Fairmount Hotel Denies Turning Away Delegates

FAIRMOUNT Hotel in Livingstone has said it did not turn away five delegates from Ebola-hit country, Sierra Leone, last week.
The delegates, who were later accommodated at Zambezi Sun Hotel, were in Livingstone last week for the 32nd annual conference of the Association for Education Assessment in Africa (AEAA) which was hosted by Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ).
Fairmount Hotel operations manager Chanda Munkonge said his entity did not turn away Sierra-Leone delegates.
Mr Munkonge said his Hotel was merely adhering to Health Minister Joseph Kasonde’s earlier press statement which stated that delegates coming from countries affected by the Ebola virus were restricted from entering Zambia until further notice.
“Please note that the mentioned people came to our Hotel and they were received by our staff in the reception as we were trying to get more clarification from the Ministry of Health as the Ministry had on the same day of August 8, 2014 issued a statement on its website that nationals coming from Ebola hit countries were restricted from entering Zambia until further notice.
“As concerned citizens, we called the Ministry of Health to help and give a direction on the matter as we are not a health institution but a hospitality one,” Mr Munkonge said.
He said as a law abiding firm, the Hotel told the five delegates from Sierra-Leone to wait in the reception as it was waiting to get instructions from the Ministry of Health.
“We as Fairmount Hotel did not refuse to check in the mentioned clients. The delegates were then taken away from our institution by ECZ in the company of medical personnel, who said all persons from the
affected region will be accommodated in one area where the clinic will be established for easy access to them by doctors,” he said.
Mr Munkonge said the decision of taking away the delegates was arrived at by the organisers of the AEAA conference and the medical officers and it was not the call of the Hotel.
Last week on Sunday, ECZ principal examination officer – processing and certification Chairperson Albert Siamunako told journalists at a media briefing in Livingstone that five delegates from Sierra Leon were not allowed entry at Fairmount Hotel despite being screened by heath officials at Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport.
And in his presentation to delegates during the official opening of the AEAA conference, Livingstone District Medical Officer Cliff Hara said it was unfortunate that some delegates from West Africa were not allowed entry into some hotels despite being screened by health officials at the airport.
Education, Science, Vocation Training and Early Education Minister John Phiri, in his official opening speech, apologised on behalf of the Zambian Government to all delegates who were inconvenience after being screened.

 
Source : The Times of Zambia

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