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Mnangagwa: “I would like to tell you that some of these issues are for bigger or more senior people and should not be spoken about.”
VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko’s controversial and costly stay in a luxury suite at a top Harare hotel since appointment last year cannot be discussed in Parliament, legislators were told Thursday.
The injunction was issued by Mphoko’s counterpart, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Responding to a question from MDC-T Chitungwiza North lawmaker Godfrey Sithole, on government policy regarding accommodation and expenditure by officials, Mnangagwa said the “presidium is seized with the matter”.
“My question is directed to the Vice President Hon. Mnangagwa,” said Sithole.
“I would like to know the government policy regarding expenditure on accommodation for senior government officials.
“This is actually on the background of reports that Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has been staying in an expensive hotel since 14 December 2014.”
He added: “I would want to know the expenditure policy in terms of accommodation for senior Government officials.”
In response Mnangagwa said; “I would like to tell you that some of these issues are for bigger or more senior people and should not be spoken about.
“We are working on this issue and we are looking for a house so that the Hon. Vice President can be accommodated.”
Government has reportedly splashed more than $200,000 funding Mphoko’s stay at the Rainbow Towers in Harare since he was surprisingly picked by zas one of his two deputies.
Mphoko’s wife reportedly rejected, as unsuitable, a mansion in Harare’s leafy suburb of Ballantyne Park and government is reportedly still searching for a good enough property for the family.
It has also emerged that deputy Speaker of Parliament Marbel Chinomona has been holed up in the same hotel for two years.
During Thursday’s parliament session, Kuwadzana East lawmaker, Nelson Chamisa, also asked whether it was state policy that officials stay in hotels for such long periods.
“Is it a stated and settled Government policy that we would use the meagre resources we have for an expensive mode of accommodation like a hotel instead of or in place of other cheaper forms that we could find?
“Are we not able to then use that money for other necessities like electricity or water that are very pertinent to circumstances of our country?” Chamisa asked.
Mnangagwa retorted; “I am not fully informed about the facts of the matter the Hon. Member has raised about the deputy Speaker.
“I may be incorrect or correct but I believe that Parliament has regulations governing how the Speaker shall be looked after when the Speaker is in Harare during the sitting of Parliament.
“The regulations are not that of Government but of the legislature, so we need to look at that in order to see whether they have been violated or not.
“So, I cannot off the cuff, indicate as to the precise situation relating to the matter raised by the Hon. Member.” source-newzimbabwe