Home » Governance » Buy Zimbabwe Takes Dig At Parliament Car Scheme

AN organisation promoting consumption of locally produced goods and services has criticized government over its decision to splash $10 million on imported cars as the country’s import bill continues to balloon.

Appearing before a parliamentary portfolio committee on industry and commerce, Buy Zimbabwe general manager Munyaradzi Hwengwere said the economy had lost millions of dollars to imports at a time when the local manufacturing sector was in the doldrums.

Parliament recently purchased several vehicles outside the country at a time when the state-owned car assembler Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries is facing working capital constraints.

“Policy inconsistencies (is one of our main challenges), we say the right thing and sometimes find it difficult to do.” Hwengwere said.

“I hope honourable chair, I may be allowed to take a little dig against what we as Buy Zimbabwe found a little disheartening, though the circumstances may have been understandable.

“Despite clear pronouncements by the minister of finance that it is very important to prioritise local procurement, we saw our Parliament procuring vehicles that are assembled and made elsewhere and choosing to take $10 million outside the country.

“So the policy consistency between what we say and what we actually do (is not coherent).”

Hwengwere appealed to the lawmakers to craft policy which preserves a 51 percent threshold on local procurement both in the public and private sector arguing that Zimbabwe can resuscitate key economic sectors should government contain the import bill.

He blamed the absence of a regulatory association for the flooding of cheap and sub-standard goods and services on the market.

Treasury should introduce more export incentives to establish footholds across the country, he added.

Official statistics show that imports stood at $2,9 billion for the first half of the year while exports were at $1,7 billion, making the country a net importer.

“From the money we have generated here, we have taken $1,2 billion out of Zimbabwe,” he said.

He said the money was enough to revive local mines and create employment for thousands of people.

Source : New Zimbabwe