ZANU PF MPs Join In Questioning The Zimbabwe-Belarus Firetrucks Deal

ZANU PF members of Parliament (MPs) have joined opposition legislators in questioning the rationale of the firetrucks deal signed between Zimbabwe and Belarus which requires local authorities to import the vehicles. Each truck is priced at US$464 296.

The deal was strongly castigated by the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) which said Local Government and Public Works Minister, July Moyo had imposed the deal on local government authorities. 

The unclear arrangement, which July Moyo said was a “government-to-government” agreement, could cost the councils over US$32 million with each truck being sold at US$464 296 each. 

Meanwhile, there are reports that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s associate, Alyaksandr (Alexander) Zingman is the ultimate beneficiary of the deal.

This Thursday, ZANU PF MPs also expressed reservations over the deal.

ZANU PF MP Rushinga Tendai Nyabani asked the Minister if all local authorities had requested that there be fire extinguisher tenders considering that they were not a priority for some. Nyabani said:

If you look at other local authorities, especially in rural areas, what is important for them are riggers. In rural areas, for example in Rushinga, fire outbreak can happen after a long time, like two years.

What is important is water. So does it mean that all our local authorities really want fire tenders?  If possible we can ask them as to how important these are to them?

ZANU PF’s Chipinge South MP Enock Porusingazi shared the same sentiments. He asked Local Government and Public Works Deputy Minister Marian Chombo:

My question to the Hon Minister is that the fire tenders she is talking about – are they all the same like a one-size-fits-all approach or you have considered the different needs of the councils?

For example Chipinge Rural District Council, can it take a fire tender which is similar to Harare and Bulawayo? Did you also look at the capacity for making the repayments? From the resources that they have in Chipinge, can they match the capacity to pay back compared to Harare?

Why did you not consider the different sizes of the towns, a small town getting a smaller vehicle? There is no need to have a fire tender with an 80- metre boom in some of these small towns which have no high rise buildings.

CCC’s Harare North MP Rusty Markham demanded evidence that councils asked for the fire tenders.

Chombo’s responses failed to impress the parliamentarians who demanded that her boss July Moyo should instead come and defend the deal.

These questions being asked suggest that Parliament was not aware of the deal and, therefore, begs the question, “how did the minister strike the deal?”

The debate is expected to continue next week.

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