Chiefs Might Get 4 x 4 Vehicles: Chombo

Chombo said the loan scheme is similar to the Parliamentary Vehicle Loan Scheme for legislators and Senators, adding that chiefs deserve the cars to upgrade their status.

Parliamentarians were last given close to US$30 000 under the vehicle loan scheme.

“We are contemplating a car scheme for chiefs similar to that of MP’s because they are also politicians,” Chombo said in an interview.

Chiefs last got vehicles from the government in 2004.

Chiefs have been demanding 4×4 vehicles like Toyota Land Cruisers, saying the vehicles befit their status.

The Local government Minister said “chiefs should also be paid more because they are getting peanuts.”

The statements by Chombo follows revelations by Finance Minister, Tendai Biti that treasury is crippled by huge expenditure like salaries and debts against income.

Traditional leaders early this year demanded an array of “perks” including diplomatic passports, control of the Constituency Development Funds that are given to parliamentarians to develop their constituencies, guns, boosters, electricity, cellphones, and money for booking at hotels when they travel outside their areas of jurisdiction.

Some chiefs have been instrumental in Mugabe’s victory in previous elections as they coerced their subjects to support him, threatening villagers with expulsion and violence.

In past general elections, Zanu PF doled out incentives, which critics have described as vote-buying.