More new cars for senior officers

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe, already being blamed for the country's seven-year economic rot, has once again broken the bank by pampering top police and army officers with new Mazda vehicles, while allowing them to buy at giveaway prices the Peugeot 306 and Nissan Almeras his government b

ought for them last year.
The influential police officers, ranking assistant commissioners and army lieutenants, were sold the 306s and Almeras at $30 000 each, while they were promised they could take the new vehicles home when they retire.
Sources from within the police and army this week told The Zimbabwean that the officers received more that 80 new Mazda 3 vehicles and Peugeot 406 vehicles, costing over US$1,6 million.
“They received the new cars in mid-October and were sold the ones they have been using at the end of the month. Most of them have ceded the old cars to their wives, and now drive around in the new vehicles. They have also been promised to take home the new vehicles in the event that they want to retire,” said a police source.
Police national spokesman Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, himself a beneficiary of Mugabe’s generosity, refused to comment on the issue saying it had nothing to do with the press.
“I have nothing to tell you on that because it is an internal police matter. Where is your interest coming from?” he said before switching off his mobile phone.
However, Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi, in charge of police and his defence counterpart, Sydney Sekeramayi, who is overall in charge of the Defence Forces, both admitted the purchases, which they said were part of the benefits of the senior security officers.
“We are not the first ones to do this. Every other country is doing it, including your own foreign masters that make you turn against your country. Why is it an issue when it is done by Zimbabwe? Go to Britain and you will see things are not different there,” said Sekeramayi.
However, government critics have observed this as another attempt by Mugabe to retain loyalty among the influential chefs in the uniformed forces – on whom he is dependent for protection from mass uprisings by a population in crisis since the government’s watershed decision in 2000 to expropriate white owned farms for redistribution to political cronies. – Own correspondent

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