By Leopold Munhende and Marshall Bwanya
The opposition MDC Alliance, recently ridiculed for being part of the alleged extravagant pre-budget seminar in the resort town of Victoria Falls which gobbled an estimated US$5 million has dismissed the allegations saying they actually got very little.
Social media could not contain the uproar by citizens after the realisation that MPs and Senators were staying in rooms that cost USD250 on a daily basis minus their daily allowances and flight expenses from Bulawayo and Harare.
However MDC Party spokesperson, Daniel Molokele said that sentiments alleging that they made a killing over the five days, sleeping at Elephant Hills, Victoria Falls Hotel and a local lodge were off-target adding the little allowance he got, he sent to his constituency for a workshop.
“I do not know where you guys got the USD5 million figure, there is nothing like that, in actual fact, that figure shows laziness within our media industry.
“We have never boycotted parliament business, this was normal parliamentary business, we have only done so whenever there is involvement of (President) Emmerson Mnangagwa whom we do not recognise,” said Molokele who is Hwange MP.
“We accept the criticism of our participation in the meeting especially in the current economic climate has raised and promise to be more sensitive to their feelings next time.”
Molokele, however, refused to share the amount MPs received for their participation.
His deputy in the party’s information department, Luke Tamborinyoka was however quick to distance himself from the Victoria Falls shenanigans.
“I am not an MP, may you please keep trying Molokele and even our Chief Whip Prosper Mutseyami who is best placed to speak on decisions made by our caucus,” said Tamborinyoka.
MDC Secretary-General Charlton Hwende refused to be drawn to divulge the perks they got, directing all answers to Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda.
“That is administrative, I cannot comment on that. Call whoever has that job and maybe he might be in a position to give you the information you are looking for,” said Hwende.
An average room in Victoria Falls costs USD250 while a plane ticket to Victoria Falls from either Bulawayo or Harare is in the USD300 region.
The alleged profligacy by the Parliamentarians stands in stark contrast to the current hyper-inflationary situation the country has found itself in with many people’s salaries eroded of value whilst many are going on strikes citing incapacitation.