Coun­cil re­jects rates ex­emp­tion re­quest

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nqo­bile Tshili Chron­i­cle Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil (BCC) has shot down a re­quest by the late Vice Pres­i­dent Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo’s daugh­ter Mrs Thandiwe Nkomo-Ebrahim for the late na­tion­al­ist’s es­tate to be ex­empted from pay­ing rates.

Mrs Nkomo-Ebrahim ap­pealed to coun­cil to exempt Blue La­goon from pay­ing rates for a year while she ne­go­ti­ates for a busi­ness deal that will en­able her to set­tle out­stand­ing charges.

She said Blue La­goon’s debt had ac­crued due to ten­ants who were fail­ing to pay bills. She did not give the ex­act amount owed. “She stated that it had be­come ap­par­ent that it was no longer pos­si­ble to raise funds from the busi­ness and as such she was seek­ing a grace pe­riod from pay­ing the full rates. She was also seek­ing the re­ver­sal of in­ter­est that had been ac­crued to the ac­count,” read the min­utes.

Mrs Nkomo-Ebrahim is said to have put the prop­erty up for sale and is also con­sid­er­ing ne­go­ti­at­ing with ser­vice sta­tion com­pa­nies to ei­ther pur­chase the prop­erty or to en­ter into a joint ven­ture.

She said in an­other ven­ture An­zac In­vest­ment Project was strug­gling to raise close to $5 mil­lion for the ser­vic­ing of land for con­struct­ing houses.

“The de­vel­op­ment was of two up­mar­ket sub­urbs of Mqabuko Heights and White­stone com­pris­ing of res­i­den­tial stands, open spa­ces, a com­mer­cial cen­tre, pri­mary and sec­ondary school sites. The com­pany was yet to com­plete the ser­vic­ing of the area as sur­veys were 70 per­cent com­plete, roads are 20 per­cent com­plete and the chal­lenge was to raise a quoted fig­ure of $4 960 279 to com­plete the ex­er­cise,” read the min­utes.

Mrs Nkomo-Ebrahim told the coun­cil that the com­pany wanted to en­gage the mu­nic­i­pal­ity or a pri­vate player in a joint ven­ture in selling the re­main­ing stands. Coun­cil re­jected her re­quest say­ing it was go­ing to set a wrong prece­dent.

“The Cham­ber Sec­re­tary said that rates ex­emp­tions were gov­erned by the Ur­ban Coun­cils Act in par­tic­u­lar Sec­tion 270. The re­quest should not be ac­ceded to be­cause the above prop­er­ties were not within the list of those ex­empted. The tem­po­rary re­prieve sought would set a wrong prece­dent. The econ­omy was gen­er­ally not per­form­ing well and the sit­u­a­tion was af­fect­ing ev­ery­one. The Act­ing Direc­tor of Health Ser­vices said that pay­ment of rates was meant to en­sure that coun­cil con­tin­ued to pro­vide qual­ity ser­vice to all res­i­dents. There­fore ex­emp­tion from pay­ing rates would ad­versely af­fect the al­ready pre­car­i­ous coun­cil fi­nan­cial po­si­tion,” read the coun­cil min­utes.

Coun­cil, how­ever, noted that the Blue La­goon prop­erty was in­cor­rectly eval­u­ated, a sit­u­a­tion that has been cor­rected mean­ing its debt will be slashed by 50 per­cent.

Re­cently, the es­tate of the late na­tional hero Dr Sikhany­iso Ndlovu of­fered the BCC some land in Range­more to off­set a debt of over $100 000 the late na­tion­al­ist’s com­pa­nies owed the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. — @nqot­shili

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.