ACTING President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday angered opposition MPs when he claimed that First Lady Grace Mugabe had a right to hand over government-sourced irrigation equipment and foodstuffs at Zanu PF rallies.
Mnangagwa was responding to MDC-T MPs Fani Munengami (Glen Norah North) and Zengeza West’s Simon Chidhakwa, who had asked how fair it was for equipment supposed to benefit all Zimbabweans being dished out at Zanu PF rallies.
“The First Lady is right to donate that equipment because she is the First Lady. It is not a rally that she is donating to, but she is donating to people,” Mnangagwa responded.
“There are about 78 irrigation schemes that benefited, and there is no day when a rally was given irrigation equipment. In Mt Darwin, an MDC-T member is a leader of an irrigation scheme and they benefited. The Brazilian equipment is composed of tractors, harvesters, irrigation gunners and other equipment, and government said each province should have eight irrigation schemes benefiting. Other provinces will have 10 schemes benefiting.”
The opposition MPs also raised concern over Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s continued stay at the upmarket Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare at the expense of taxpayers.
Musikavanhu MP Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) said government should provide cheaper accommodation for Mphoko so that money earmarked for his hotel stay would be diverted to infrastructure development, including construction of rural clinics.
The backbenchers also quizzed Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi to explain to the House why Zimbabwe deployed peacekeepers to Equatorial Guinea for the Confederation of African Football tournament without seeking Parliament’s consent.
Sekeramayi said deployment of peacekeepers did not require buy-in from Parliament.