Mangudya blasts Zim hotels for not changing bed linen

Some top Zimbabwean hotels don’t’ even bother to change linen, with bed-sheets often smelling of cigarette smoke, central bank chief John Mangudya has said in a scathing attack on the local hospitality industry.

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Speaking in Harare last Friday, Mangudya said the appalling service standards were adversely impacting the country’s tourism industry.

He lamented the fall of standards in the sector while announcing a $15m tourism development facility put together by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) “

You need to improve your hotels and safaris,” said the central bank chief. “I won’t say which hotels, but the beds are old, the sheets are old; I think they have not been changed because they are smelling too much cigarettes.

“What therefore happens is that if you change the old beds and sheets, you will go and buy new ones, meaning increased production in the country.

“It means those that make beds and sheets manufacturers will have to increase their production as they will be in business.”

The RBZ governor also challenged the industry to aim at contributing 10 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange receipts by year end.

“As a bank, our passion is to enhance productivity in Zimbabwe and foreign exchange receipts,” he said.

“We put up an initial $15 million for the tourism sector; but that amount of money hasn’t been taken up to now by the players. Maybe that was due to poor marketing on our part or maybe because it’s not required.

“So, the money is there and we can increase it due to demand; it’s a demand driven facility. If you use it all today, tomorrow we will go up to $100m. So, the limit is determined by yourself not by RBZ.

“We have just put any initial capital to see if people take it and then we go forward.”

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