By Wisdom Mumera
Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena’s latest acquisition, a US$420 000 garish Lamborghini Urus has raised the anger of many with its starkly immoral portrayal of the gap between the elitist ruling and the poverty-stricken public.
The vehicle is out of place in 98% of Zimbabwe’s roads and very much so in Gokwe where the young legislator represents one of the most backward constituencies in the country.
Zimbabwe is squeezed for foreign currency and public entities such as hospitals, government departments, City Councils have been crying such that it’s immoral and inhumane of Wadyajena to splash out foreign currency on such an object.
More so when they are valid suspicions that the money was acquired through a government facility of 1:1.
Salt to injury is the fact that nearly $250 000 duty was not paid for the car under a prior arrangement allowing MP’s such benefits.
As a political leader it should be common sense that his, and every politician’s, conduct should reflect and support the national thinking and vision through the correct optics.
Acquiring a garish object whose celebrated qualities are merely the fodder for mental satisfaction than practical usage is not the right way to psyche the rest that the government mean what it is saying.
At a time tobacco farmers were denied their own foreign currency a legislator closely aligned with President Emmerson Mnangagwa buying a US$400 000 car is bad optics whether the money is clean or not.
The MP has a moral duty to conduct himself and his ‘clean money’ in the proper manner that goes beyond the justification of the money being his own and the fruit of his sweat.
Politicians are the clergyman for the secular world.
They set the pace in conduct and as leaders should be at the front leading by example. What does Wadyajena’s acquisition say to his Gokwe electorate?
Here are some of the things the US$420 000 could have paid for.
Earlier this year government approved the increment of school fees in government schools and at an average of $40 bond fees for a Gokwe school, the legislator could have paid fees for an entire stream of 150 school children from Grade 1 until they complete their primary education.
A scholarship like the one being run by fellow young legislator Temba Mliswa in Norton could have sent thousands from High School up to tertiary level education.
Gokwe is a perennial poverty stricken zone that could do with boreholes and for the same amount at an average of US$3000 for the siting, drilling and acquisition of tanks and installation, the young legislator could have swamped Gokwe with over 130 boreholes.
Maize per tonne has been raised to $1400.
With US$420 000 converted to bond at an average interbank rate of 1:5 giving $2, 100,000 the legislator could have bought 1500 tonnes of maize and fed his constituency for the rest of the austerity time in Zimbabwe.
With the US$420 000 The MP could have built 6 new schools in Gokwe and set himself as the de-facto eternal MP for the area due to his benevolence.
Alas, he chose a sunflower colored toy car to make himself feel special as he bumps in and out of the potholes.