Mphoko's hotel defence 'crass'

HARARE - Tendai Biti’s opposition PDP has described as “crass” Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko’s justification of his continued stay in the Presidential Suite of the plushy Rainbow Towers Hotel by suggesting no tax dollars are being lost because he is staying in a hotel owned by the government.

Mphoko has been staying at Rainbow Towers Group (RTG) hotel for the past 560 days together with his wife Laurinda, his entire family, including his grandchildren, at the taxpayer’s expense.

He told lapdog State media on Monday: “I live in a government hotel. It’s as good as staying in a government house.”

NSSA holds 36,21 percent of RTG. Hamilton & Hamilton Trustees, owned by investor Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, owns 32,08 percent. Stanbic Nominees owns 19,96 percent. The government, through the ministry of Tourism, owns no more than four percent.

Mphoko’s “it’s a government hotel” justification was yesterday flayed in a joint statement by PDP spokesperson and secretary for finance and economic affairs Jacob Mafume and Vince Musewe.

“It was Mark Twain who once said — ‘It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.’

“In our view, VP Mphoko’s response is not only despicable, dishonourable, crass, selfish, untimely, uncouth, thoughtless but downright cheeky and unforgivable,” the PDP statement said.

“His attitude reflects the very essence of the value system which we are all fighting against; a value system of lack of leadership accountability and unnecessary profligacy in the midst of poverty simply because one happens to be in a leadership position.”

The PDP statement said Mphoko’s brief stint in the 70s liberations struggle against white minority rule did not entitle him to waste State resources.

“Many others contributed much more than you did and participated for the entire duration of the struggle and yet they are claiming nothing because they did it for the country and not for selfish ambition.

“Clearly there is something very wrong with regard to who qualifies to lead us. If a whole VP can justify that he must squander resources as payback for his suffering and even has the audacity to threaten to stay longer, and then imagine how much is owed to the thousands who have not claimed anything for their participation in or contribution to the liberation struggle.

“Our country continues to be plundered and bankrupted by Zanu PF and its appendages at the expense of the majority.”

Activists have been protesting at the Rainbow Towers Hotel against Mphoko’s hotel stay, with police routinely breaking the protests and rounding up protesters. Activists have given him seven days to leave the hotel, but he has remained defiant.

PDP said based on the public outcry to this unnecessary extravagance, the opposition party expected that Zimbabweans respond more directly to this insult.

Analyst Takura Zhangazha said all of these actions are a clear sign at a simmering popular anger about the state of the economy, or at least at specific issues related to the economy, even if that anger has not translated into more effective action that forces the government to rectify its policies.

Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has also said it was “deeply concerned and indeed, saddened by the level of insensitivity, selfishness and profligacy that is being exhibited by this man who also refers to himself as a war veteran notwithstanding the fact that his liberation struggle history is rather shadowy and mired in controversy.”

“Mphoko’s apparent love for living life on the fast lane is a monumental embarrassment not only to himself but to all patriotic Zimbabweans,” MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said.

PDP said Zimbabweans today are worse off than they were during colonial rule simply because of “bad leaders” like Mphoko.

Mphoko was recently offered two upmarket and spacious houses in the leafy suburbs of Harare by the State. One of the houses was left behind by the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo. Mphoko refused to occupy both houses ostensibly because they were not good enough for a man of his status.

After the last house that he had accepted was renovated by the State, Mphoko stated that the renovations made were not effected to his taste and standards.

“It is indeed true that the character of a man is exposed by his responses to circumstances and we at PDP have no respect whatsoever for leaders like VP Mphoko who have this warped sense of entitlement regardless of the cost to the country. That unfortunately has become a common trait especially within Zanu PF.”

PDP said in Mphoko, Zimbabweans have a VP who has added no value whatsoever to the country but insists on a lavish lifestyle funded by the sweat of the poor.

“That is unforgivable,” the PDP statement said.

Comments (11)

Leaders are servants of the people. The majority are suffering yet Mphoko is not ashamed to squander, plunder and bleed the Gvt purse. No words can describe the feeelings of the agitated majority right now. It's shocking to have leaders who are so insensitive to their followers plight. Abondoning the war front is not a roving license to squeeze and sneeze the country and bring it to its knees. Mr Mphoko, the cries of the majority shall surely erupt and reach unprecedented levels, whereupon there will be nowhere to hide.

kakale - 30 June 2016

True, Mphoko' s stance is shameful. How about the his boss's stance in all this mess? Looks to me Mphoko's boss has, and will always turn a deaf ear and blind eye to any of 'His blue eyed boys and girls actions' no matter what they do. He only threatens to 'name and shame them' when any of them is percieved by him to be a threat to his power. I eagerly looked forward to the boss's 'naming and shaming them'. Even the wife also said she would. Looks like i may have to wait forever! His lavish annual birthdays by the way, - could someone kindly add up the total costs of these birthdays to date? Were all trips to Singapore official? And by the way,did the donated bananas save the hunger situation to the recipients?

Vikiqiniso - 30 June 2016

Its not vp s fault.he has an artficial does not beat bt gongs mercilelsy.Mphoko to Skies.go sir.go n live wth the subjects.yu can wake up wth them ,drive to work wth them.That way yu will come to appreciate why Matebeleland is behind on development.Live wth us in skies.why shun us.

viola gwena - 30 June 2016

Never mind the hotel bill. Question should be - In these times of hardship and given Zimbabwe's size - Do we really need a 2nd VP or a VP at all???

Themba W - 30 June 2016

Clearly it is Mugabe's fault. He can simply order him out. Is Mphoko implying that he is better than other deputy presidents who used the houses offered?

Mbongeni Sakhe - 30 June 2016

Mpoko and your diva wifey, you are an embarrassment to MUGABE & ZANU PF.

Melissa - 30 June 2016

this guy is very tribalistic. hanzi, 'i am from matebeleland asi ndinogara muhotera ndiri mumashonaland! mungandidii?'

toti - 30 June 2016

Failure to join the dots is the problem here and people end up concentrating on non-essentials. Who employed Mphoko? His boss is giving him the perks and you attack him for taking them? Morality doesn't even come to it, any moral human being will not be part of a killing and stealing machine called zanu. Mugabe has two state houses fully staffed and paid for by you people and a third one which he refused Morgiza to stay in because he uses it as storage, So he has 3 state properties that you are paying for and doesn't live in them and he has his blue roof in borrowdale which is fully funded by the state...from security to all members of staff. He takes his kids and their families with him on state visits and on holidays all paid for by the state. He takes them to foreign schools and hospitals and even buys them homes in foreign lands all paid for by the state and yet you have no problem with him. He signs Mphoko's expenses to stay the hotel and you say nothing to him but now attack Mphoko who is being rewarded by his beneficiary.

Galore - 1 July 2016

Mr Vice Presidents so thinks its just good to stay at Rainbow Towers because gvt has some shares, well it is the best that he go and stay at Khami Prison which is 100% government owned.

Watseni WaMaungwe - 1 July 2016

Mr Vice Presidents so thinks its just good to stay at Rainbow Towers because gvt has some shares, well it is the best that he go and stay at Khami Prison which is 100% government owned.

Watseni WaMaungwe - 1 July 2016

where & who is this idiot Mphoko? we never ever heard of him, then all of a sudden he is a VP. LiNdebele kumbe liTshona?..mxm You are all bloody corrupt & thief's. Hope you all rot in hell, including the retard Mugabe.

Potohayi - 2 July 2016

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