Members of parliament are not paying car loans they took out at the beginning of their terms, raising fears they would go and leave multi-million dollar state bills unpaid, Now Daily has learnt.
Auditor-general Mildred Chiri has raised concern over the matter in her latest report on state accounts, revealing that the government was exposed to the tune of $13 million, which was paid by the ministry of finance to Croco Motors through the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ).
“My audit revealed that Members of the 8th Parliament of Zimbabwe who took delivery of the vehicles were not repaying the vehicle loans as required,” auditor-general Mildred Chiri said. “Parliament did not open books of accounts to record the indebtedness of the Members of Parliament to government. A nil return for the Motor Vehicle Revolving Fund was submitted for audit, an indication that nothing was owed by MPs, despite (the fact) that Parliament had in its files loan agreements signed by MPs. Without maintaining records of indebtedness, the loan amounts owed by MPs might not be recovered during the tenure of the 8th Parliament as what happened with the 7th Parliament. Parliament should make sure that all MPs service their loans as per the loan agreement.”
It has also emerged that parliament’s motor vehicle revolving fund has been looted dry by MPs who did not repay their loans. The MPs have refused to pay the loans, saying they will only do so after getting outstanding sitting allowances from the government. Chiri, however, pointed out that the sitting allowances would not be sufficient to cover the debts.
The MPs had agreed to repay the loans for the Ford Ranger double-cabs they acquired at a rate of $730 per month.
An official of parliament confirmed that MPs were not paying their loans.
“Repayments by members have not commenced as Treasury has not yet started making available resources to pay members’ allowances since 2013,” a statement from parliament said.
However, the statement from parliament proved to be patently false as the MPs have been getting sitting allowances and other perks every month.
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