MP Misihairambwi please STOP your populist nonsense – duty free cars for what?

27 May

Some of the comedians called Zimbabwean Parliamentarians were at it again last week moving a motion in Parliament to have civil servants amongst a host of other proposals be allowed to import duty free cars ‘so that they are able to move from their homes to their work places’. It is reported that Priscilla Misiharaimbwi, the unelected Matabeleland South MP moved the motion supported by a few gullible MPs. What nonsense! This is utter rubbish and symptomatic of a leadership that is devoid of clues on alleviating the poverty and mess the Zimbabwean economy finds itself in.

It should be clearly evident to all and sundry that such populist policies will not alleviate the plight of the intended suffering masses who are the civil servants. This is for simple reasons that:

– The said civil servants do not even have enough money from their salaries to be able to buy the supposed cars? People are earning salaries in the range of US$450 – 1000. These sorts of monies are barely enough to buy a car worth to be called a car unless someone were to probably save for one whole year without removing even 1 Rand from the meager salary.

– The most plausible assumption by these ludicrous MPs is that the civil servants should be able to access loans from these tuck – shops and sharks called banks in Zimbabwe. Of course for the Zimbabwean banking industry the most profitable and safest way to hedge their funds and increase their profits is to give out loans to these gullible civil servants with high interests ranging from 10 – 15% per annum. So for example, a bank will give a civil servant who earns 700US per month 3 times their gross salary. The civil servant will have $2, 100 in his/her account; borrow some more from friends or from another bank and then finally has enough to buy a small ex Japanese car for maybe US$3 500 – 5000. It is indeed baffling to understand how these loans get repaid considering that most of the same said civil servants have other serious commitments such as rentals, school fees and food to pay for. The ultimate result of course is that the civil servants will get hooked to the banks forever till REPOSSESSION or the courts do them apart. So whose interests are these MPs serving here? A few bankers who are clever enough to take advantage of the weak economy and crazy government and ask MPs to push for crazy policies. Please give us a break!

– What cars are being talked about anyway? Honestly, these old 15 – 20 year old ex -Japanese cars? So people are struggling to eke a living and our dear MPs still think the best way to alleviate that poverty is to have people own cars older than their children? It is a well – known fact that these so called reconditioned cars are serious money drainers considering that when they get delivered to Zimbabwe, most of their systems will be worn out requiring major refurbishments that cost a lot of money to the already struggling and impoverished civil servant. These same MPs must just do a study to see how much is used in repairs/maintenance by people who import these old Japanese supposedly ‘cheap cars’. Money that could have been saved for school fees, nutritious food and other viable businesses is now locked in buying spare parts from Mbuya Nehanda and all these other retail outlets. But for what purpose – to please the banks; for the MPs to be seen to be working or help the struggling civil servants? Whose interests are being served here?

– Disposable incomes and much needed savings will be locked up in such crazy schemes and these civil servants will be left to suffer on their own. MP, Priscilla, the civil servants are better off without such schemes. What they need is a good economy not these duty free cars. I can bet my last dollar that if a study were to be conducted amongst the civil servants who would have been given an opportunity to utilize such a scheme, you would find other serious social challenges such as failure to pay school fees, nutrition problems affecting their children and so on because most of their money would be locked up paying interests on bank loans and maintenance for those Japanese cars.

– By now, I would have thought that MP Priscillah would have advocated for better, affordable, accessible public transport systems which should be able to get the same said civil servants to and from work without serious hassles, but alas all you think of are quick fixes. Zimbabwe does not need people like you – it needs people who can transform the state of the nation. The RBZ constantly complains about the huge outflows of foreign currency to import goods which are not really necessary but here another MP stands in full support of further draining the economy of the much needed foreign currency.

– What is needed now, are policies that build smaller businesses and the resilience of civil servants to withstand the current shocks. There must be an end to corruption in government, no monkey business in regulating this so called banking industry and most importantly a proper consultation of what Zimbabweans including the same civil servants see as a panacea to the current economic problems – not old Japanese cars!

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One Response to “MP Misihairambwi please STOP your populist nonsense – duty free cars for what?”

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  1. MP Misihairambwi please STOP your populist nonsense – duty free cars for what? | tchabvuta - May 27, 2014

    […] MP Misihairambwi please STOP your populist nonsense – duty free cars for what?. […]

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