The government has spoken out over an alleged directive from President Emmerson Mnangagwa which is ordering landlords to suspend rentals for 3 months due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) induced national lockdown.
The government has dismissed the press statement saying that it has been fabricated and warned that the person behind the statement could be arrested for criminal conduct.
The directive is going viral on social media and is based on a fabricated press statement that uses a manipulated letterhead from the Office of the President.
Zim247 News noticed some obvious red flags on the statement which include grammatical errors as well as a clearly edited date.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidential spokesperson dismissed the directive and confirmed that it had indeed been fabricated. Speaking to Zimbabwe-based fact-checking publication, Zimfact, Charamba said,
“There is a fake Press Statement purportedly bearing an authentic signature of the State President, and purporting to direct property owners on rentals.
The Statement has nothing to do with the President or his Office and actually passes for criminal conduct. Kindly disregard it,”
Below is the fake directive ordering landlords to suspend rentals:
ZIMBABWE PRESS STATEMENT
RE: NOTICE TO ALL LANDLORDS AND LANDLADIES IN ZIMBABWE
Due to Coronavirus that is now a pandemic and it’s causing a lot of damage to our economy. I direct to notify all the Landlords and Landladies in Zimbabwe not to collect rent from any Zimbabwean for the period of 3 Months (90 days) from the day of Lockdown. This will include residential and Business premises, Farms and Garages.
Kindly note that for those who have received any payment as rental for the said period must return full amount without delay by 10th of April 2020. This is to allow Zimbabweans to stay home as we fight this war of the Corona Virus. There is a possibility to add lockdown days in Zimbabwe since we are receiving more cases of Corona Virus from other Countries as well as in Zimbabwe.
Failure by any of the Landlords and Landladies to abide by this, will face the Law. Please let’s fight this Virus together and follow precautions of washing your hands and not greeting people.
Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa
PRESIDENT OF ZIMBABWE
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Ndavaningi ‘Nick’ Mangwana added.
Certainly the President has not issued a moratorium on the payment of rentals. The #Covid19Zim Taskforce discussed this request from some citizens and concluded that Govt cannot interfere with this civil contract under the current laws.
Certainly the President has not issued a moratorium on the payment of rentals. The #Covid19Zim Taskforce discussed this request from some citizens and concluded that Govt cannot interfere with this civil contract under the current laws. pic.twitter.com/AQuPu0vtY8
— Nick Mangwana (@nickmangwana) April 7, 2020
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