Parly to blow millions on Vic Falls retreat

via Parly to blow millions on Vic Falls retreat – DailyNews Live by Fungi Kwaramba  23 OCTOBER 2013

The Zimbabwe government is booking 350 legislators in the plush Elephant Hills Intercontinental Hotel in Victoria Falls for a three-day pre-budget seminar next week.

The swanky Elephant Hills consists of 276 elegantly furnished bedrooms overlooking the golf course and the Zambezi River, meaning some of the lawmakers will have to be accommodated in the equally swanky Kingdom Hotel.

The seminar is likely to gobble over a million dollars at a time when Zimbabweans are tightening their belts as the cost of living shoots up.

Jacob Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly, announced last week that the seminar will be held from October 31 to November 3.

“The Speaker reminded honourable members to confirm their attendance to the 2013 pre-budget seminar which will be held at the Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls, with the public relations department,” the Hansard reported.

David Chapfika, the chairperson of the Finance committee, said all legislators must attend to familiarise themselves with the budgetary process.

“There are a number of MPs who are new and not aware of the budgetary process in the 8th Parliament, so this is a chance for them to add their views,” Chapfika said.

“I am sure the minister is going to come up with a review budget for 2013. I am sure that all MPs will be attending.”

The bloated legislature, which is currently failing to fit into Parliament, will spend four nights in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

The grand five-star Elephant Hills Hotels crowns a hill overlooking the mighty Zambezi River. Lawmakers will feast on the finest cuisine and taste rare beverages all at the expense of the already overburdened taxpayer.

With a single room at the hotel costing $145, a double bed going for as much as $185 and a presidential suite pegged at $550.

The final tab might as well run into six zeroes.

For bed and breakfast only, the legislature will have to fork out an estimated $300 000 and almost the same amount for lunch and dinner.

Legislators on government business are paid $75 per day in out-of-pocket allowances and that tabulates to about $105 000 for four days.

A return flight to Victoria Falls from either Bulawayo or Harare goes for $250 and that comes to about $90 000.

Ensconced on a hill, the flamboyant hotel offers an 18 peg golf course, two floodlit tennis courts, two squash courts a massive sparkling swimming pool and bowling greens and a gymnasium.

And that is not all. The MPs, from both Zanu PF and the two MDC formations, will also have at their disposal a casino and a gymnasium.

Those who may so will can also visit the spa, which offers body treatments and facials.

Critics say Zimbabwe cannot sustain or afford this waste.

During the Vic Falls seminar, the state will pay conference fees, transport costs and accommodation charges.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the seminar was good for exchanging ideas on the forthcoming budget and the economy.

Chinamasa is expected to present Zimbabwe’s fiscal position and press the legislators to give input to next year’s spending plan.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • comment-avatar
    Kubota Binga 7 years ago

    It’s money spent for good cause, and the money will go a long way in paying the salaries of Hotel staff and development in general.

    Our leaders deserve this kind of treatment, seriously its not absurd for Govt to do this. Happens everywhere evenin the poorest of countries.

    Budget well our leaders, and enjoy the beauty of Vic falls while doing so.

    Kubota Binga, Kubota Folos, Kubota Mulonga Kasambabezi (Zambezi)

    • comment-avatar
      Vladnovsky 7 years ago

      The words of a truly misinformed and naive citizen. Well comrade, over 2 million of our countrymen are facing hunger so that renders whatever argument you’re using moot. I don’t need to list down the countless things a million dollars can do in Zim for you know them all. Common sense should just prevail… but then again it seems that too is seriously lacking here.

  • comment-avatar

    Are you kidding? Most democracies are very parsimonious with the taxpayers money, because if not, the taxpayers will vote them out of office at the next election!

    Oh, I keep forgetting, Zimbabwe is not a democracy because the taxpayers cannot actually vote the way they wish to, so the politicians have nothing to fear by wasting money on things like body treatments and facials!

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    POOR AFRICANS, WHEN THE NATION IS WALLOWING IN ABJECT PORVETY!

  • comment-avatar
    simon 7 years ago

    typical!

  • comment-avatar
    gukurahundi 7 years ago

    nothing surprising..SAD

  • comment-avatar
    Mjiba 7 years ago

    Did you ever thought of the more than 2million people who do not have something to put in their stomachs???????????

  • comment-avatar
    Kubota Binga 7 years ago

    Then build large chicken runs so they can transct their business there! Your criticisms taken, I still think its ok to have a retreat in Vic falls.

    Some leaders are going around the country to be shocked about how the rigging took place. Its ok. Can this not be done over the phone and its cheaper???? Some things just go with the roles we put our leaders in. Mugabe did not need to travel to USA then for United nations thingy. Video conference would have been ok. So many things to write. Govt spending in local economy is also good ladies and gentleman.