HUNDREDS of guests booked at the upmarket Holiday Inn Hotel in Harare were yesterday evacuated from their rooms following bomb scare reports at the premises.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
When NewsDay arrived at the hotel around 1pm, the car park was almost empty and people who were booked at the hotel were either milling around in the car park or relocating to other hotels in the city.
Police, Central Intelligence Organisation operatives and personnel from the Zimbabwe National Army bomb disposal unit were combing hotel rooms, searching for the alleged bomb.
“We booked at the hotel 10 days ago, but we were unable to check in at around 11am in the morning because of the fire alarm, which later seemed like a bomb scare,” a guest from England, who only identified himself as David, said.
“It is frustrating because we cannot get into our rooms to unpack, and we had to have lunch at the Zim Café by the corner. Our bags are still in the hotel and every room is being searched.”
A receptionist at the hotel said: “It was just a fire alarm, but some people decided to send WhatsApp messages saying there is a bomb at the hotel. This has caused unnecessary panic and has disrupted business at the hotel.”
MPs who had booked at the hotel to attend today’s Parliamentary sessions said they had to book at other hotels after the scare.
“There were reports that an Indian man phoned the hotel and said he had planted a bomb in one of the rooms,” the MP, who preferred anonymity, said.
Efforts to get a comment from Edwin Shangwa and Tich Wingwiri, who are part of the hotel management, were fruitless as their phones were unreachable.