CHRA petitions Harare city council on selling council rented houses

We the residents  of Harare, who reside in council rented properties implore the Harare City Council to extend the window period of selling council rented houses to sitting tenants  for the following reasons;

  1. The 2013 Council resolution to sell council rented houses to sitting tenants was not implemented in the 5 years period as agreed upon, the council took two (2) years to value the houses and the resolution came into effect in 2015.
  2. The much debt on Council rented properties are a result of “illegal penalties” as tenants have erected houses to accommodate their growing families. The illegal penalties are amounting to $120 RTGS per month. These penalties are contributing the large chunk to the debt tenants owe the Council.
  3. The Council requirement to sell the houses to tenants that have no “debts” was not possible considering the “illegal penalty charges” contribution to the money owed to the City by tenants hence in Dzivarasekwa only 27 houses out of 1278 houses were sold to sitting tenants. Furthermore, there was lack of awareness on the intention to sell Council rented houses to sitting tenants.
  4. The debts which are on our bills are questionable, tenants are being charged with water consumption when they have not received water for the past 10 years. This has also increased our bills which makes it difficult for tenants to purchase the houses.
  5. The billing system for Harare City Council has not been encouraging people to pay their debts. Residents have been paying and nothing has been deducted on their bills especially those paying with Eco cash, no receipts have been issued.

Cognisant that, Section 28 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees the right to shelter and as an agency of government at local level we believe that you have the mandate and power to make reasonable policy interventions and other measures to enable every person to have access to adequate shelter and secure tenure.

In this regard as sitting tenants in Council rented properties we kindly implore council to do the following;

 

  1. Extend the period to sell council rented houses to sitting tenants to 2025.
  2. Remove all “illegal” penalty charges for “illegal structures” in line with the 2017 resolution.
  3. Fix the current opaque and chaotic billing system and Issue receipts to those paying with eco-cash.
  4. Removal of water consumption charges on houses that are not receiving water as some tenants have not received water for more than 10 year (Dzivarasekwa Tamuka Close Area).
  5. Engage on a massive publicity drive on the issue of Council Rented properties as some tenants have a notion that they own the houses due to political brainwash

In this same regard the Combined Harare Residents Association will embark on a campaign targeting tenants in Council Rented houses pay their rent on services rendered and willing to work with all Council Departments to make this initiative a success.

We hope and pray that our concerns will be considered and we look forward for your positive response. And we are ready for further any further engagement.

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