Minister Machakaire’s Rolls Royce purchase sets Twitter buzzing
By Nkosana Dlamini
The acquisition of a Rolls Royce Phantom from Britain by sports deputy minister Tinomudaishe Machakaire at a princely US$770 000 total has set Twitter buzzing with Zanu PF sympathisers defending the top government official for the profligate spend.
According to local media reports, Machakaire, who is 39, reportedly paid GVE London £330,000 for the luxury car and £30,000 for shipping – totalling US$495,800.
MDC officials and sympathisers took to Twitter to express disgust over the purchase by a minister who is part of a government accused of inventing policies that have impoverished the majority.
Machakaire is owner of TinMac Motors whose business has been favoured with lucrative government tenders.
Some Zanu PF linked individuals have jumped to Machakaire’s defence after the top official has come under fire for what many suspect could be sumptuous spills from a corrupt system.
Writing on Twitter Sunday, Zimbabwe Democracy Institute director Pedzisai Ruhanya said the minister’s claims of running a successful business empire that could afford the giant spend were hollow.
He also took a swipe on those defending the minister.
“So there are some wannabes out there who think that elected officials, public officials, a deputy minister should not be questioned about the their wealth, its source especially in country drowning poverty. The things we defend in Zimbabwe are mind boggling!” Ruhanya said.
Renowned author and pro-democracy campaigner Tsitsi Dangarembga also expressed shock at how a Zimbabwean could be found parking a world celebrated vehicle.
“One of the most expensive cats in the world – one year waiting list. Apparently not even UK royalty have it. How does it come to be parked in a Zimbabwean parking lot. I really hope it doesn’t belong to any of our politicians, notorious for conspicuous consumption,” she said.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzai Mahere also questioned those defending Machakaire to explain the coincidence of the minister having been named by the Zanu PF youth league in a list of some corrupt elites linked to the ruling party in 2019.
Among those who took to social media to defend Machakaire is Norton legislator Temba Mliswa who said Machakaire is a “businessman par excellence and is transparent, paying taxes and all”.
“We should not rush to denigrate someone for their taste. As long everything is done above board. We should see and support more rich black people,” he said.
Former Herald editor and known Zanu PF sympathiser Caesar Zvayi was also fighting in Machakaire’s corner.
“So if someone runs a successful business & can afford to buy a Rolls Royce he should not buy just because some people cannot afford it?” he said.
“Poverty Accord, I presume? What nonsense!”
Government has failed to award wage increases on its restless workforce claiming the national purse could not afford to meet the demands.
However, the country’s elite and those linked to the ruling party continue to flaunt astonishing riches in full glare of suffering compatriots.
Government has also been busy destroying homes and businesses belonging to the poor majority, leaving them in worse off situations.