Bigwigs to lose Bulawayo properties due to rates arrears

FORMER Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko’s wife Laurinda is among bigwigs that include former ministers, business people and sport personalities who stand to lose their properties if they do not pay Bulawayo City Council’s (BCC) dues within 30 days.

BCC  Thursday released a lengthy list of individuals and companies that owe it substantial amounts in rates for their properties.

The defaulting bigwig list includes former Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Mrs Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo, former Minister of Water and Water Resources Development and Management Mr Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo, former Tsholotsho Senator Believe Gaule, former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr Gideon Gono and RBZ Deputy Governor Dr Khuphukile Mlambo.

Also on the list is former Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari, soccer legend Agent ‘Ajira’ Sawu and a Gift Banda, believed to be Njube-Lobengula MP who is also former Njube Sundowns owner and former Bulawayo deputy mayor.

In a third and final public notice Thursday, BCC advised all those whose properties have been listed to make necessary payments within 30 days or risk losing them.

“Notice is hereby given to the owners of the above listed properties to come forward and make necessary payments to council within the next 30 days. Failure to do so will result in council disposing of the said properties in terms of Section 5 of the Title Registration and Derelict Lands Act, Chapter 20:20, which reads as follows; ‘whenever there remains due and unpaid for the space of five years any rate or assessment payable to any municipality or other public body upon any immovable property in Zimbabwe and  such property is abandoned, deserted and left derelict and the owner thereof cannot be found, it shall be lawful for the person or body claiming such rate or assessment to apply to the High Court, stating the amount claimed to be due and the grounds for applying for relief under this Act,” reads the notice from council.

Derelict land is land whose rates had not been paid for a period of five years and above

Most properties that the local authority has threatened to repossess are in the affluent eastern suburbs.

Anzac Investments formerly owned by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo, the National Railways of Zimbabwe, Zimre Properties, White Pear Farming Co, Bulawayo Glass and Allied Products, constitute some of the companies set to lose their properties. Mrs Mphoko is set to lose property on stand number 14440 Selbourne Park while Mr Sipepa-Nkomo will lose 347 Mahatshula stand. Mrs Moyo’s 43 Whitestone property, Dr Mlambo’s 259 Whitestone stand in Hillside suburb and Cde Gaule’s 2349 stand in Mahatshula have been listed for repossession. Banda is alleged to be in arrears over his 7 Chelsea Court property situated at 38A Jason Moyo Street. Mwaruwari owes council rentals on four properties, 64, 65 and 66 as well as 247 Mqabuko Heights in Matsheumhlophe while Sawu, a former Zimbabwe Saints and Warriors striker who also had playing stints in Switzerland, Cyprus and China owes council on his Whitestone property in Hillside suburb.


The Chronicle