Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
Masvingo City is at loggerheads with more than 100 home-seekers who want to be refunded the money they invested in residential stands that council recently repossessed for non-development. The municipality has, over the past five years, been repossessing undeveloped residential stands, setting council on a collision course with some of the owners who want to be refunded payments they made for the stands.
Mr Arnold Masaga of Rujeko suburb, whose stand was repossessed in 2003 after he left the country for greener pastures, said he has found it difficult to recover his money from the local authority.
“I bought a residential stand in Rujeko C for $4 500, but council repossessed it because I had failed to develop it within the stipulated period. I moved to South Africa in search of greener pastures and since then I have been working in that country,” he said.
Mr Masaga said he paid almost $3 000 for the stand, hoping to develop it this year, but found it repossessed. Town Clerk Mr Adolf Gusha said council repossessed some stands because they were left idle for a long time.
“We have so far repossessed more than 100 undeveloped stands and all those who lost their stands will be refunded, but we first factor in the costs of servicing them. Claims for refunds have to be calculated and approved, so we appeal to our clients to be patient,” he said.
According to recent council minutes, there has been a sharp increase in the number of claims by clients seeking refunds for repossessed stands. The minutes indicate that most of the stands were repossessed by council before dollarisation of the economy.
“It was highlighted that the process of repossessing the stands had been duly followed, but the clients did not make their claim,” reads part of the minutes. It was indicated that council policy was that the cost of land would be refunded, less 10 percent. Council inspectors will assess the value of completed construction work, but the cost of servicing the stands was non-refundable.”