Gweru City Council is looking into the secret sale of the Kudzanayi long-distance bus rank to Harare investor.
The land upon which the Kudzanayi rank and council’s works yard are located was bought by a Harare company, Polipena Investments (Pvt) Limited ostensibly without the council’s knowledge.
The piece of land which measures 1,85 hectares, was reportedly sold for $Z100 million (US$120 million) in February 2004.
Gweru City Council is now working to retain the rank and reverse the sale, a development confirmed by city mayor Josiah Makombe. He said:
We are a new council and we cannot afford to short-change our people.
We have set up an investigation following reports of the sale of the terminus, which came out in the media late last year.
We want to get to the bottom of the matter and our wish is to retain the rank.
We have been engaging with our finance department to find out if the council received the said money for the sale of the rank.
However, we have not seen the transaction on our papers.
We have since communicated this position to the company which bought the rank to provide us with proof of payment. So far, they have not shown it to us.
Lovemore Reketayi, the Gweru Vendors’ Association chairperson, took the council to task after The Standard published a story about the sale of the property. Said Reketayi:
We were never consulted. My membership only became aware of that transaction through the grapevine and then later when the story was published.
This (Kudzanayi) is public property and as I said before, we were supposed to have been given the first right of refusal if it had been put up for sale.
Now that an investigation has been launched to ascertain what happened, we only pray the so-called deal is cancelled because it was done irregularly.
The buyer of the property is believed to be planning to construct a shopping mall on the site. This will leave thousands of people who are involved in vending at the rank stranded.
More: The Standard
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Formerly Gwelo, Gweru is the capital of the Midlands Province and Zimbabwe's third largest city. It is the main import and export centre as well the most accessible industrial center that oversees markets through South Africa to the South and Mozambique to the east. Read More About Gweru