Harare City Council, which is owed more than $925 million in unpaid rates and rentals, has ordered churches occupying council land to pay up within 60 days or risk getting their leases terminated.
In a recent statement, the local authority urged churches occupying council land to clear all pending arrears or liaise with council offices for a payment plan.
“City of Harare hereby notifies all church organisations currently occupying council land for church purpose to clear their outstanding arrears or visit our offices for a payment plan on or before the 30th of September 2019.”
The city said organisations should provide valid lease agreements and those with void leases should also make sure they renew within the given period.
“The church organisations should be in possession of a valid lease agreement and if the lease has expired, an application to renew same should be submitted within the same period.”
“Non-compliance with the above notice shall be deemed as lack of interest and the lease agreements will be terminated without further notice,” the city council said.
“This will follow immediate eviction from council land. Eviction from such land will follow thereafter, with resultant costs of eviction and recovery of rental arrears being borne by the defaulting tenants,” said the city.
Harare Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango recently said they would make efforts to recover debtors’ arrears which had accumulated to about $925 million.