via Mutodi savages Mphoko for hotel stay – DailyNews Live Bridget Mananavire • 7 December 2015
HARARE – Outspoken Zanu PF member Energy Mutodi has added his voice among those calling on Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko to leave the presidential suite at Rainbow Towers hotel where he has been staying in opulence for the past 358 days and chewing an estimated $250 000 of the taxpayer’s money in the process.
Of concern to taxpayers and observers is the fact that the majority in the country are struggling yet a VP—is living it up in an upscale hotel where a presidential suite costs $700 per night and that translates to $255 500.00 per year.
And it now seems the anger against Mphoko is shared across the political divide with Mutodi, a known supporter of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, calling on the former diplomat to show restraint in a country that has a paltry $4 billion budget and where urban poverty is on the rise.
Mutodi said what is particularly disconcerting is the fact that many in the country, especially the rural folk, are currently surviving from hand to mouth — while the likes of Mphoko enjoy the trappings of a “king.”
In an attack that shows that gloves are now indeed off among the warring factions in Zanu PF, Mutodi says the bossy VP should lead by example and vacate the hotel.
In a long post on his Facebook page Mutodi asked why Mphoko thought he was special to stay in a hotel for a year using State funds.
“Truly speaking, as a nation we must be seen to be portraying a correct image to investors especially on our determination to develop this country and we need humble leaders who are prepared even to sacrifice their wealth to support communities and not greedy and luxury-life seekers. It’s just unacceptable.
“The money that he is blowing out daily could be used to construct schools and clinics in rural areas. In the resettlement villages in Bikita where I was born, there are no clinics, people die of malaria due to late treatment and children travel 13 km to school. I also travelled that distance to school until I completed Grade 7,” Mutodi said.
Describing Mphoko’s long hotel stay as an “embarrassment” on President Robert Mugabe and the government—that is usually out begging for capital from countries like China—Mutodi said the VP’s long hotel stay shows that “government is unconcerned about the feelings of its own people, whose souls pray every day for a revived economy that can offer jobs and food for everybody”.
Mphoko refused a house that was offered to him by government last year and then it was said that a house befitting his status would be built.
But almost a year down the line Mphoko is still a guest at Rainbow Towers—a situation that prompted some activists to demonstrate last week.
“The questions we ask as citizens are that where was Mphoko staying before he was appointed as a VP? Does he have the people at heart? Why does he think that he is so special that he should be staying in an expensive hotel for a full year using State funds?
“His predecessors namely Vice President Simon Muzenda, Joseph Msika and Joshua Nkomo and John Landa Nkomo never behaved in the manner that he is doing. Even his boss president Mugabe is a humble man and has not stayed for even a full week in a home or foreign hotel. Like the president, the departed VPs were humble and they put the nation first so they could stay in those houses that Mphoko and his wife are describing as too small to be occupied by a VP,” said Mutodi.
Mphoko moved into Rainbow Towers on December 14, three days after being sworn in by Mugabe, and has refused to move into any other house suggested to him, saying the houses where his predecessors stayed in were not fit enough for him.
Activists who were arrested while demonstrating against the politician’s stay accused Mphoko of being “heartless and unpatriotic”.
“The money spent on the VP’s hotel bill could be channelled towards health, education, food security, support of Orphaned, Vulnerable Children (O.V.Cs) and make a significant contribution to improve service delivery,” the statements released by Tendai Murehwa and Irvin Takavada on behalf activists arrested on November 30 read.
“Seven CD4 counting machines could be bought; hundreds of starving Zimbabweans could be fed; Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) could pay school fees for OVCs; civil servants who are struggling could get their bonus pay-outs on time. Household in rural and urban areas could access clean and safe water.”
The only time Mphoko moved from his favourite room was when he was displaced from his favourite room by Chinese president Xi Jinping when the latter came to the country for a two day State visit last week.