Mphoko vacates hotel room to make way for Chinese President

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko

HARARE — Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, who has been staying at Harare’s Rainbow Towers Hotel, was on Tuesday asked to vacate the presidential suite to make way for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Chinese leader jetted into Zimbabwe on Tuesday morning for a two-day State visit and left yesterday for South Africa.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko speaks to The Sunday Mail during the interview last week. - Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Mphoko has been staying at the hotel with his family for almost a year at the expense of the State, defying calls from residents, human rights activists and opposition leaders to vacate the facility.

The VP took up residence at the hotel after he was appointed one of President Robert Mugabe’s two deputies last year.

A source at the hotel said Mphoko was “downgraded” to the diplomatic suite on Tuesday. “Hotel staff packed his belongings in the morning and repacked them in the diplomatic suite early this [Tuesday] morning.

“Around 8am, Chinese security details and staff took over the presidential suite to prepare for their leader.”

The Chinese President arrived at the hotel around 12 noon.

On Monday, five activists were arrested at the hotel for staging a protest against Mphoko’s continued stay there.

His wife, Laurinda, reportedly rejected three properties offered by the State in Harare, arguing they were not suitable for a public official of her husband’s stature.

Meanwhile, the activists have been freed. They were freed without even setting foot in court after spending two nights in Harare Central Police Station’s “dirty” cells.

The five are Tendai Tendayi, Lynnette Mudehwe, Irvin Takavada, Elvis Mugari, Tonderai Chigumbu and Dirk Frey of the “Occupy Africa Unity Square” campaign led by journalist-cum-human rights activist Itai Dzamara, whose whereabouts are still unknown since his abduction on March 9 this year.

They had been arrested for criminal nuisance under Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.


  1. really…. staying at Rainbow at the expense of the state. that is abuse of tax-payers money…but its none of my business

  2. Inga gona ana gona wakewo! This headline should have read “Zim Vice President ousted by Chinese President”.

    Asi shuwa VP ava havanyare chokwadi. Zvimwe zvinhu zvinodawo conscience. Nekufinha kunoita hotel food? Saka Laurinda haasati abikira murume for one full year. Second lady musadaro imimi.

  3. No, you are dead wrong. It is all of your business. You are the one whose money is taxed left, right and centre only to be misused this way.

  4. is the wife claiming the husband to be so important that he cannot stay at a house, really?

  5. More than 16000 tongaat employees in chiredz started their job withdrawal last fridae amid reports by company that we ar solving our workers issues,worker ar nw fury

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