27 MPs stranded in China

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ABOUT 27 local MPs are said to be stranded in Guangdong Province, China, after they went on a shopping visit to Beijing, but missed their plane when they decided to travel further to Guangdong.

VENERANDA LANGA
STAFF REPORTER

The MPs, from both Zanu PF and MDC, are said to have organised the shopping trip to Beijing which had nothing to do with Parliament business.

Sources who travelled with the legislators, but preferred anonymity said the stranded MPs got overwhelmed with China and decided to travel to Guangdong Province where goods are reportedly cheaper than in Beijing.

Zanu PF legislator for Makoni South Mandi Chimene was said to be the leader of the delegation and had advised the stranded MPs not to travel to Guangdong as it was very far from Beijing.

However, the MPs who include Kwekwe Central MP Masango Matambanadzo are said not to have heeded Chimene’s advice and decided to travel to Guangdong Province by high speed bullet trains.

Names of the other stranded MPs were not yet known by the time of going to print.

“We tried to persuade them not to travel to Guangdong as it is very far and they did not have enough money, but they did not listen,” the source that travelled with them said.

“The MPs had met some businesspeople in Beijing who often travel to China to buy buses and other vehicles and they were told that Guangdong had cheap goods and they got carried away.”

The source added: “They did not have enough money and now that they are stranded, we do not know where they are sleeping, what they are eating and how they will come back.”

The high-speed bullet train tickets from Beijing to Guangdong are said to have cost about $150.

Guangdong province is in South China and the distance between Beijing and Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province is about
2 294km in railway length.

A flight from Beijing to Guangdong takes about three hours, while travelling by high-speed bullet trains takes about 10 hours.

Some of the MPs who are said to have heeded Chimene’s calls not to proceed to Guangdong and managed to make it back were MDC-T Harare West MP Jessie Majome and a chief from Matabeleland who was not named.

“They decided to take the high-speed bullet train to Guangdong and failed to make it back on time to Beijing to catch the plane. Only one Matabeleland chief who had travelled with them to Guangdong managed to catch the plane. We used Air Zimbabwe and the next plane will be on July 10. I do not know how they will be faring until the 10th and how they will pay for the trip back as they did not have enough money,” the source said.

Parliament sittings will resume today and the 27 legislators will miss sessions in both the Senate and the National Assembly.