The Bulawayo City Council has repossessed three stands from the Matabeleland Development Foundation, an organisation that is meant to spearhead development in the region, because it has failed to develop the stands over the past 10 years.
The foundation was allocated the stands one in Nketa and two in Nkulumane in March 1994. The minimum building clause for each stand was $75 000. Buildings should have been completed by March 1996.
The foundation was warned last year that its stands might be repossessed. In response, it said it had failed to develop the stands because of the present hardships that country was facing and requested an extension.
The city’s valuation department said in view of the reasons given by the foundation, the organisation could be given a final one year extension.
This view was shared by the Engineering Services Department which suggested that the foundation be given another year to comply with the agreement.
The Health Services Department, however, said the foundation had been given enough time to develop the stands. There was no guarantee that it would do so if it was given an extension.
It was backed by the department of Housing and Community Services which said the foundation had a lot of stands which had not been developed. It was, therefore, not sure whether the foundation had the capacity, in terms of finance, to develop the stands.
The council decided to repossess the stands so that they could be re-allocated to other interested parties.
The foundation launched an ambitious three-year development plan last year under which it hoped to attract investment from not less than six large companies every year and reduce unemployment in the region by 50 percent annually, but this has already fallen flat.