By Staff Reporter
HARARE-In an unprecedented move—which goes to highlight how precarious the government of Zimbabwe’s financial position is getting—President Robert Mugabe’s office has indicated that it is seeking to purchase a second-hand vehicle for use by one of the departments that falls under this secretive office.
Traditionally, the norm has always been that all government vehicles are purchased as new.
However in this unusual case the Office of Zimbabwe President and Cabinet has started inviting private individuals who are willing to sell to it a used Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle to approach the office as it seeks to acquire a vehicle for use by the District Development Fund (DDF), one of the five agencies that are run directly from President Mugabe’s office which also presides over the broke government.
“Tenders are invited for the provision of pre-owned Toyota Land Cruiser V8 in good condition with the following attributes… 2008 or later; accident free; ten sitter configuration; low mileage; diesel…” read a Press advert inserted by the Office of President and Cabinet.
DDF is in the process of auctioning away most of its obsolete equipment at its depots dotted around the country as it seeks to raise some cash to fund it operations.
DDF is a department that is run by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and is responsible for the provision and maintenance of rural development infrastructure, resettlement, tillage, transport and other services that are aimed at uplifting the standards of living of rural people.
The Office President and Cabinet got a budgetary vote of US$184 million for the 2015 fiscal year, a far cry from the estimated US$442 million that the highly profligate office—whose expenditure is not subject to public scrutiny—is expected to blow up by the time the year comes to an end. In the 2014 budget its budget was $206 million but it had to be revised to $215 million but by October—three months before the end of the financial year—it had overrun that estimate to reach a staggering $342 million.
President Mugabe’s office has already blown tens of millions on his many foreign trips.
Recently the government blow millions of dollars on 77 lorries and 20 buses for the Zimbabwe Republic Police as it prepared to deal with any unrest that may erupt as a result of the deteriorating socio-political situation.
Another $2 million was blown up on top-of-the-range cars to appease members of the dreaded Central Intelligence Agency (CIO).