Residents want negotiated stand prices

By Chenjerai Gumbeze


CHEGUTU – RESIDENTS in this town want the local authority to offer residential stands
whose prices are negotiable, whenever they become available, so as not to disadvantage the local
Residents allege that when the stands are advertised and are up for grabs, people from outside
Chegutu, take up most of them. They want council to consider them first, using whatever criteria,
to give them an added advantage.
Most of the advertised stands are bought by people from either Harare or Bulawayo, who are
mostly in real estate business, the residents allege. These buyers in return sell the stands after a
short while. Stands are sold at higher prices that only a few Chegutu residents can afford.
As of 2016, medium-density stands of at least 1000sq metres were going at US$16 000. Stands
in the high-density suburbs measuring about 300sq metres were selling for US$5000.
The concern from some of the residents comes as the council is about to sell 68 residential
stands, which are still under development.
“We will very soon start to sell 68 stands, which are being serviced. As soon as work is
completed the stands will be on offer to residents and ratepayers. We are going to make terms
and conditions very simple for everyone to afford,” explained Chegutu acting Town Clerk, Jacob
Chikuruwo, during a council budget consultation at Gatsi shops recently.
Residents urged the local authority to consider a payment plan for people in Chegutu so that the
stands would be affordable, otherwise all the stands would be taken up by people from outside
Chegutu. Local residents, who paid deposits on stands some years ago were failing to complete
paying up thereby defaulting.
“We know that the stands you are talking about, Town Clerk, are too expensive. Anongotorwa
nevanhu vekuHarare kana Bulawayo nekuti isu muno hatiakwanise.Tirikutotadza kubhadhara
mari dzepamwedzi chaidzo, kuzoti mastands aaaah shame,”said Richard Maketo.
Several people in Chegutu claim that it is even very difficult to make ends meet. People are
failing to pay rates and bills and some have arrears running into thousands of dollars in local
Meanwhile, the council is making a follow-up on all open spaces offering stands to churches on
temporary basis in an effort to beef up council revenue inflows. Churches offered grounds will
pay rates to council on a monthly basis.
“This is just an initiative to save churches, which had no place to conduct their services. The
initiative is issued on a first-come, first-served basis,” explained one council official.

The churches are not allowed to construct permanent structures as they can be removed when the
council wants to develop those areas.
At the budget consultation, attended by a few people, the council and residents agreed on
monthly rates.

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