City reviewing colonial lease agreements, anticipates a 20pct revenue increase

City reviewing colonial lease agreements, anticipates a 20pct revenue increase

By Kuda Chideme, HARARE, April 17 (The Source) – Harare City Council is reviewing lease agreements for properties it rents out which it said were drafted during the colonial era and were outdated, an exercise that could increase its revenue by at least  20 percent, an official has said.

The city owns several properties, including golf courses and sports clubs which it rents out. Lease agreements for most of these properties, however date back to the colonial era with rentals being fixed as low as $1 for a year.

Town clerk Tendai Mahachi on Thursday told The Source that council was in the process of reviewing the agreements.

“We are reviewing some of the agreements to make sure that they pay what is reasonable. A dollar or two pounds for the entire year is not reasonable,” he said.

“Some of the leases were fixed in Zimbabwe dollars so we are reviewing those as well so that they are in United States dollars,” he said.

Mahachi said council would also terminate agreements with defaulters who were not willing to agree on a payment plan.

The council is operating on a $273 million budget for the year.