Harare – Zimbabwean parliamentarians have been barred from questioning Vice President Phekezela Mphoko’s continued stay at a plush hotel in the capital Harare, reports said on Thursday.
According to New Zimbabwe, the southern African country’s national assembly speaker, Jacob Mudenda, ruled out a question directed to Mphoko from an opposition member of parliament.
Mphoko is one of Zimbabwe’s two vice presidents appointed by President Robert Mugabe soon after the ouster of Joice Mujuru 14 months ago.
Following his appointment, the vice president moved into the executive suite of the five-star Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare on December 14 2014 and has continued to reside there at the taxpayers’ expense.
‘Put your question in writing’
An MP from the Movement for Democratic Change,(MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, James Maridadi asked whether it was government policy to have the vice president staying at a luxurious hotel while the country was faced with economic challenges.
But, Mudenda ruled out the question saying it could not be answered immediately. Mudende told the MP to submit the question to Mphoko in writing.
“Do not argue with the chair. I have given you the opportunity. I have asked you to put your question in writing,” Mudenda was quoted saying.
Meanwhile, according to NewsDay, Mphoko seemed to have wanted to answer the questions, but Mudenda refused.
Reports indicated that the Mphoko and his wife had in the past rejected three houses, among them, a mansion in Harare’s affluent suburb of Ballantyne Park, which they claimed “was too small” for a person of the VP’s stature.