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Delegates left stranded

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SCORES of Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference delegates from outside Harare were left stranded on Tuesday after being chucked out of hotels they were booked in for allegedly overstaying.

Report by Nqobile Bhebhe   Senior Reporter

Sources said the delegates were booked from Sunday evening to Tuesday morning, but the conference only closed after 4pm, several hours after checkout time.

Several delegates from Bulawayo yesterday said they were forced to seek transport late in the evening after being given their transport allowances.

“We were booked at Holiday Inn and when we got to the hotel after wrapping up the meeting on Tuesday, we were told that we had overstayed,” said one delegate.

“Hotel staff said our bookings were up to 10am.

“So we had no choice, but to hitchhike back to Bulawayo in the evening only to arrive early today (yesterday),” said another delegate.

The delegate added that many others had to book in cheap lodges using the allowances they had received.

Each delegate was given $50 per day in allowance, totalling $130 000 for the 1 300 delegates. For transport, delegates from Bulawayo and the two Matabeleland provinces were given $60. Contacted for comment, Copac co-chairperson Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said he was not aware that delegates had been chucked out of hotels.

“What I know is all delegates were booked in hotels till Tuesday, the day the conference ended.  On whether some got kicked out, I don’t know,” he said.

Early this month, MPs were barred from checking in at two top hotels in Harare over non-payment of their accommodation bills by Parliament. The MPs were left fuming after being told on arrival from their bases outside Harare that they could not be accommodated due to outstanding balances owed by Parliament.

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