VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has defended his counterpart Phelekezela Mphoko’s continued stay in a hotel, saying the government was still constructing his house.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Makonde MP Kindness Paradza asked Mnangagwa to explain why Mphoko was still staying at a hotel.
“There is a government house which is still being occupied by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and our Constitution does not say if one retires as PM, the government should continue taking care of them,” he said.
But Mnangagwa said presidents, vice-presidents and prime ministers were all entitled to stay in State residences and the type of house varied according to their grades.
“VP Mphoko’s house is being constructed and once painting is finished, he will stay there,” he responded.
However, in a statement likely to rile the MDC-T, Mnangagwa said Mphoko could not stay in a house meant for a Prime Minister as his grade was higher, perhaps an indicator of the power relations in the inclusive government.
Mphoko has reportedly raked up a $18 800 bill at the Rainbow Towers, where he has been staying since he was appointed vice-president.
The vice-president stays in a $400 per night suite at the luxurious hotel.
Mphoko has already rejected a $3 million house on the grounds that it is too cheap.
Harare Central MP Murisi Zvizwai also raised a point of order with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, saying Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko must attend Parliament to take questions from MPs, adding it would also give a chance for him to meet legislators.
Meanwhile, the Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo yesterday issued a ministerial statement saying the country would meet digitalisation migration deadlines.
He said under the new dispensation, viewers would be asked pay monthly subscriptions of between $3 and $6 to access television services.
He said the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe had engaged a Chinese company to take charge of the digitalisation project.
Parliament will have dedicated channels for everyday live coverage.