ZIMBABWE – Civil society organisations have challenged President Robert Mugabe to “evict” his deputy Phelekezela Mphoko from Harare’s Rainbow Towers Hotel where he is staying since his appointment in December 2014.
Vice president Mphoko is said to have rejected properties in one of the Harare’s leafy suburbs on the grounds that they were not befitting for a person of his stature.
At Rainbow Towers Hotel, Mphoko is reportedly staying with his wife, a grandchild and personal aides along with a phalanx of security staff since it’s a public place.
In a statement Thursday, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said Mphoko’s continued stay in the expensive hotel is unwarranted and needlessly a bleeding government’s sparse coffers.
As CIZC, we challenge President Robert Mugabe, as the appointing authority, to do the honorable thing of whip his subordinate into line if the sentiments that Zanu PF is a party of the people are anything to go by, said the civil society.
The Coalition said government should rather use the money paid for Mphoko’s hotel accommodation to buy maize for millions of starving Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe’s economy is struggling and the fiscus is highly stressed, yet the country’s leadership resorts to lavish lifestyles while the majority wallows in abject poverty with a big cloud of uncertainty hovering over their heads, said Crisis.
Zimbabwe requires about $260 million to import maize for over 2,5 million people who are facing starvation after a poor harvest last season.
The civil society group said government should also address the plight of its workers who are suffering.
Presently, Zimbabwe’s economy is on a downward trend amid massive closures of companies as well as retrenchments.
For us as CIZC, the position of a VP is an opportunity to lead and work for the betterment of the lives of ordinary people rather than an opportunity to live an expensive lifestyle.
At a time the majority of Zimbabweans are living far below the Poverty Datum Line (PDL), estimated to be around US$500, we expect the government to commit resources to the betterment of the lives of ordinary people rather than the sustenance of expensive lifestyles by those in the echelons power.
Crisis added: We implore VP Mphoko to show his integrity by doing the noble thing of moving into a government house so that not much of the taxpayer money is spent to sustain his extravagant lifestyle.