Council loses $10m to defaulting tenants

HARARE mayor Herbert Gomba has disclosed that council is losing $10 million annually due to non-payment of rentals by people and organisations leasing its properties.

XOLISANI NCUBE

Gomba told NewsDay that the local authority was now considering repossessing commercial and residential land leased out to various institutions over non-payment.

“As council, we have identified that some co-operatives were allocated land, but did not pay anything, including intrinsic land value. We also have other business, that are not paying rentals for council properties. We are losing close to $10 million annually. We are going cancel the leases and repossess our properties,” Gomba said.

“The problem is also with some of our staff members who are not doing enough to ensure we collect maximum revenue from our assets. We have officials who just stand by and watch leases being violated and council getting nothing from the assets. We are going to look into that.”

Residents groups such as the Harare Residents Trust have, in the past, accused the city of abusing resources and failing to maximise on its assets.

Council has houses in both high and low density suburbs, but some of the tenants have not been paying rentals.

It also has land leased out to churches, private business and mostly car parks where nominal fees were being charged and occupants have also not been paying.

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