PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has been accused of “insulting and neglecting” suffering Zimbabweans after his party announced it would spend $4 million during its one-week conference in Masvingo next month.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
The money – squeezed from struggling State institutions and local authorities – will bankroll the jamboree to be attended by 6 000 delegates. The money will be used for accommodation, transport and food, as well as setting up of the conference structure.
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu said it is inhuman for Mugabe and his 6 000 supporters to feast on a staggering $4m for five days in Masvingo – a province that is severely affected by hunger and starvation.
“That $4m is enough to feed the entire province at least for two months or sustain our struggling hospitals. It’s shameful to any sane Zimbabwean to go out and solicit for help towards drought mitigation when Zanu PF – the ruling party – is hosting a conference for such a staggering budget,” he said.
A simple calculation of the budget shows that each party delegate on average would spend at least $660 within five days – a figure more than civil servants’ salaries.
Each delegate will spend $160 on hotel, food and other incidentals. The party has so far raised $3,7m from a dinner hosted by the First Lady Grace Mugabe, which was attended mainly by struggling State enterprises that are battling to pay their workers.
Zimbabwe People First spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire said Zimbabweans should be worried at the manner Zanu PF raised $3,7m in one night given the state of affairs.
“This is a serious issue, which, as a country, we must be worried about. At a time when we are failing to pay workers, the economy is not ticking how can Zanu PF raise $3,7m within an hour and still tell us they don’t know where our $15 billion diamond money went to,” he said.
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said they are not surprised at Mugabe’s “selfishness”.
“He is a legend at that and he will die with it. He does not care about anyone else other than him. It is in Zanu PF’s DNA to loot and splash, but one day, it will haunt them,” he said.