MPs Stranded In Cars After Kirsty Coventry Converted Parliament’s Hotel Into Her Own Office
15 April 2024
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By Dorrothy Moyo | ZimEye | In an unprecedented turn of events in Zimbabwe, Members of Parliament have reportedly been reduced to sleeping in their cars after the Quality International Hotel, initially renovated for their accommodation, has been repurposed as an office by the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Kirsty Coventry.

The troubling situation came to light after ZANU PF MP Pupurai Togarepi brought the issue to the forefront during a parliamentary session. Highlighting the severity of the predicament, Togarepi pointed out the dire measures MPs have resorted to, stating, “Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege after some are facing MPs each time they come to the House. There is a challenge in terms of accommodation. Members get very desperate to a point where some sleep in cars and others are disturbed by the approach of some of the hotels. When Hon. Members go to hotels, they are told in an unfriendly way that we are not taking MPs,” he said.

Further complicating matters, it’s alleged that hotels in the capital, Harare, have been reluctant to provide lodging to the lawmakers, citing delays in payments from Parliament for past services. The situation has forced some MPs into less dignified living conditions, challenging their ability to serve effectively.

Adding to the controversy, OpenParly, a local watchdog, revealed that the Quality International Hotel, specifically purchased and upgraded for MP housing, is currently being used by Coventry as her ministerial offices. This revelation raises questions about the misallocation of government resources and priorities.

At the time of reporting, Minister Coventry had yet to issue a response to these allegations. Her silence on the matter has been noted, with concerns being raised about her engagement with the media on various issues, many of which proceed to publication without her input.

The parliamentarians’ plight has sparked outrage and a call for immediate action to rectify the accommodation crisis, ensuring that the nation’s representatives are provided with the basic amenities required to fulfill their duties.

As the story develops, all eyes are on the government’s next move to resolve this accommodation debacle and on Minister Coventry’s response to the use of the MPs’ intended residence as her offices.- ZimEye