via Council directors bag stands for a song Sunday, 23 February 2014 by Charlotte Musarurwa SundayMail
Harare City Council directors purchased industrial and commercial stands whose official prices range from US$20 to US$30 per square metre for as little as US$3 per square metre, it has been established.
Documents in the possession of The Sunday Mail reveal that 11 council directors parcelled out the stands among themselves and agreed to pay for them through monthly instalments.
The move is in stark contravention of council policy which prohibits the outright sale of industrial and commercial stands.
Council by-laws stipulate that industrial and commercial stands are leased to an individual who has to prove his ability to develop them first before being given the right to purchase.
Commission council minutes dated August 9 2013 show that council directors took advantage of the dissolution of the previous council ahead of elections and awarded themselves land in Southerton, Prospect, Waterfalls, Msasa and other others areas.
The directors argued that the sale of the stands would act as incentives. According to the documents, the director of urban planning, Mr Psychology Chiwanga, was awarded an outright sale for Stand 520 Cleveland Township in Msasa.
The stand, measuring 7 453 square metres, was priced at US$3 per square metre.
“Stand 520 of Cleveland be sold to Psychology Chiwanga for a purchase price of US$22 329 subject to the purchaser meeting the cost of the survey, and transfer fees and advertising of the stand,” reads part of the minutes.
Harare Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi had stand number 19404 Harare Township in Southerton sold to him. The stand measures 6 400 square metres and the recommended purchase price was US$3 per square metre.
Former chamber secretary Mrs Josephine Ncube had Stands 19399 and 19404 in Southerton sold to her as part of her retirement package.
The latter stand was priced at US$19 200, yet its estimated price on the market is around US$150 000.
Director for housing and community services Mr James Chiyangwa bagged stand number 9 in Mabvuku for commercial purposes.
The stand measures 1 700 square metres and the recommended market price is US$4 per square metre.
Director of amenities Mr Dombo Chibanda had stand number 19 406 sold to him for industrial purposes. The stand measures 6 400 square metres and the recommended purchase price is US$3 per square metre.
Dr Prosper Chonzi, the director of health services, had Stand 311 Warren Park Township sold to him at US$5 per square metre while housing director Mr Justin Mutero Chivavaya got Stand 310 in Warren Park for commercial purposes.
Public relations manager Mr Leslie Gwindi had stand 308 Warren Park sold to him for commercial purposes. The stand measures 360 square metres and was sold at a recommended purchase price of US$5 per square metre.
Engineering services director Mr Phillip Pfukwa was awarded stand 5145 in Prospect for industrial purposes. The stand measures 1 318 square metres and the recommended purchase price was US$3 per square metre.
Finance director Mr Cosmas Zvikaramba had Stand 5144 in Prospect, which measures 1 220 square metres, sold to him for US$3 660.
The city’s water director, Engineer Christopher Zvobgo, got Stand 5142 in Prospect for US$5 190.
Harare spokesperson Mr Gwindi evaded commenting on the matter.