Some landlords in Zimbabwe’s second-most populous province, Manicaland, are no longer letting out their properties to unvaccinated tenants, The Manica Post reports.
A survey conducted by the publication last week revealed that a number of landlords have taken it upon themselves to lead the vaccination crusade by not allowing unvaccinated tenants to lease their properties.
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In an interview, one of the landlords in Mutare’s Chikanga suburb, Chipo Mushati, argued that the move sought to protect lives as well as attaining the nation’s herd immunity. She said:
The moment we achieve home herd immunity, the country will achieve its set target too. I honestly wonder why some people are shocked.
I am not only stopping my tenants’ unvaccinated visitors from coming but my own visitors as well. We are trying to keep ourselves safe.
We are vaccinated and it is only fair that our friends and relatives are also vaccinated if they want to visit us.
Another landlord who requested anonymity said she has three tenants who are all vaccinated as she has made it a “law” that they should get the jab. She said:
Government has ordered churches to open to vaccinated congregants and at some workplaces, unvaccinated employees are being turned away, so we are just following suit to keep ourselves safe.
I have three tenants who are all vaccinated. They abide by all laid down conditions of their stay here, a reason why we are co-existing.
Mutare lawyer, Tracy Mutowekuziva-Mafa said no laws are being breached as property owners have the right to admit whoever they want and turn away those they do not want from their properties. She said:
The rights of the tenant are limited to what s/he agreed on with the property owner when s/he moved in.
So if they agreed that visitors’ entrance into the property is reserved, they are bound by that agreement.
However, in this case, let us say there was no agreement done before the tenant moved in, the landlords still have the right to exert what they want on their properties.
It is private property and the landlord has the final say. Had it been a public property like Government offices, then it would have been a different issue.
At the end of the day, they have the right to say what they want on their property and if the tenants do not agree with that, then they have no other option, but to move out after the expiry of the three months’ notice.
She, however, said vaccination should not be used to discriminate against people as that is an offence.
Director of Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA), Mr David Mutambirwa said landlords should not force their tenants to share information of their health with them if they are not comfortable.