25 August 2017

Zimbabwe: Chitungwiza in Payment Plan

In a bid to save its attached property from going under the hammer, Chitungwiza Municipality has offered to pay $10 000 monthly to Metropolitan Bank with effect from the end of this month to clear its $556 000 debt.

The local authority is also betting that if Government finalises the acquisition of land in Nyatsime, it will pay the balance in the form of stands.

This month, Chitungwiza Municipality's head office was swept clean of its moveable property, including furniture and top-of-the-range vehicles, when the Sheriff stormed the premises over the debt.

Seven vehicles belonging to directors, including a number of Toyota Fortuners, Prados and a Nissan Hardbody, were removed from the council premises and driven to Revelation Auctions and KM Auctions.

Offices of the town clerk, chamber secretary, finance director and the department of health were the most affected and were left without any chair or table.

Chitungwiza, which this week got an interim relief to stop the sale of the attached property, has engaged the bank with a proposed debt settlement plan.

According to a letter by Chitungwiza town clerk Mr George Makunde, council undertook to pay the monthly instalments with effect from Thursday next week.

"If land acquisition process is finalised by Government, the payments made till the date of such finalisation of land acquisition would be computed and lessened from the US$556 000 balance," reads the letter by Mr Makunde.

"The parties would then agree on the compensation in form of land equivalent to the balance outstanding at the date the land becomes available."

Lawyers for both parties are still negotiating on the proper value of the land, among other related issues.

Chitungwiza became indebted to Metropolitan Bank when it sold non-existent stands in the Nyatsime area in 2007.

MetBank paid a total of $1 027 000 for 63 000 square metres of land, but the stands were never properly allocated.

Chitungwiza paid part of the debt, leaving an outstanding $556 000.

MetBank, which had made huge investments in acquiring the land, successfully sued Chitungwiza Municipality.

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