n Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono’s spirited rebuttal claiming he had purchased a slightly cheaper top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz.
Secretary General Tendai Biti fired a warning shot over the unrestrained extravagance among the ruling elite, and also warned that the starving masses were not amused at the show of opulence in government while the country was steeped in crisis.
Gono insisted that he had not bought the Mercedes Benz Brabus E V12 for US$365,000, as earlier reported, saying his latest car was an S600 V12 which cost US$138,000. He said the bulk of the cost of the vehicle was met by the RBZ board and he had to ‘top up’ Z$123 million.
Biti told a rally at Kuwadzana 4 Park on Sunday that the MDC was shocked the RBZ board could commit US$138,000 of the country’s scarce foreign currency to purchase a luxury vehicle when the economy was in its death throes.
“How does a moral person with an economy like this one where 80 percent of people are living below the poverty datum line votenga mota yakadaro (buy a car like this)?” Biti said amid applause.
“Zvine sense nelogic here? These people don’t have love for us. Kutora US$138,000 kunotenga mota here? It’s a shame.” Various speakers including MDC organizing secretary Engineer Elias Mudzuri, Kuwadzana legislator and party spokesman Nelson Chamisa, and Policy and Research secretary Sekai Holland addressed the rally, attended by more than 10,000 people.
Biti said the extent of looting of State resources by the ruling elite had scaled new heights and the MDC was gravely worried by reports that it would take more than 20 years for Zimbabwe to recover without foreign assistance. With a US$8 billion injection, it would take 13 years, according to the latest research carried out by economists.
He said the people had suffered for too long and should not wait for 2010 to elect a new president. He said the nation must demand that elections be held next year after the constitution has been overhauled.
“Zanu (PF) is not going to donate a constitution. Zanu can’t donate its suicide. So, we have to fight. The MDC leadership would lead the people in this campaign and we are ready to fill the country’s jails.”
It's shameful, says Biti
BY GIFT PHIRI
HARARE - A top official of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) this week threw cold water o