Bulawayo City Council does not have title deeds for some of its important buildings like the Tower Block and City Hall as well as its dams making it difficult to compile a proper asset register as recommended by the Auditor General.
This was revealed by Bulawayo’s Finance Director Mr Kimptom Ndimande at a Finance Review Meeting with stakeholders at the Large City Hall on Wednesday. Responding to questions from residents on the local authority’s progress in fixing the asset register during the finance review meeting, Ndimande said council is struggling to put up some of its assets on the asset register as it has no title deeds. Said Ndimande:
Turning to the asset register, we did have an asset register, we do have one but not in the manner the Auditor General would like it to be. I will give you an example, this building (Large City Hall) should be on our asset register but we don’t have title deeds to this building but it’s ours. The Tower block also, we don’t have title deeds to it because when it is on the asset register, we should have specific reference to it which in this case should be the title deed. Those are the technical issues that affect the quality of our asset register. If you as a citizen wants to look at the asset listing, it has always been there, that’s why when we go around our buildings, we see a little thing that has been put up by the buildings section that shows that this is a council building. However, again it doesn’t satisfy the dictates of the wishes of the Auditor General because it does not have a specific unique number to that building.
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Ndimande also said there have never been title deeds because they own the buildings. He said the local authority was in the process of getting the documents in order to meet the 2025 deadline to comply with the order.