ZANU-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu’s company Khanondo Safaris and Tours has taken prominent Victoria Falls businesswoman Dr Martha Matifadza Nyazema to court for allegedly failing to settle a debt of nearly US$30 000 in unpaid rentals.
Dr Nyazema is the executive director and owner of Mbano Manor, a luxury boutique hotel that comprises 19 suites. The upmarket hotel, which is situated in the middle of the bush near Zambezi National Park, has 18 standard suites and one executive presidential suite, a perfect facility for executives and celebrity clients.
Mbano Manor Hotel’s official opening by President Mnangagwa last year in August coincided with the launch of the National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy in the resort city.
Khanondo Safaris and Tours has filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Dr Nyazema as a defendant.
Khanondo Safaris and Tours is a leading tour operator in Victoria Falls, which specialises in African safaris and tours, accommodation and activities.
In its plaintiff declaration, Khanondo Safaris and Tours said Dr Nyazema owes them rent of US$28 492,73 which accrued over a period of 19 months.
Dr Nyazema leased two properties belonging to Khanondo Safaris and Tours.
“The plaintiff and defendant are erstwhile lessor and lessee respectively with the latest lease having been terminated last year. The defendant (Dr Nyazema) vacated the plaintiff’s premises on October 31, 2020, ending a relationship that commenced in April 2018,” said Khanondo Safaris and Tours.
The tour operating company said Dr Nyazema religiously paid rentals until March 2019.
“The defendant did not pay rentals for the month of April in 2019 to October 2020 and thus owing US$28 492,73 in respect of arrear rentals and interest.
Despite demand, the defendant has failed, refused and neglected to pay the outstanding rentals, arrears on rates and water bills and to reimburse the plaintiff for the expenses incurred in repairing the premises,” said Khanondo Safaris and Tours.
Dr Mpofu’s company wants an order directing the businesswoman to pay the outstanding rentals in US dollars or the equivalent in local currency calculated at the prevailing interbank exchange rate.
“Wherefore, the plaintiff prays for a judgment against the defendant for the payment of US$28 492,73 or equivalent in local currency together with interest thereon calculated at the prescribed rate of five percent per annum from the date each sum became for payment until the date of payment in full,” said Khanondo Safaris and Tours.
Dr Nyazema is yet to respond to the summons.