MUTARE – Mutare City Council (MCC) will take stern measures against property owners who put up structures without first seeking council’s approval.
MCC gave property owners a two months moratorium to allow for the regularisation of their properties.
The grace period expired on August 31.
The structures meant to seek approval are housing stands, houses, perimeter scales, among others.
Spren Mutiwi, MCC spokesperson on Tuesday told Zim Morning Post that the municipality would take stern measures against those who failed to meet the regularisation deadline.
“All those who did not take the chance to regularise their structures are advised that the council will take stern measures,” he said.
“We have fines that are deterrent to would be offenders and ensure that people observe the laws,” Mutiwi explained.
MCC gave property owners a two months moratorium to allow for the regularisation of their properties. The grace period expired August 31.
“There was a last minute rush as people queued up to beat the deadline. There is no room for extension. We gave people a two-months grace period. After the deadline, penalties will be instituted,” Mutiwi said.
Zim Morning Post understands that over 20 000 properties owned by residents and companies in Mutare have not had rentals paid, prejudicing the cash-strapped local authority of millions of dollars over the years.
The Town Clerk, Joshua Maligwa, said MCC had been selling land for which audits had exposed irregularities, with observers saying the illegal land sales could run into millions of United States dollars.
Since taking charge of office in 2016, Maligwa said there had been rampant corruption in the allocation of stands and handling of cash at the local authority.