Zim vice president refuses govt sponsored mansion, opts for 'expensive' hotel

2016-06-23 12:32


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Harare – Zimbabwean Deputy President Phelekezela Mphoko has refused to move into his recently government acquired $3.5m mansion, opting instead, to continue staying at an "expensive" hotel in Harare, a report said on Thursday.

According to News24, the broke Zimbabwean government secured the $3.5m mansion in Harare's leafy Grange suburb for Mphoko in December last year.   

But due to demands from Mphoko ahd his wife, the government had to do some renovations to the house.

However, six months after the required renovations had been made, the Mphokos still claimed that they would not move into the government sponsored house until some of their requirements were met to the letter,  NewsDay reported.

The vice president was reportedly demanding "more changes" to the house to ensure it met "his stature", but the cash strapped government was struggling to fund the required improvements.

Local government permanent secretary, George Mlilo said that the ministry was no longer involved in the issue as it was now handled by the office of President Robert Mugabe.

Underfunded sectors 

According to unidentified sources, the government sponsored house was ready for the Mphokos to move in.

"The house is ready for occupation, but the VP wants more improvements done. We really don’t understand what he wants the ministry of public works and national housing to do, but we have done our best to it. We don’t know what more needs to be done," an unidentified senior government official was quoted saying.

Reports indicated that Mphoko's wife, Laurinda, had previously rejected three houses, among them, a mansion in Harare’s affluent suburb of Ballantyne Park worth $3m, claiming that it was too small for a person of the VP's stature.

The Mphokos 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.

They have been staying at an executive suite of the five-star Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare since December 2014 and still continued to stay there at the taxpayers' expense.

In December last year, reports indicated that the continued stay of the vice president at the hotel cost the tax payers about $250 000 since he moved in 2014.

The vice president's hotel stay had infuriated many, with human rights activists saying the money used for his accommodation could be channelled towards underfunded sectors such as health and education.

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

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