Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s continued use of his simple Strathaven home as his official residency seven months after his appointment has been explained: President Mugabe still keeps his personal belongings at Zimbabwe House…
Zimbabwe House was traditionally the home of prime ministers when
Zimbabwe was still a British colony and a few years after Independence
in 1980. Mugabe, who became the prime minister in 1980, also used Zimbabwe House as his official residence.
Sources at Tsvangirai’s office say Mugabe has openly told Tsvangirai why he can not move in. sources claim “Mugabe said he still keeps his personal belongings at Zimbabwe House as he is still looking for better storage place. So Tsvangirai can not move in and that’s the official explanation…” Also Tsvangirai was told that the drainage system is not working and
extensive repairs are needed.
However, Mugabe’s reasons have been dismissed as being “flimsy” and shows that he does not want Tsvangirai as his neighbor. However, the issue of the Prime Minister’s residence is said to be just a tip of the iceberg as several former Zanu PF ministers are refusing to vacate government houses in leafy Borrowdale and Gunhill suburbs to pave way for new MDC ministers.
This has led to the financial crippled government to accumulate exorbitant hotel bills as it struggles to secure accommodation for new ministers from outside the capital, Harare.
Tsvangirai is not the only new member of the inclusive government affected by an accommodation crisis. Speaker of Parliament and senior member of Tsvangira’s MDC Lovemore Moyo spent a year booking into the elegant world-famous executive suites of the Meikles Hotel in Harare.
The reason is Parliament said it failed to secure “suitable” accommodation for him in the capital city. Parliament says it forked out a total of $6 000 a month for the comfort of Moyo, whose own home is in the second city of Bulawayo-450 kilometers out of Harare.
He only checked out at the beginning of September after Parliament secured a house for him at a rental of US$1 800 per month, a saving of
$4 200 of his monthly bill at the Meikles.
Several minister such as State Enterprises Minister Joel Gabbuza, Deputy Youth Minister Thamsanqa Mahlangu and co-Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa had incurred a debt of US$39 895 at the Crowne Plazza hotel because they cannot get alternative accommodation.
The government houses were built for the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting (Chogm) in 1991 and are being used by ministers
coming from out of Harare.