislators ascribed the crisis to the effects of Western imposed sanctions.
But Maridadi said Zimbabweans should look no further than themselves as a huge chunk of the country’s wealth was being channelled towards lavishing the current 75 cabinet ministers with expensive perks.
“…. Our Cabinet is so huge; a country of 13 million people has a Cabinet of 75 people and yet when you look at South Africa, a country with five times our population, a country with 52 million people has a Cabinet of 28,” Maridadi said.
Maridadi said Zimbabweans could not justify such a blotted government which far outstrips the United States, a country with 320 million people and a cabinet of 15 officials.
“What it means Mr. Speaker is that when Cabinet is appointed and reappointed, it makes it very difficult for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to plan,” Maridadi said.
“When Ministers are appointed, each Minister must get an executive vehicle – a Mercedes Benz E300 – which, at ZIMOCO, is valued at US$120,000.
“Again, our Ministers are now getting Range Rover Vogue, the ones our Ministers are driving is worth $296,000.
“Not even the British Prime Minister David Cameron drives a vehicle of that expense and yet these vehicles are manufactured in the United Kingdom.
“Where do you get that kind of money to buy that kind of a vehicle in a country with a Budget of less than US$4 billion?
“I am giving Britain as an example, it has a GDP of $3.5 trillion and our GDP is $8 billion and yet our ministers drive Range Rovers, each one valued at US$296 000, that is a luxury that we cannot afford.”
The motion was moved by Hatfield MP and MDC politician, Tapiwa Mashakada, for parliament to agonise on the state of the country’s economic situation.
Zanu PF MPs, among them Buhera MP Oliver Mandipaka, said although corruption posed a great danger to the country’s fragile economy, the MDC must take all the blame for inviting ruinous sanctions in the country. source-newzimbabwe
photo-During a previous encounter, the MDC-T legislator James Maridadi , led away by police officers holding him up by the back of his trousers