Extravagance: Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema in second year of Harare hotel stay
Extravagance: Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema is into his second year staying at a Harare hotel at taxpayers’ expense.
Mathema (pictured) has been staying at Rainbow Towers in Harare since September 2018 when he was appointed into cabinet by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who won a disputed vote.
The broke government previously allocated government houses for use by ministers, but accommodation shortages have meant that ministers who have no properties in Harare are put up in hotels while accommodation is sought.
Former vice president Phelekezela Mphoko faced a public backlash after clocking almost two years at the same hotel.
A source said: “Mathema does not own a house in Harare and the hotel is his home since September 2018. In fact he does not own a house anywhere, other than a small flat in Bulawayo which his ex-wife Musa Ncube held onto after they divorced.
“When he was a provincial minister for Matabeleland North, he lived in the village in Tsholotsho and would drive up and down to Bulawayo daily.”
Government spokesman Nick Mangwana said there was nothing special about Mathema’s hotel stay.
“My understanding is that he uses it (hotel) in the same way MPs do. That’s when there’s cabinet, which means a couple of days a week or so. There’s definitely no block booking for a long stretch. So no, he does not stay there but checks in in the same way a Harare-based bureaucrat does when he works in Bulawayo,” Mangwana said.
Mathema is staying in one of the hotel’s expensive suites at a rate of about US$250 daily, hotel sources said.