Manda Hills Shop Owners Failing To Pay Rent Due To Kwacha Fall
Several shops at Manda Hill risk foreclosure for failing to pay rent as a result of declining business and the depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha.
Last week, Manda Hill Centre management obtained a court order from the Lusaka High Court and set bailiffs on about 20 shops, which are struggling to meet their rental obligations.
In an interview, National Business and Tenants Association of Zambia (NABTAZ) chairperson Joshua Mwenya Mumpanshya said the depreciation of the Kwacha had directly impacted operational costs for tenants, who have lost business.
“The tenant and landlord Act is outdated; tenants are not protected, you find that those tenants signed their leases when the dollar was K7 and now it is K12. Production is being hampered; some of the shops are restaurants, so how they cook with all the load shedding going on? Even in these shops that do not sell food, business has gone down from the time the Kwacha started depreciating,” said Mumpanshya.
He also complained that the method of eviction used on tenants at Manda Hill was unfair.
“They could have at least sat down and compromised, not just putting chains on people’s doors. You know most of the tenants were actually threatened, the way Manda Hill treats its tenants; it is modern day slavery. Manda Hill actually has the worst management. At Freshview when they closed, they actually had to take out people from the cinema, imagine,” Mumpanshya complained.
But when contacted for a comment, Manda Hill management demanded a printed query, which they said they would respond to.
“No, you cannot email us a press query, deliver a hard copy letter and we will write back to you as soon as possible,” they said through a receptionist who declined to identified herself.