Wednesday, 2 August 2017

TENANTS RESIST RENT HIKES, TURN TO ZANU PF

Tenants renting houses at Zimbabwe Mining and Smelting Company (Zimasco) in Shurugwi have enlisted the ruling party, Zanu PF, to help stop the mining company from hiking rentals that they claim are already too exorbitant, Southern Eye has learnt.

The lodgers are resisting a hike of rentals from $30 for a four-roomed house to an average $90.

According to minutes of a meeting held last month at Batanai Hall in Shurugwi, which was attended by Zimasco Private Tenants’ Association (ZIPTA), residents, Zanu PF provincial member R Nyathi, Zanu PF ward 1 councillor Janet Mukokanduku and Shurugwi assistant district administrator, Desmond Gumbochuma, the tenants said they were failing to pay rentals on time because they were too high.

There were, however, no Zimasco officials at the meeting. “Residents said the rentals are too high,” part of the minutes dated July 12 read.

“They would be comfortable paying the suggested rentals of $25, $17, $15 and $10 for four, three, two and one-roomed houses respectively.”

They (tenants) said the rentals should not be hiked because the houses were dilapidated and have poor sanitation services.

The tenants also alleged that Zimasco had started evictions over non-payment of rentals without agreement with relevant stakeholders.

“On the issue of evictions, Mr Nyathi (a Zanu PF provincial member) said that no evictions should be effected by Zimasco without the knowledge of the DA’s Office, party (Zanu PF) office and ZIPTA, as agreed by the Zimasco leadership,” part of the minutes read.

The minutes showed the evictions were “ill-advised” considering that “we are approaching the general elections of 2018” and that the failure by Zimasco to take action could be because they have a “hidden political agenda”.


Repeated efforts to get a comment from Zimasco were fruitless. Newsday

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