Harare's oldest hotel faces closure

HARARE - Judicial manager for Harare's popular joint - Hotel Elizabeth - Shepherd Nhondova has called for a second creditors' meeting scheduled for March 28 as the process to place it under judicial management takes a step forward.

This comes after several companies across the country have been placed under liquidation owing to the worsening economic situation.

The hotel which was named after British’s Queen Elizabeth will host its second creditors meeting in Harare at the Master of High Court offices in a bid to pay back an unspecified amount of money owed to several entities.

“If you are owed money by Pilot Hospitality (Private) Limited, please contact our offices so that you can collect and complete the proof of claim forms.

“The proof of claim forms are also available via electronic mail upon request.

“You will be required to complete these forms in duplicate and lodge them with the Master of High Court in Harare at least 48 hours before the meeting,” Shepherd Nhondova, the Judicial Manager, Pilot Hospitality )Private) Limited said.

At least 260 companies from the food, engineering and clothing sectors closed shop last year, with a total of 8 843 workers being retrenched in the last couple of years as the economy continues to shrink.

Over the last couple of years, several entertainment joints in the capital including trendy night clubs and pubs have also closed shop.

The list of closed clubs in Harare include Kebab Centre and Number 5 on the Drew Chisipite, Jazz 105, Sports Diner, The Grain Lounge, Airport Lounge, Club Mekka, Circus Nite Club and Club Synergy among others.

In a previous interview with the Daily News, former Jazz 105 proprietor, Hozheri blamed the ongoing night club closures largely on greedy landlords who regularly increase rentals despite the adverse economic outlook.

“The rental was charged on the basis of the square metres we occupied.

Running a pub is different from running a supermarket, we make different profits,” he said then.

He added that running a night club in a rented building was becoming increasingly difficult due to the profiteering culture that has engulfed Zimbabwe.

“Sound town planning is no longer being practised so much that everything is being commercialised. All rentals are being pegged with a profiteering motive,” Hozheri told the Daily News in a previous interview.

“Another contributing factor to the closure of entertainment joints is the economy; it’s biting everyone. When people have less disposable income, they will obviously stop going to clubs or pubs and the turnovers for those businesses also drop.”

Another popular night club proprietor, Biggie Chinoperekwei concurred with Hozheri on the serious economic challenges affecting the local entertainment scene but was quick to add that some clubs were failing to adapt to new circumstances.

“The economy affects us; people are resorting to drinking at bottle stores as well as drinking at home. The bars are expensive to run as they employ more staff like waitresses, cleaners, and security personnel,” Chinoperekwei said.

 

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