Zim VP's hotel stay 'beyond your level', Mnangagwa tells MPs

2015-10-16 12:42
Emmerson Mnangagwa. (File: AFP)

Emmerson Mnangagwa. (File: AFP)

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Harare – Zimbabwean Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has once again come to the defence of his colleague, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s continued stay in a costly hotel, saying the issue should not be discussed in parliament, according to reports.

News Day reported Mphoko had, to date, spent more than 300 days in a hotel where he is staying with his family. The newspaper recently reported that he had spent at least $120 000 on bed and breakfast as of September 26.

Mphoko, one of Zimbabwe’s two vice presidents appointed by President Robert Mugabe last year, checked into the executive suite of the five-star Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare on December 14, 2014 and has continued to stay there at the taxpayers’ expense, the report said.

The revelation came as government claimed it wanted to cut costs and was already carrying out staff and pensioner audits, the report said.

But responding to a question on Thursday from an MDC legislator on government policy regarding accommodation and expenditure by officials, Mnangagwa said the issue was not for discussion in parliament, according to New Zimbabwe.com.

"I would like to tell you that some of these issues are for bigger or more senior people and should not be spoken about. We are working on this issue and we are looking for a house so that the honourable vice president can be accommodated," Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.

Government house

This was not the first time that Mnangagwa defended Mphoko’s stay in the luxurious hotel. Media reports in March quoted him as saying the government was still constructing Mphoko’s house.

Mnangagwa said this after he had been asked in parliament to explain why Mphoko was staying in a hotel.

"VP Mphoko's house is being constructed and once painting is finished, he will stay there," Southern Eye quoted Mnangagwa as saying at the time.

Mnangagwa also hinted at the time that the government house being used by ex-prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai could not be occupied by Mphoko as it did not befit his status, a Daily News report said.

This was after a suggestion that Mphoko could move into the house used by Tswangirai since the former PM had left government.

Media reports in January indicated that Mphoko's wife, Laurinda rejected three houses, among them a mansion in Harare’s affluent suburb of Ballantyne Park worth $3m (R41.8m), claiming that it was too small for a person of the VP's stature.

The Mphokos, the reports said, also refused to move into a house left by the late vice president Joseph Msika in Harare’s leafy suburb of Mandara, saying they wanted a house of their own, not the one vacated by others.

Read more on:    mdc  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  robert mugabe  |  phelekezela mphoko  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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