Mphoko must be sensitive

HARARE - Several people fought running battles with the police as they demonstrated at a local hotel yesterday, demanding that Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko vacates the plushy lodging.

Mphoko, who was appointed Zanu PF and State co-second in command to President Robert Mugabe in 2014, has been staying at the luxurious hotel since then.

Several efforts to get him out by allocating him a house everybody felt would suit his status were spurned by the country’s co-number two who argued that the houses government wanted him to live in were sub-standard.

Just last week, Finance permanent secretary Willard Manungo issued a circular announcing new pay dates for civil servants, some of which spill beyond the middle of July.

We feel the vice president is being insensitive to the plight of the ordinary man who is funding his continued stay at the hotel.

It is the taxpayer who is funding this extravagance at a time when the State’s coffers are running dry.

This kind of extravagance cannot be allowed to continue, especially when the country is grappling with more important priorities like the civil servants’ salaries and sourcing food aid.

Besides showing Mphoko’s insensitivity, it also speaks volumes about the attitude of his principal, Mugabe, to the problems bedeviling Zimbabwe.

Mugabe should have acted on this long back but instead chose to ignore this open profligacy.

When viewed in the context of a diamond mining industry that failed to account for about $15 billion in revenue, it only shows that the country’s leadership is after self-aggrandisement at the expense of the suffering poor.

The poor, who are struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis, cannot watch as this reckless government spending continues unabated.

It only shows that Zanu PF and its entire leadership that includes Mphoko, are bereft of any conscience and should not be entrusted with managing the affairs of State any day longer.

The United Kingdom example must provide a useful parallel to Zimbabwe’s situation. Faced with a referendum result in which the majority voted for Britain to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was going to resign. This resignation is not premised on personal failure.

With Zimbabwe, Mugabe and his cronies are not letting go of the reins of power despite their illustrious failure. They want to hobble on even when things are clear that they should leave office.

The ugly confrontation on Friday only seeks to show that people are fed up with some of our leaders’ insensitivity.

Mphoko must be warned that the people are watching and they are now aware he does not care a bit about their lives.

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