Cash-strapped Zimbabwe buys 226 cars worth $6 million for tribal chiefs to ‘restore their status’

The Zimbabwean government has purchased 226 Isuzu double cab four-wheel drive vehicles for tribal chiefs in the country to “improve their statuses”.

This was announced by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere ahead of the annual National Council of Chiefs Conference in Bulawayo attended by President Robert Mugabe.

“We acknowledge that the chiefs had no transport; we will give them Isuzu trucks in the next two weeks. They should come to Harare to get their vehicles,” the cabinet minister told local media.

Mugabe told the chiefs at the conference on Saturday that the purchase of the vehicles from South Africa by the government was a way of improving their status.

“Sorry, for those years you have been made the poorest of the poor. You are not in good shape. I believe that you spoke to the Local Government who gave you an idea of what the State is offering; we want to restore your status, to become a people of honour, not only to your people, but also to the State,” he was quoted by the local Sunday Mail newspaper.

“So then, you say you need means of transport; it’s okay, it’s fine … We made sure that the chiefs were given strong, well-equipped vehicles, capable of transporting and giving your mothers and wives the pleasure of royalty. So, I hope it’s coming soon, just like that,” he said in the Shona language.

The vehicles come with a raise in the allowances of the chiefs who form part of the constitutional body National Council of Chiefs led by its president Fortune Charumbira. Read more on this here.