HomeNewsChitown on verge of collapse over $1m debt

Chitown on verge of collapse over $1m debt

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Chitungwiza Municipality could be forced to virtually close if the deputy sheriff goes ahead to effect a writ of execution obtained by Metropolitan Bank over a debt of around $1 million.

BY CHARLES LAITON

According to court papers, the debt emanated from 79 stands, which the bank paid for some time in 2008, but failed to occupy after it emerged the piece of land had been allocated to resettled farmers by the government.

Yesterday, the council appeared before High Court judge, Justice Alpheus Chitakunye, on an urgent basis seeking an order for a stay of execution. The property was put under judicial management on January 19 this year, while removal was set to be done on January 25.

In an affidavit, Chitungwiza Municipality town clerk, George Makunde pleaded with the court to consider stopping the execution, saying council would suffer irreparable damage if the property was to be auctioned.

“If the matter would wait, at the speed at which the first respondent [Metropolitan Bank] is operating, applicant will soon have its assets removed and auctioned and this will result in the following: No tools to use in refuse collection, no tools and resources to use for water purification, no road maintenance, no clinic operations, no cemetery services and no ambulance services.

“Clearly, the results will be catastrophic and a complete disaster and health catastrophe of unimaginable levels.

There is no other remedy as the respondents are eager to continue with the execution process. The only available remedy is an order of this court on an urgent basis,” he pleaded.

In the application, Chitungwiza Municipality said during the period in question, it identified a piece of land to allocate the stands under Nyatsime Housing Project to Metropolitan Bank, but could not proceed due to an interdict by some resettled farmers, whose offer letters had not been cancelled when government granted the council the urban development permit.

As a result of the interdict, the council said, it lost the land it had offered the financial institution. Makunde also indicated a plan was underway with help from the Urban Development Corporation to rectify the situation.

Metropolitan Bank is being represented by Wellington Pasipanodya of Manase and Manase, while the council is being represented by Matsikidze and Mucheche.

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