A quick perusal on any Zimbabwean real estate site like ours quickly reveals that residential stands are in short supply especially in Harare. Even relatively small stands (cosy is the preferred real estate term used to describe such sizes) of around 200 square metres sell for as much as US$10 000. That’s rather steep considering this country’s population density and how much undeveloped stands can be found within the city’s boundaries.
A good reason for the surge in prices is thanks to the fact that Harare City Council had suspended stand allocations due to a lot of controversies surrounding the program. In fact, during the entire 2021 period, Harare City Council didn't allocate any stands. According to various media sources this was done so they can perfect the stand allocation program and protect it from potential abuse. They also used the period to launch investigations into the program. It’s not clear what the outcomes of these investigations are or if they are complete.
What is clear is that the city council is ready to resume stand allocations. The City Council recently announced that it would be allocating about 5,000 residential stands in 2022. The notice also went on further to explain that the reason the council would be allocating so many stands was because they had allocated none in 2021.
“No allocations took place last year. When the allocations begin residents will be notified. Residents on the housing waiting list will be invited for interviews.” Part of the notice issued by the city council which seems to imply that those already on the waiting list would get preferential treatment. It’s also not clear what those who need stands would need to do to be considered as the notice only says that when allocations start there will be further communication from the council.
This lack of granular and timely detail plus the stand shortages have made council stands has created a situation where scammers thrive by posing as “connected people” . They demand payments from unsuspecting members of the public by pretending to be associated with the council stand allocation schemes. Below is such a fraudulent scam which was recently exposed by the City Council. It is but one of many such attempts. To protect yourself you should only apply for such stands via official means and not through people claiming to be connected. Also only respond to adverts posted on the Council’s official platforms.
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