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Zimbabwe Union Slams Government Over MP Vehicle Import Scheme

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said Wednesday that it is displeased with the government’s decision to let members of parliament import official vehicles instead of buying cars from domestic auto assembler Willowdale Motor Industries.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti confirmed last week that the government has approved a scheme for lawmakers to import the vehicles they want.

The government has allocated US$6 million to allow each member of the House of Assembly and Senate to borrow US$30,000 repayable over five years.

But the union said that by allowing legislators to import vehicles the government is failing to support Willowdale, which labor sources said is currently producing just five cars a day compared with the plant's production capacity of 25 cars a day.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions Deputy Secretary General Japhet Moyo told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Willowdale workers are working reduced hours due to the sharp falloff in auto production.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...