Stranded MPs rescued


THE Zimbabwean embassy in Beijing and Ethiopian Airways have come to the rescue of the 27 MPs who were stranded in China after missing their flight while on a shopping spree.


The MPs, their spouses and some Parliament staff are now expected back in the country tomorrow aboard an Ethiopian Airways.

Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene (Zanu PF) who was part of the organisers of the trip confirmed the developments to our sister paper NewsDay yesterday.

But Chimene refused to give further details saying she would make a detailed statement once the stranded legislators returned back home.

“I cannot disclose anything until they are back,” Chimene said.

“What I can confirm is that we are making arrangements. They will leave China Wednesday (today) evening and arrive (Harare) on Thursday around 12 noon on board an Ethiopian Airways plane.”

Foreign Affairs secretary Joey Bimha said it was the MP’s personal responsibility to find their way back home as they missed the flight on their own accord.

“Since they had tickets, their flights would only be rescheduled,” Bimha said.

The MPs were drawn from the ruling Zanu PF party, MDC-T and the MDC led by Welshman Ncube. It has also emerged the 27 who missed their flight back to Harare included spouses of MPs and Parliament staff.

Sources told NewsDay yesterday the stranded MPs secured help from the Zimbabwe Embassy in China.

According to sources, a delegation of about 60 left Harare for Beijing last Monday and was due to return on Sunday when others missed the flight after they travelled to Guangdong, South of China, about 2 294km from Beijing for more shopping.

The trip, according to sources, was organised by the China Zimbabwe Friendship Association where Chimene is deputy chair.

The association is said to have facilitated the payment of $250 by each MP for the trip to China using Ethiopian Airways. The MPs are expected to pay the $1 000 difference for airfares in the next six months.