List of prominent people owing BCC substantial money in unpaid rates. Fraudsters are said to be going around the city identifying undeveloped stands, showing them to home seekers as theirs and selling the properties. The local authority on Thursday released 1009 names of individuals and companies owing the council substantial amounts of money in unpaid rates, rendering their properties to be declared abandoned or derelict.
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) yesterday said it was taking action against defaulting property owners as some of their abandoned stands and buildings were being used by fraudsters to fleece desperate home seekers.
The list includes politicians, business people, sport personalities among other bigwigs who stand to lose their properties if they do not pay the municipality what they owe within 30 days.
Former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s wife Laurinda, former Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Mrs Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo, former Minister of Water and Water Resources Development and Management Mr Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo, former Tsholotsho Senator Believe Gaule, former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr Gideon Gono and RBZ Deputy Governor Dr Kuphukile Mlambo are on the list.
Also on the list is former Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari, soccer legend Agent Sawu and a Gift Banda, believed to be Njube-Lobengula MP who is also former Njube Sundowns owner and former Bulawayo Deputy Mayor.
Responding to emailed questions from The Chronicle yesterday, BCC senior public relations officer Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said abandoned properties were not only costing council revenues but fuelling fraud against home seekers.
“Some conmen are pouncing on unsuspecting members of the public as they fall victim to sales of properties belonging to absent landlords. In the end transfer of the same hits snags. The aim is to also collect outstanding rates while they still have value,” said Mrs Mp
She said 1009 properties have been declared derelict or abandoned and council was taking action against the absent landlords.
“The list includes both developed and undeveloped stands. The developed stands may include complete and incomplete houses or buildings. The properties or stands are deemed derelict/abandoned in terms of the Titles registration and Derelict Lands Act if they are not honouring their rates and service charges obligations to council irrespective of whether they are developed or not.
“The outstanding amounts indirectly indicate that the properties are abandoned as all property owners are obliged to pay property tax in terms of the Urban Councils Act,” Mrs Mpofu said. She said council wants to recoup owed rates while they still have value. The local authority is operating on a shoestring budget due to declining revenues as a result of the economic situation.
“Council gets income from rates and service charges and this money is channelled to the provision of services to residents. As such, Derelict/Abandoned properties deprive council of the much-needed income for service provision and other social infrastructure. Derelict stands also affect the national housing provision by having vacant stands lying idle while there is high demand for residential stands in the city,” said Mrs Mpofu.
- Former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s wife Laurinda,
- Former Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Mrs Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo,
- Former Minister of Water and Water Resources Development and Management Mr Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo,
- Former Tsholotsho Senator Believe Gaule,
- Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr Gideon Gono
- RBZ Deputy Governor Dr Kuphukile Mlambo
- Former Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari,
- Soccer legend Agent Sawu
- Gift Banda, believed to be Njube-Lobengula MP who is also former Njube Sundowns owner and former Bulawayo Deputy Mayor.
Source – The Chronicle
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