Editor's PickPower and Politics

Authorizing purchase, ordering sale of luxury cars attached to office holders, a political stunt —PF tells Hichilema


The repossessing of VX motor vehicles from public service employees is a mere public stunt by President Hakainde Hichilema, aimed at impressing the people because the assets were bought after his approval, says opposition Patriotic Front (PF).

PF deputy Information and Publicity Chairperson, Emmanuel Mwamba, said government would incur significant financial loss should the Secretary to Cabinet proceed to sell the vehicles.

He said a cabinet meeting held on April 24, 2023 decided that the purchase of Ministerial, Permanent Secretaries, and State-owned Enterprises Chief Executive Officers luxury vehicles, be repossessed and sold off.

Mwamba said since 2021, government had approved and bought luxury 4X4 vehicles for Permanent Secretaries, constitutional office holders and others as part of their conditions of service.

“The purchase of these vehicles was approved by Mr Hichilema and Cabinet under the Appropriation Act. The purchase of the vehicles was further approved by Cabinet and Parliament through a supplementary budget,” he said.

Read more: Hichilema directs sale of all luxurious vehicles bought for govt officials

Mwamba said the disposal of state assets was regulated by Article 210(2) of the Constitution, the Public Service Financial Management Act of 2018, the Public Stores Act, including the Public Asset Management Policy and other laws.

He said like the presidential jet, it would be difficult to sell the vehicles for many reasons including the issue that the assets were serviceable and remain in good condition.

Mwamba said the laws called for disposal of unserviceable, obscelent and obsolete assets and equipment and the vehicles in question were almost brand new assets but could only be sold at a huge loss to government as showroom assets immediately depreciate in value immediately they are taken out for use.

“Wasteful expenditure, loss of public funds cabinet approves repossession of ministerial luxury vehicles.

“So while Mr Hichilema appears prudent in this matter, it is a mere public stunt and grandstanding as these assets were bought after his approval and government will incur significant financial loss,” he said.

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