The Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) is probing Fidelity Life Assurance Company after the financial services group failed to honour its side of the bargain to purchasers, who bought residential stands at its South View Phase II housing project.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
that bought residential stands under Phase II at Southview Park have not been given the go-ahead to begin construction despite raising the required deposit of $3 750 and were up-to-date with their monthly instalments.
According to correspondence seen by NewsDay yesterday, prospective residential stand owners accused Fidelity of short-changing them and have approached Ipec to resolve the matter.
In a June 11 letter to Ipec, SouthView Phase II residents chairperson, Tonderai Chiota said they had been short-changed by Fidelity Life Assurance on the sale of stands since 2014.
“May you look into this matter and assist the stand buyer, pensioners and the pension beneficiaries. We strongly suspect that there is gross misuse of pension funds which are meant to be invested in order to give better and ever existing value to the pension contributors and beneficiaries,” Chiota wrote.
“What baffles us is that they are working on the stands which they sold this year yet we have been waiting for three years, receiving empty promises.”
Fidelity responded in a June 17 letter to Ipec acknowledging the concerns of clients that had approached the regulator. Fidelity committed itself “to delivering a quality product as per our promise”.
“We approached the development of the Phase II in phases, with a batch of 1 024 stands expected to be certified by city of Harare by June 30, 2017.
Customers who have satisfied their obligations will be able to occupy their stands. The remaining stands will be ready for occupancy by November 30, 2017,”read the letter signed by Brighton Wesley, Fidelity’s acting general manager property sales and development
“We have instituted appropriate measures and systems of control to enable us to meet our objectives. It is imperative that we bring to your attention that our delayed delivery of housing units is greatly regrettable and does not insinuate misappropriation of funds or neglect of valued customer concerns.”
Wesley told NewsDay yesterday that he was not authorised to speak to the media after the publication had asked why the company had failed to meet the June 30 deadline.
“The best is to engage Samantha [Nhende company secretary]. I am not the correct person to speak to you. You will get the responses from her not from me.”
Nhende promised to respond, but failed to do so at the time of going to print.
Fidelity was telling affected buyers that it had not been given a certificate of compliance by the City of Harare and that others were defaulting on paying monthly obligations.
The company is being blamed for giving more attention to its Langford Estates and neglecting SouthView Park projects.
Questions sent to Ipec on Monday had not be responded to by yesterday.