Government buys 300 cars for senior army officers ahead of 2018 election

The government has purchased at least 300 top-of-the-range vehicles for senior officers in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ). The vehicles which are worth millions of dollars include Toyota Fortuners, Ford Rangers and Toyota Corollas and will be allocated to officers with the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the ZNA and wing commander in the AFZ and above. The move is viewed as a way of appeasing the security sector to ensure that they remain loyal to President Robert Mugabe ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.

A government official who spoke to the Independent said:

Senior police officers are getting Ford Rangers while some members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) will be given Toyota Corollas and Toyota Fortuners will go to assistant directors.

Another official said:

The new vehicles will be used to fulfil a backlog in the allocation of cars to lieutenants-colonels and other senior officers. However, this has been largely seen as a way to appease the securocrats ahead of the 2018 elections.

The Toyota Fortuner SUVs cost US$75 000 each while Ford Rangers double cabs depending on the model, cost between US$53 000 and US$89 000 each. Toyota Corollas range from US$25 000 to US$29 000 per vehicle.

Early this year the government splashed about US$20 million on cars for top government officials.

More: Independent

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