MDC Alliance Members of Parliament’s decision to attend the Victoria Falls budget consultation seminar jamboree last week has divided the party, with some of its activists viewing it was an unnecessary gesture.
In an exclusive interview with Zim Morning Post, MDC youth leader Obey Sithole said the MPs did what they had to do and the youths as well, adding that where there was a collision, the youths would defend the party.
“The MPs performed their duty and the youths did what they had to do, but when there is a collision, we will defend the party,” he said.
This follows reports that the MPs’ Victoria Falls excursion had gobbled over $5 million of the taxpayers’ money in allowances and accommodation during a 2020 pre-budget seminar.
The Victoria Falls jaunt comes at a time when government has failed to end a two-months strike by junior and middle level doctors that has virtually shut down public health centres.
Analysts said MDC MPs were supposed to boycott the budget consultation seminar which took place at a time when the majority of Zimbabweans are suffering.
It was also being held in the backdrop of Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s austerity measures that are meant to curtail runaway government expenditure.
MDC secretary-general Chalton Hwende defended his party’s participation at the seminar despite the costs, saying there was no way they could have boycotted.
“Pre-budget seminars are always held out of Harare and we can’t boycott the budget process because we must fight and ensure that it is pro-poor,” he said.
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya on his Twitter handle said ZWL5 million was spent in hotel bookings by people who represent millions of citizens who are without sufficient medication and food on their table.