Attempts by Harare businessman Phillip Chiyangwa’s company, Pinnacle Holdings, to pay 50% council rates for the two commercial stands it bought in the city nearly 10 years ago hit a brick wall after the council stood its ground and instead extended a 20% discount valid until end of this month.
According to documents at hand, Pinnacle Holdings bought two stands in Gweru with the intention of building a hotel and factory shells.
Initially, council had agreed that Pinnacle Holdings would not pay cash, but swop its plant and machinery for the rate charges.
But the company later changed the goalposts saying it now wanted to pay cash but at a 50% discount.
“We write to request a 50% discount on the rates outstanding for the above stands (stand 8342 and stand 7538) as this has become the norm in all municipalities. We wish to clear all the outstanding amounts immediately, but we are requesting a discount to make this possible,” said Pinnacle Holdings
But council wrote back: “It will be recalled that on the 14th November 2011 council passed a resolution that the Environment Management Committee members tour Pinnacle Properties’ plant and machinery to identify suitable items for set-off.
The visit to Pinnacle Property Holdings was done on 24 November 2011 and a meeting between the two parties was held on the same day.
Pinnacle Property Holdings reneged on its earlier request to do swop with plant and machinery and stated they now preferred to pay cash. However, they requested 50% discounts for them to pay.”
Council, however, resolved that the 50% request would not be acceded to and that Pinnacle, like other council clients, be offered a 20% discount, an offer that remains valid until December 31.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Chiyangwa said he would accept the offer although he had wanted it increased to 50%.