COPAC owes the Regency and African Sun hotels close to US$500 000 in unpaid accommodation and food bills incurred during the constitution-making process.
Report by Paidamoyo Muzulu/Herbert Moyo
Regency owns Chevron and Flamboyant hotels in Masvingo, and Fair Mile Hotel in Gweru while African Sun runs Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn in Harare, among other hotels.
Copac spent about US$45 million on accommodation, food, salaries and allowances in the past three years that it has been working on the draft constitution.
Regency CEO Frederick Kasese said: “We are still to be paid US$208 000 for services rendered to Copac early this year. It is our hope that Copac will honour its debts soon so that we remain in business.
Some smaller players we subcontracted are experiencing cash-flow constraints due to this non-payment. It’s unfortunate we cannot pay
them before Copac honours its debt to us.”
African Sun CEO Shingi Munyeza also confirmed they are owed money by Copac, but said the figures were confidential.
“Even if they are using public money we treat them as private guests and we cannot divulge details around their stay. What we can only do is to exercise our rights from our end with respect to what we are owed,” said Munyeza.
However, a source at African Sun revealed that they are owed more than US$200 000 and Copac has not settled the debt despite repeated representations.
Copac spokesperson Jessie Majome confirmed they owed the hotels but said they had agreed on a payment plan as they, like all other government-funded institutions, were affected by the current cash squeeze.
“While it is true that we owe them, you have to appreciate that Copac doesn’t generate funds of its own and has to rely on government and its UN partners to avail money. We will pay once we receive the funding,” Majome said.
Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG)refused to say how much it is owed citing “client confidentiality”.
RTG owns the Rainbow Towers, the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC) and Ambassador Hotel in Harare. HICC hosted the just-ended Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference.