HARARE City Council has stopped selling residential stands to raise salaries for its workers amid reports that the majority of the people who acquired the properties had not yet paid for them.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
According to minutes of council’s finance and development committee tabled during last week’s full council meeting, councillors ordered management to cease the sales and demand full payment for the stands that have already been taken up.
“The committee felt that there was need for council to focus on recovering revenue from land sales already done. The committee then directed to discontinue such land sales forth and finalise those that had done to date,” read part of the minutes.
According to the minutes, council sold land valued at $8 million to highest bidders but only received $1 million as payment for the stands.
“The committee urged the acting town clerk (Josephine Ncube) to ensure that issuance of the agreements of sale was expected and to recover full payment of the purchase prices for the stands,” the minutes read.
The cash-strapped municipality last year embarked on wholesale disposal of all undeveloped stands including some of its properties to raise cash for salaries.
The land earmarked for sale included several industrial stands, church stands, land reserved for schools, clinics, hospitals as well as flats, shops and some commercial properties in the central business district.
The local authority was expecting to raise at least $20 million from the sale of vacant land and properties, with sitting tenants given the right of first refusal.