Source: VP Phelekezela Mphoko leaves hotel | The Financial Gazette August 23, 2016
VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko has left Rainbow Tower Hotel which has been his home since December 2014 when he was appointed to the presidium.
Government sources said the Vice President left the hotel this month for his official residence at number 5 Corfe Road, Highlands.
There has been surging public outrage over his stay at the hotel at a time government was struggling to pay salaries to civil servants.
Angry groups of placard-waving protestors drawn from the National Vendors Union, Restoration of Human Rights and militant pressure Tajamuka/Sesijikilehad once stormed the hotel, demanding that he vacates the property saying his continued stay there demonstrated extravagance and insensitivity to the plight of the majority of suffering Zimbabweans.
Mphoko, however, defended his stay there saying that before his appointment, he had stayed in a private hotel, but moved to the Rainbow Towers as per government requirements.
“The day I was appointed VP of this country, I was staying at Meikles Hotel. According to government regulations, I had to move out of Meikles because it is a private hotel. I moved to a government hotel which is Sheraton (Rainbow Towers). The government has got shares there,” he said in June.
At that time he also dismissed accusation that he refused to move into a government house bought for him by the State in Harare.
“People do not know what they are talking about. The house that the government has brought me is not even worth US$3 million. It’s US$1 million and something. I live in a government hotel. It’s as good as staying in a government house. It’s as good as (Morgan) Tsvangirai, who is staying in a government house. Tsvangirai is staying in a government house, which is as good as staying at Sheraton,” he said.
Mphoko said before moving into the house acquired for him by government, it has to meet laid down security standards.
“The presidency is an institution governed by strict security, strict protocol not anything outside that. Long back, I used to drive from South Africa, park my car along the road and sleep, but I can’t do that now. The men I travel with can’t allow me to do that,” he said
His recent defence of his stay at the Rainbow Towers Hotel since his appointment in 2014 has not only attracted scorn, but has also divided public opinion.
Opposition political parties and civic activists have joined forces to demand that Mphoko should vacate the hotel.