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Stranded MPs expected today


THE 27 parliamentarians who got stuck in China after they missed their flight back home on Sunday were now expected to jet in this afternoon despite earlier indications that they would arrive in Harare yesterday.


Organiser of the shopping trip and Makoni South MP Mandi Chimene (Zanu PF) had on Tuesday told NewsDay that the stranded MPs would arrive at Harare International Airport yesterday aboard an Ethiopian Airways flight, but failed.

However, a senior official at Parliament said the MPs were now expected this afternoon.

“I have communicated with one of them. They are taking off today (yesterday) and arrive in Harare tomorrow (today) in the afternoon,” the official said.

The legislators from both Zanu PF and the two MDCs, missed their flight from Beijing, China, after they strayed to a distant southern part of the Chinese city of Guangdong some 2 294km away, as part of their shopping junket in the Asian country.

Chimene, who yesterday was at the airport to receive the MPs said: “I don’t know what happened, they did not come.”

Staff at Sontin Travel Agency refused to disclose when the MPs would return citing client confidentiality, referring questions to Ethiopian Airways before finally advising NewsDay to check with the organisers of the trip.

Chimene said when they started negotiations with the airline, it indicated the MPs would only be accommodated from July 9 onwards as all flights in-between were fully booked.

The group comprises legislators, their spouses and Parliament staff.

The trip was organised by the China-Zimbabwe Friendship Association where Chimene is deputy chair. The MPs paid $250 each for the round trip and would pay the $1 000 difference in six months.

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