CHINHOYI residents are up in arms with council following disagreements over the selling price of high-density stands.
The residents said the $17,50 per square metre charged by the local authority was beyond the reach of many ordinary people.
A Chikonohono township resident, Andrew Tigere, said the steep charges had dashed his hope of ever owning a house in the town as he could not afford to raise $3 000 deposit required for the stands.
“I can’t raise that kind of money from selling airtime. What it means is that my dream of getting a cheap council stand has evaporated into thin air,” Tigere said.
The stands, which were being sold on a first-come first-served basis ranged between 300 to 400 square metres and residents were expected to pay a deposit of 60% of the total value.
Chinhoyi mayor Test Michaels said the prices had been pushed up by service costs.
Michaels dismissed reports that the council was selling the stands to settle salary arrears.
“The price is too high I agree, but we want to give people stands which are serviced with roads to avoid a situation which happened some time ago at Mapako low density which took time for residents to develop,” Michaels said.
Affirmative Action Group Mashonaland West chapter president Mike Chimombe said: “We will not allow residents to be milked by council in the name of raising money for salaries.
“We are going to engage council and if it means mobilising residents against that we are going to do that.
“The stands will end up being bought by people from Harare for speculative purposes.”