BULAWAYO: THE wives of Zimbabwe’s recently-installed Vice Presidents have been accused of replicating the First Lady for their appetite for lavish lifestyles at the expense of the bankrupt nation.
First Lady, Grace Mugabe, is unpopular among many in the country for leading an extravagant standard of living including what are said to be expensive shopping trips overseas.
It has emerged the wife of Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Laurinda, and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxilia, are also aiming for such standards amid the country experiencing financial problems.
Mrs Mphoko is said to have recently rejected the US$3 million house which government offered her husband after he assumed office. She is reportedly scouting for a multi-million-dollar upmarket house in Harare’s leafy suburbs.
Mphoko was initially scheduled to move into a government house left vacant by the late Vice-President, Joseph Msika, in Mandara, but his wife allegedly vehemently refused, saying she wanted “a house of their own.” The sources said Mphoko’s wife went around shopping in Glen Lorne, Borrowdale Brooke and Ballantyne Park, but was not pleased by some of the properties on offer.
She reportedly rejected one in Glen Lorne that was going for $1,5 million, a $3million one in Ballantyne Park as well as a $2 million property. Mphoko has not yet commented on the allegations.
Mrs Mnangagwa is also on record telling the Bulawayo High Court that her reputation was worth $10 million because, among other things, she is a wife to a career minister.
This is in a lawsuit in which she is suing Zanu PF Midlands chairperson and Provincial Affairs minister Jasion Machaya, former spy Douglas Kanengoni and Masvingo Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti for defamation.
Political parties and commentators hit out at the women’s lavish lifestyles. MDC Renewal spokesperson, Jacob Mafume, said they were worsening the downfall of Zimbabwe.
“We already have one wife in the name of Grace whose appetite the nation cannot feed,” said Mafume.
“Now it appears we will have three of them. One wonders whether there will be anything left in this country once they are done with primitive accumulation of wealth.” MDC led by Welshman Ncube’s Secretary for International and External Relations, Kurauone Chiwayi said Mphoko’s wife might be “too excited” with husband’s surprise appointment to the position of Vice President.
”It shows the kind of leaders Zanu PF has,” said Chiwayi.
“President Mugabe’s party is made up of irresponsible and greedy vultures and hyenas. Government has been failing to honour its obligations due to strained resources. Mphoko’s wife demands if that is what she is doing are quite astonishing to all Zimbabweans,” he said.
Former Bulilima East MDC-T MP Norman Mpofu, also lashed at Mphoko.
“Her rejection of the house should be viewed in context with what leadership means in Zimbabwe,” said Mpofu.
“While in a normal democratic set up leaders are supposed to be servants of the people and be humble as a way of being attractive to the electorate, in our situation leaders do not care as the opinion of the electorate is of no consequence since they have other ways of getting into power,” Mpofu added.
SOURCE: CAJ News Agency