Harare City Council has launched a massive campaign to evict tenants not paying rent at its properties as the cash-strapped local authority moves to raise funds for essential services.
By XOLISANI NCUBE
Council spokesperson Michael Chideme said the local authority was on a drive to ensure all people occupying council properties pay their dues.
“As council, our policy is very simple: When you use any of our properties one has to pay and when you don’t, as a policy, we are evicting,” Chideme said.
Minutes of the council’s audit committee tabled during a recent full council meeting indicated that most council properties were in a sorry state as people occupying them were not paying rental fees.
Councillors, according to the minutes, expressed concern at the state of council properties after a whistleblower wrote to the city fathers giving details of the state of neglect.
“The committee expressed concern over the extent of deterioration of the buildings only for a whistleblower to bring the dire situation to the attention of council,” the minutes stated.
As part of the recommendations, councillors demanded tight monitoring of the properties, and for tenants who had been abusing them to be prosecuted.
The local authority says it has lost over $30 million due to poor management of its estate department as a number of occupants are not paying rentals to the local authority.
For over a decade, council has battled to take control of some of its properties occupied by Zanu PF activists.