Council imposes heavy fines for unapproved structures


GWERU residents will have to fork out over $35 000 in penalty fees for building houses without approved plans as well as in excess of $3 000 for structures that are not inspected by council.


Non-residential building plans fees have also been increased by more than 2 000%.

According to a new tariff schedule for this year, the building penalty for unapproved plans in high-density areas has been hiked from $1 500 to $35 473, medium-density from $2 000 to $47 297, while that of low-density suburbs has been increased from $2 500 to
$59 121.

“Commercial per plan building from $7 500 to $177 364, industrial per plan building $10 000 to $236 485 and institutional per plan building from $5 000 to $188 243,”noted the schedule.

Construction of houses in high-density areas without council inspection now attracts a fine of
$3 547 from $150, medium-density $4 730 from $200, while in the low-density, it has been hiked to $5 912 from $250.
Developing commercial stands without municipal inspection will attract a penalty of $17 736 from $750.

Mayor Josiah Makombe, however, said the tariffs were in line with the prevailing market forces.

“We understand residents are facing economic hardships, but you will realise that most of these figures seem very high but they are in line with the current market forces,” he said.

“The tariff regime also changed mainly due to the existing macro-economic environment, which is hyperinflationary.”
But Gweru Residents Forum director Charles Mazorodze said council hiked tariffs without consulting residents.
“There was need to strike a balance between service delivery and the economic capabilities of ratepayers,” he said.