HARARE – Parliamentary candidates who contested the July 31 poll on a Zanu PF ticket have defied Didymus Mutasa, the party secretary for administration and Presidential Affairs minister’s order to surrender Ford Everest campaign vehicles.
Mutasa wrote to provincial chairpersons on October 29, instructing them to surrender the vehicles to their provincial party headquarters with immediate effect.
“Each candidate is instructed to return the vehicles to their provincial headquarters. This is the final call for the surrender of the vehicles,” Mutasa said, in a clear indication that initial calls for the return of the vehicles had been spurned.
According to the vehicle maker’s South African website, the Ford Everest costs between R384 800 to R450 800, meaning Zanu PF could have shelled out more than R100 million in acquiring the vehicles, translating to more than $10 million.
Those who did not make it to Parliament are vigorously resisting the decree arguing that the party should consider selling them the vehicles at nominal prices.
A Harare candidate told the Daily News yesterday that since the order was given last month, only a handful of candidates have complied with the directive.
“We are aware of the directive to return the vehicles but most, if not all of us, especially losing candidates, have not done so,” he said.
“We are not being rebellious but we have hope that the party will consider giving us the vehicles or allow us to buy because we still need to continue mobilising supporters and maintain our visibility as a party until the next election in 2018.”
Mutasa confirmed that indeed some of the vehicles have not yet been returned but declined to comment further.
Zanu PF splashed more than $10 million on 550 state-of-the-art vehicles to oil its campaign machinery nine days ahead of the do-or-die general elections which the revolutionary party subsequently won overwhelmingly and attained a crucial two-thirds legislative majority.