GOVERNMENT and the Harare City Council have embarked on an exercise to recover several assets which are alleged to have been turned into personal properties by some Councillors and individuals.
According to the Harare City Council Asset Book, the local authority has the biggest number of assets in the capital city compared to any real estate organisation, but the level at which these properties have diminished due to corruption is shocking.
Some of the properties which have been reportedly turned into personal properties are flats at Trafalgar Complex in the Central Business District, Duriro Beer Hall, community halls and all beer halls formerly owned by the City council.
“We have building like Trafalgar complex it’s a council property but we are no longer collecting revenue from it as it has been taken over by some individuals, we have beer hall, markets stalls and community halls which are now manned by individual who are subletting them claiming to be owners. All these shenanigans must come to an end. We are happy that government has come to our rescue,” revealed Harare Mayor Councilor Stewart Mutizwa
Harare Metropolitan Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Mr Tafadzwa Muguti said days of leasing council properties and converting others to individual ownership are over.
“As government and the City of Harare we have joined forces to recover all stolen council assets. We had a stakeholders meeting which included the Mayor of Harare, police and others key arms of government – which came up with a plan to recovery several council assets which were turned into personal properties by some individuals and Councilors,” revealed Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution in the Office of the President and Cabinet Tafadzwa Muguti.
The local authority has over the years come under the spotlight for poor service delivery and observers feel this latest move where the MDC-led council is alleged to have turned properties owned by the local authority into personal assets should be interrogated with the seriousness it deserves.