HomeNewsLocalCity businessman, AAG in fierce war of words

City businessman, AAG in fierce war of words

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The Affirmative Action Group (AAG) is locked in a fierce war of words with a Bulawayo businessman it accuses of unfairly treating tenants by evicting them from city buildings he recently bought.

MTHANDAZO NYONI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

George Mlala, a senior AAG member and Zanu PF official claimed Learnmore Masendu of Reign of Fire Investments was buying dilapidated buildings and letting them out to tenants that renovated them before he evicted them without compensation.

He said Masendu was buying the buildings from a renowned estate agent and then renting them out.

“We have been receiving many complaints that Masendu left tenants to renovate his dilapidated buildings and then evicted them immediately after that,” Mlala said.

“As Zanu PF, we condemn that because it is against government’s economic policy, especially ZimAsset.

“Those people being evicted are doing their best to resuscitate the city’s economic fortunes, but Masendu is quashing that.

“We are failing to understand his logic or whether he has come to declare war on Bulawayo. He is buying every building.”

Mlala said more than 60 people, including small-to-medium enterprises were recently evicted from Worthmore Building along Fort Street following a dispute with Masendu.

“The very people whom he is subjecting to poverty are the ones who are supporting his businesses and as a party, we are unreservedly condemning such practices and we will not sit and watch,” he added.

One affected tenant alleged that Masendu evicted them because they supported Zanu PF.

“We were paying his money on time and we wonder why he is chasing us away like dogs. He is accusing us of supporting Zanu PF and we wonder what he is up to.

“I invested more than $30 000 renovating one of his buildings, but now I am being evicted without any compensation, which is not fair,” said the tenant, who requested not to be named.

AAG vice-president Sam Ncube said Masendu’s actions were disturbing.

However, Masendu denied the allegations saying it was tenants that owed him thousands in rentals that were resisting eviction.

“I don’t do that and will never do that. I am patriotic and I work with a lot of people, but if someone is not paying rentals what do you expect me to do because I pay rates to council. It’s not fair,” he said.

Masendu said some tenants owed him more than $20 000 in rentals and this was the reason why they were spreading false allegations against him. A Reign of Fire Investments official accused AAG of trying to politicise the rentals dispute.

He said the evicted tenants had gone for two years without paying rentals.

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