The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has turned down Harare City Council (HCC)’s application for authority to set price of rates for lease, rentals and council land purchases in foreign currency.
HCC was looking at getting maximum gain from the land sales in forex to expand its ability to provide adequate service delivery.
The city fathers had argued that real estate was being sold for a song and needed to quote lease rentals and land purchase prices in a stable currency or at the prevailing official interbank rate.
Government, however, noted the provisions of Statutory Instruments 213 of 2019 Exchange Control Regulations which enforced the exclusive use of ZWL for domestic transactions on goods and services in Zimbabwe.
“The Committee now considered a letter dated 5th December 2019 from the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and addressed to the Town Clerk wherein had advised that the Country had adopted a mono-currency system through Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 which clearly stipulated the exclusive use of the Zimbabwean Dollar for all domestic transactions without exception,” read latest council minutes.
“The Permanent Secretary had therefore not acceded to the City’s request to charge all transaction on land. Concern had also been raised regarding previous advertisements on alienation of Council land which had been quoted in United States of America dollars and the Town Clerk advised that he would respond advising on the status of the advertisements.”
In response, the HCC Finance and Development Committee resolved to engage the relevant authorities to seek for waiver or exemption of the provisions of the Statutory Instruments 213 of 2019 Exchange Control Regulations and be allowed to set in (US$) United States Dollars rates for lease rentals and purchase prices on Council land and report to the Committee on progress made.