Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 27, 2012

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On the other side of the world, a country in Africa is experiencing social unrest over the government and car loans.


Zimbabwe, a country full of poverty-stricken citizens, just saw their members of parliament (MPs) receive a $15,000 bonus that was meant to help them pay down their auto loans. This $15,000 sum is on top of the $30,000 each member received in 2009 to initially purchase the vehicles.


But the government officials are claiming they make too little to repay their high priced car loans, and as a result they will not be putting the new $15,000 windfall amount towards paying down their loans.


“This U.S. $15,000 is for allowances for three years, meaning that one is getting U.S. $5,000 per year and with such a figure, what can one buy?” asked one undisclosed source.


Another source reduced that calculation a bit further. “”Imagine an MP being paid $750 per month and $75 as allowance for travelling over 600km [373 miles] to do Parliamentary business? This is ridiculous.”


However former Zimbabwe attorney-general, Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, thinks otherwise. “The fact that you realize you are not paid enough doesn’t take away your obligations,” remarked the former prosecutor.


This finger pointing is taking place amongst a government that presides over a country whose poverty levels rose from 25 percent to 63 percent between 1990 and 2003, according to the international organization Rural Poverty Portal. Instead of devoting these $15,000 checks to the people, or the infrastructure, the MPs fight over whether to pocket it or put it towards their automobile payments.


The money was allocated to the MPs by the country’s treasury, but that accounting arm of the government is not speaking up about the MPs’ refusal to use it for their car loans. As a result, the MPs are trying to relieve themselves of blame.


“We have never been involved in this, they [the treasury] are the ones who gave them the loans, so they should recover it themselves,” said Austin Zvoma, the Clerk of Parliament, to the Herald.