PRESSURE continues to mount on Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko to vacate his hotel suite which has gobbled nearly $300 000 in tax payers’ money.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) on Thursday urged President Robert Mugabe to personally order one of his deputies to vacate Rainbow Towers hotel, which has virtually turned a permanent home for the top government official since appointment as co-VP 13 months ago.
The former Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa is enjoying hotel accommodation together with his wife, a grandchild and his personal aides.
“We implore VP Mphoko to show his integrity by doing the noble thing of moving into a government house so that not much of the taxpayers’ money is spent to sustain his extravagant lifestyle,” said the group.
“For us as CIZC, the position of a VP is an opportunity to lead and work for the betterment of the lives of ordinary people rather than an opportunity to live an expensive lifestyle.”
The civic group urged authorities to consider the plight of ordinary Zimbabweans who are experiencing grinding poverty on a daily basis while their leaders continued to misdirect national priorities.
“… we expect the government to commit resources to the betterment of the lives of ordinary people rather than the sustenance of expensive lifestyles by those in the echelons power,” said the group.
“As CIZC, we challenge President Robert Mugabe, as the appointing authority, to do the honorable thing of wiping his subordinate into line if the sentiments that ‘Zanu (PF) is a party of the people’ are anything to go by.”
VP Mphoko sought a home in the hotel amid reports he had rejected some mansions in Harare’s leafy suburbs on the grounds that they were not befitting for a person of his stature.
His stay at the hotel has been met with widespread criticism from ordinary Zimbabweans reeling under the effects of a struggling economy.
The state last month crushed a demonstration by a group of activists who were protesting Mphoko’s continued stay at the expensive hotel.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is a broad based civil society network of over 72 active members comprising churches, women’s groups, among the many civic groups operating in the country.