A local lawyer, Valentine Matutu has said that the government’s rent reprieve announced recently is a violation of the national constitution.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that the payment of rentals could be deferred for the month of April and whole duration of the coronavirus induced lockdown period.
In response to the moratorium, Matutu said that the directive will likely have far-reaching adverse effects. He said:
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Arguably, this law violates the right to property guaranteed in the Constitution. The government has shifted its burden and constitutional responsibility to look after its citizens and given such to other citizens.
The provision of shelter is on the State subject to availability of resources. In this case, the State has not indicated how it will cushion those people who rely on their investments in the form of properties.
The nation is divided over the matter with tenets saying the moratorium is welcome as their sources of income were blocked by the lockdown while landowners are saying that their properties are their sources of livelihood.
Workers’ groups are mounting pressure on the “bankrupt” government to avail safety nets to cushion them from the effects of the lockdown.