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Zimbabweans Jostle to Hire Out Cars For National Census

Hundreds of Zimbabweans are flocking to the government’s Central Mechanical Engineering Department (CMED) with the hope that their motor vehicles will be snapped up for the conduction of the forthcoming national census set for next month.

Some residents of Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare told VOA Studio 7 long queues are now the order of the day at CMED depots following a notice published last Thursday by the state entity inviting motorists and corporate organizations to hire out their cars for the program.

They said the $60 and $100 per day payment for vehicles being offered by the CMED is so lucrative that even large numbers of civil servants are abandoning their stations to offer their personal cars for hire.

Treasury has already set aside $22 million for conducting the national census running from august 17 to 28. At least $37 million is needed for the exercise.

Harare resident Edson Chikuma said the money being offered by the CMED is attracting even motorists with battered vehicles.

Bulawayo resident Clemency Sibanda said the CMED is expected to only hire roadworthy vehicles. “The department is also expected to use its own drivers in order to minimize damage on hired vehicles,” said Sibanda.

CMED officials declined to comment referring all inquiries to Transport Minister Nicholas Goche who declined to talk to Studio 7.