HomeLocal NewsVehicle import scheme to only benefit top civil servants

Vehicle import scheme to only benefit top civil servants



GOVERNMENT’s car scheme, which will allow civil servants to import vehicles duty-free, is a pie in sky and will not benefit the majority of its workers, but a select few senior members.

The conditions set out by government through Statutory Instrument (SI) 52 of 2019, purportedly offering an incentive to civil servants, sets stringent conditions for one to qualify for the benefit.

According to the instrument, only senior government officials from the level of principal directors, directors and deputy directors will be direct beneficiaries of the free import of vehicles.

Those below the level of deputy director can only benefit subject to the discretion of the Finance ministry secretary.

“The secretary responsible for Finance and Economic Development may, according to his discretion, grant rebate of duty on a motor vehicle with a maximum import value of US$10 000 being imported by any serving public servant of Zimbabwe who has been in service for a period of no less than 10 years,” the SI reads in part.

Government has also said this facility will only be open for the importation of cars that are not more than 10 years old, forcing the poorly paid civil servants to buy the more expensive and latest models they can ill-afford.

Holding a valid driver’s licence is also another requirement for the civil servants to qualify for the rebate, as government moved to try and control rent-seeking behaviour.

Teachers’ unions have since dismissed the government offer as nothing, but a pie in the sky which did nothing to improve their plight.

Zimbabwe National Teachers’ Union Association co-ordinator Shepherd Mundondo told NewsDay that government should be lauded for introducing this policy.

“The idea would have been noble had it catered for every government employee who has been in service for at least three years, but the question is: why should it take 10 years for a permanent teacher to be entitled to benefit from the scheme?” he said.

Most civil servants, including teachers, law officers and clerks, are taking home almost US$130 equivalent on the black market and are unable to afford latest vehicle models.

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