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Landlords Fleece Students
Dumisani Ndlovu -

Gweru Landlords Fleece MSU Students, $950 Per Month

Senga landlords have unleashed a rentals shocker following the opening of Midlands State University (MSU)’s first semester which commenced early this week.

The high learning institution which enrolls more than 13 000 students opened for its 2014 first semester this week resulting in thousands of students descending on Senga and Nehosho suburbs to seek accommodation. The institution which is still using former Gweru Teacher’s College infrastructure can only accommodate 1 000 students within its campus.

A survey by ZimEye in the two suburbs at the weekend revealed that most landlords have since turned their places into boarding houses and were charging sums up to $950 per month. The reasons for the figure-jump range from accusations of bringing prostitutes to other noise pollution among other nuisances.

“Things are tough here, landlords here are doing a killing to accommodation seekers. I and my three colleagues approached a house owner in Mtage road seeking for an accommodation to share among us. We were shocked beyond words to be charged $950 each. That’s highest degree of greediness. That is day light robbery, what is surprising is that some of the people who are inflating these rentals call themselves Christians,’’ said a marketing student, Blessing Chimuka.

“I think it’s high time Government should do something to curb this madness by landlords in Senga. We are being made to live in squashed conditions and the $100 rentals per head are unjustifiable. Something needs to be done to correct this,” said a male student who declined being identified.

The students said they would try to come up with an out-of-campus students association which will try and negotiate rentals in Senga.

They said the landlords in Senga were taking advantage of the accommodation crisis to impose unjustifiable figures.

“Last semester we were paying between $75 and $80 per head. Still the money was just too much and this time they have reviewed it to $100. There are a few who are charging $90 per head but still this is abnormal,” said another student.

The students said they were being congested in tiny rooms, a development which they said was exposing them to contagious diseases.

“Imagine about five people made to share one room and bathroom. This is not healthy at all. May the powers that be do something to stop the anomaly that has been going on for quite a long time now,’’ said another student who only identified himself as Davie.

Getrude Masendeke, a landlord in the Nehosho area of Senga said the charges include that of security fees since most students are vandals and are not responsible.

“The charges include security fees. Some students are reckless, negligent and spoilt at the same time. Some time last year I stayed with loose tongued, vulgar and spoiled students who often came here even at midnight drunk and making a lot of noise while we were sleeping. They would quarrel, and at times smash my window.

“Honestly who on earth can be patient to such behavior.Because of this I was left with no option but to hold security fee,’’said Masendeke.

From this background she added that $100 is nothing compared to constant renovations she said she often carries out.

“I am even thinking of rising it to $ 150,” she said,

The university’s public relations director declined to comment demanding the questions in writing.

“I am sorry I am not in a position to respond to your questions over the phone. As a matter of policy,we are mandated to respond to written questions.You may email your questions now,” he said.

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