Harare fails to deliver staff housing stands

THE Harare City Council (HCC) is failing to pay its employees with residential stands in lieu of outstanding salaries as had been promised in 2016.

According to housing committee minutes, 4 150 employees had opted to take up serviced residential stands as payment for the money HCC owes them.

Council currently owes its employees between three and four months’ salary arrears, depending on their grades.
“Due to the time council had taken to deliver the serviced residential stands to date, 380 employees had since opted out of the agreement.

“Furthermore, the beneficiaries had taken council to court over its failure to honour the development of stands resulting in a Deed of Settlement being signed between Harare City Council and the trade unions representing the beneficiaries,” read part of the minutes.

Housing committee chairperson Hammy Madzingira said council still failed to honour its Deed of Settlement agreement and was taken back to court by the employees for redress.
He said they had tasked Housing director Addmore Nhekairo to compile and present them with a report on the progress of the matter.

“There is need to accelerate the process of allocation and servicing of the residential stands since two years had already lapsed and those who had opted for the stands were now withdrawing as they were no longer sure if they would receive them,” Madzingira said.

While employees are failing to get their stands, councillors were advised they would get stands subject to availability in their wards.
The availing of residential stands was made effective by a ministerial directive issued in 2011 which allowed sitting chairpersons 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,” read part of the ordinary council minutes.

They also noted that councillors who were 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.

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