SPEAKER of the House of Assembly Jacob Mudenda has thwarted a bid by local vehicle-assembling plants to force parliamentarians to promote the local industry and buy locally-manufactured vehicles.
In a letter dated November 20 and addressed to Henry Tarumbira secretary-general of the National Unions for the Metal and Allied Industries of Zimbabwe, Mudenda said legislators had the right to buy cars from suppliers of their choice and challenged local players to offer competitive prices for their vehicles.
This was after Tarumbira wrote to Mudenda in September this year demanding that members of the Eighth Parliament of Zimbabwe be forced to buy locally-assembled cars as part of promoting the local motor vehicle industry.
Tarumbira argued that companies such as Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries, Quest Motors, AVM Africa and others were facing viability problems and stood to benefit if parliamentarians bought vehicles from them.
Mudenda said Article 3 of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Vehicle Revolving Fund Constitution, as read with Article 143 section (1) (4) of the Customs and Exercise (General Amendment) Regulations of 2001, allowed individual members to choose their own suppliers.
“The onus, is therefore, on the motor vehicle assemblers under NUMAIZ quoted in your letter to offer competitive prices and packages that attract Members of Parliament to use their loan to acquire vehicles from them,” Mudenda said.
He said the House of Assembly administration could only assist by communicating available offers to their members when the Finance ministry provided the funds.