Harare councillors to get residential stands

HARARE - The Harare City Council (HCC) is set to give its councillors residential stands, barely six months into the job. According to minutes of council’s housing committee, the residential stands will be availed to the city fathers subject to their availability in their respective wards.

The availing of residential stands was made effective by a ministerial directive issued in 2011 which allowed sitting chairperson and mayors to access residential stands in their or adjacent wards.
“The director of housing and community services reported that the circular provided that councillors shall access residential stands in the same local authority at 40 percent of cost of price of the stand for those serving the first term irrespective of whether or not one owns such property prior to assuming public office,” reads part of the minutes.

Councillors who are serving a second term in the city would get residential properties at 35 percent of the cost price, provided such a facility was not extended to them before. The minutes indicated that councillors who have been elected for a third term in Harare are eligible for the scheme with stands being sold to them for 30 percent of their cost price.

Housing committee chairperson Hammy Madzingira said the facility shall be restricted to councillors’ wards and would only be extended to other areas if there is no available land in a ward.
“The director of housing is supposed to have started the process last month. Councillors had also felt that city officials without residential stands should also be considered for allocation of residential stands,” Madzingira said.

The move to give councillors stands comes as Harare is yet to give employees residential stands in lieu of outstanding salaries.
Employees of the city were promised the properties in 2016 but to-date they have not received anything.

Council had set aside part of Eyestone for the facility but a land dispute that is still in the courts has stalled the allocation of the stands. Meanwhile, HCC will float another tender to beef up its fleet of refuse collection trucks that are constantly breaking down.

Council’s environmental committee chairperson Kudzai Kadzombe  said in order to deal with the backlog of refuse collection, council has to hire refuse equipment as an interim measure while the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe is being requested to run a special tender.