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    Sunday, 22 September 2019

    End of an era: Vic’s Tavern shuts down


    ELLEN MLAMBO
    TWO NATIONS EDITOR

    CHIVHU – It’s the end of an era!
    Vic’s Tavern, one of the oldest and most famous taverns in the country has shut down in Chivhu.
    The tavern which is in this Mash East transit town goes down amid raging battles between workers and management. The employees are owed three years salaries.
    There is also something murky about the hotel ownership which is a puzzle to the workers. They do not know who the real owner of the hotel is.
    This sad scenario brings the end of the historic hotel; a rendezvous for the lost white Enkeldoorn farmer and a resting place for the traveler along the country’s busiest international highway to an anti-climax.
    Many generations that patronised the hotel before and after the turn of this century will remember Vic’s Tavern with a lot of nolstagia.
    On August 5, 2019 the 10 workers who remained working at the hotel which was now nothing more than a rundown lodge were served with an eviction order from the High Court. They were given 48 hours to leave the hotel. The Mirror understands that the order was served on them by a company called Arc Properties.
    Arc Properties is said to have issued the order on the basis that the company which was renting the hotel owed it money amoumting to $37 500. The workers smelt a rat. They think that they are being tricked by their employer into leaving the place without being paid their outstanding salaries.
    This has brought in a fourth player to the fights at the hotel, the National Employment Council for the Catering Industry which is representing the workers. The hotel’s downhill slide seems to have started in earnest when former Reserve Bank Governor, Gideon Gono bought it from Whiller. Standards plummeted, patronage shifted from an upper class to lower class.
    Some of the gladiators in the fights at the hotel seem to be Dr Gono’s former property manager Raphael Muzembi and Clarkson Makoni who seems to front Arc Property. The Mirror understands that Muzembi was fired by Makoni in 2017 who claimed that the premises had been bought.
    Muzembi also manages Gono’s Value Lodge in Mutare.
    Makoni said the eviction order was granted by the High Court.
    A representative of the workers who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation said the workers were not even sure of who owns the hotel. He said that they strongly suspect that some games were being played behind their backs so that they can go away without being paid their salaries.

    Nunurai Bore of the National Employment Council asked the Mirror reporter to send questions to his email when asked for a comment.
    “We are not even sure who the owners of the hotel are and whom to claim our salaries from. We suspect there is someone behind all this who is running the hotel using these people to claim change of ownership so that we cannot claim our money.
    “It’s three years now since we last got our salaries. We however, have been getting some half salaries and sometimes nothing at all. The National Employment Council is handling the matter,” said the workers’ representative.
    Vic’s Tavern was licensed in 1927 and the first owner was Henry Cook. For many years it was the only hotel in Enkeldoorn (now Chivhu) serving the surrounding communities.
    It has a bar, a restaurant and 15 booking rooms.
    #Masvingo Mirror#
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