Gvt employee with pregnant wife sleep in the open for failing to pay rentals in USD

By Observer Reporters

A pregnant woman who is due for labour and her husband a civil servant are sleeping in the chilling cold following their eviction from their rented place after they have failed to settle their rentals in US dollars.

Government has outlawed the use of foreign currencies for transactions.

Learnmore Mlandeli a local government ministry employee in the department of public works in Kwekwe said he is forced to brave cold nights with his pregnant wife as he was evicted from the house he was renting for failing to pay in USDollars.

“My landlord is insisting that I have to pay for my rentals in US dollars which I cannot afford. Though government abolished the use of the US dollars as a legal tender my landlord ordered me to pay $50 USD for my accommodation. I cannot afford that amount as my government salary of is a mere ZW $400,” said Mlandeli.

He said that he was only given a five day notice to come up with alternative accommodation.

“I told my landlord that I was going to secure alternative accommodation. He however, kicked me out of the house only after five days after he ordered me to pay in US dollars,” he said.

“After being kicked out I had to brave the chilling cold with my pregnant wife in the open. I am sad that my landlord did not even consider the condition of my wife who is supposed to go into labour,” Mlandeli said.

The couple has two other children who are still minors.

The children who are supposed to be in school are being looked after by neighbors.

Mlandeli’s wife Elizabeth Chakonongwa said she is supposed to undergo operation this week.

“I don’t know what I will wrap my baby with as the preparation is now sodden. This was after my preparation bag was thrown in the water when we were being evicted,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Meanwhile, Mbizo Legislator Settlement Chikwinya has described the eviction as inhumane.

“The relationship between a provider of a service and a consumer is always based on willing offer and willing taker.

“The landlord however, is bound by contract law that says termination of contract between tenant and the landlord must be upon three months notice.

“It is therefore unlawful for one to give someone five days notice and more so evict them before the time has lapsed, it remains inhumane to have a pregnant woman being kicked out at midnight in winter under unlawful circumstances.

“While the landlord has the right to terminate the contract it must be within the limits of the law,” Chikwinya said.

The lawmaker however lurched on the government for unlawfully re-introducing the Zimbabwean dollar.

“The SI 142/19 remains unlawful as it is inconsistent with the provisions of Section 44 of the RBZ Act which gave birth to the multicurrency regime.

“The government is to blame as it has made a law that makes everyone a criminal. People are resting this law including commercial sex workers who are demanding their dues in USD,” he said.

The outspoken MP said people have no faith in the zimdollar return including the government.

‘‘Even government itself has no confidence in its currency such that it has decided in its wisdom or lack of it to charge import duty in United States Dollars that shows serious lack of confidence in our own currency,” he said.

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