SOME property owners in Victoria Falls are reportedly evicting their tenants to decongest their houses for fear of spreading COVID-19.
BY RICHARD MUPONDE
Panic has gripped the resort town after information circulated that a tourist from the United Kingdom, who stayed in the town’s lodges tested positive for COVID-19 on his return home.
That led to the closure of many hotels and lodges and stoppage of tourist activities for fear of the spread of the highly-infectious disease.
Tenants, mostly tourism employees in the resort town’s high-density suburbs, said they had been advised to vacate their lodgings before the lockdown today.
Hwange West legislator Godfrey Dube (MDC Alliance) confirmed the development and appealed to landlords to stop being discriminatory.
“My fellow citizens, residents, landlords, may I humbly make a passionate appeal to you. You are very much aware that we are faced with this COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and globally which has no barriers,” he said.
“I note with concern that some property owners are already chasing tenants out of their homes. It is a fact that the properties are yours. You worked so hard to build those houses, neither myself nor the government donated a cent, but please, I humbly appeal and beg that you negotiate with your tenants and reach a solution in terms of payment. We need each other, we are one family.
“Let’s fight this COVID-19 together, it shall come to pass. Don’t chase anyone from your home. I humbly appeal as your leader.”
This comes barely a week after Employers Association of Tourism and Safari Operators president Clement Mukwasi expressed concern over the slump of business in Victoria Falls following the outbreak of the
“Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has gutted the Zimbabwe tourism industry. Hotels and activities are recording zero arrivals. Multitudes are getting their last salaries in March and the future is bleak. It’s hoped that the pandemic will find a medical solution quickly or else tourism’s facilities will turn into ruins,” he lamented.
Zimbabwe has recorded seven cases and one death and government has imposed a 21-day lockdown starting today to contain the spread of the disease.