The Harare City Council is mulling selling selected residential and commercial stands in foreign currency. Mayor Herbert Gomba told the Daily News that council was looking at getting maximum gain from the land sales in forex.
The move to sell in foreign currency comes as council is struggling to provide adequate services owing to a dollar shortage crunch stifling its service delivery mandate. “We have revised the pricing of most of our stands with the cheapest going for $15 per square metre. We had noticed that people were buying the stands from as little as 50 cents a square metre and reselling them for the equivalent in United States dollars and that was disenfranchising council,” Gomba said.
He said he had tasked the directors of housing and community services as well as finance to look into the matter. Gomba said council was still looking into the feasibility of going the foreign currency route and which stands were to be sold that way.
“The matter is not yet finalised as we have to look into it even from a legal stand-point.
The money raised will not be for salaries but will be channelled towards service delivery. All our endeavours are to ensure that residents get value for their money,” he said. According to council minutes, stands in high density areas would be $15 per square metre, for medium density it would be $20 while low density areas council was yet to get a set price.
The move to sell stands in foreign currency comes barely two months after the city suspended land sales arguing real estate was being sold for a song.
During a November full council meeting, the city fathers resolved that any land sales that would be approved had to be commensurate with the prevailing economic conditions of the country.