Any orders for yet-to-be-delivered off-road vehicles will be cancelled-Tayali
GOVERNMENT departments and agencies have surrendered 19 Toyota Land Cruiser VX vehicles following a presidential directive to sell luxury off-road vehicles that were bought after the United Party for National Development (UPND) came into power in August 2021.
The cost of a Toyota Land Cruiser VX ranges from US$233, 000 to US$398,900 depending on the version and there are currently eight versions available on the market.
Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali disclosed in an interview yesterday that 19 vehicles had been surrendered to his ministry by Friday last week.
“As at Friday, there were 19, I don’t suspect there will be more actually,” Mr Tayali said.
Mr Tayali said if there were Toyota Land Cruiser VXS that had been procured but had not yet been delivered, such orders would be cancelled.
President Hakainde Hichilema recently directed Secretary to the Cabinet Patrick Kangwa to ensure that vehicles were surrendered and the money generated channeled to other needy areas.
Mr Kangwa issued a circular dated May 2, 2023 to all heads of Government departments, which included ministries, the Judiciary, the National Prosecution Authority and the Office of the Public Protector, among others, to surrender the vehicles to the Ministry of Transport and Logistics for safe keeping at 12:00 hours on Wednesday last week.
President Hichilema made the directive to sell the Toyota Land Cruiser VXs during the Presidential Delivery Unit Leadership Workshop in Lusaka last month.
The President reiterated his position during the Labour Day commemoration on May 1, 2023 and called on the labour movement to join him in his crusade against extravagant expenditure by Government departments.
Mr Hichilema said the purchase of such costly vehicles was a huge drain on Government resources.
President Hichilema said the money spent to buy the Toyota Land Cruiser VXs, whose maintenance was costly, could be allocated to programmes that could benefit many citizens.
He cited the procurement of desks, medicines, improvement of water reticulation in schools and rural health facilities, including building maternity wings in healt facilities where they did not exist.