Bulawayo council, banks to auction debtors’ property

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BULAWAYO property magnate Ernest Marima is among several prominent personalities whose properties are set to be auctioned next month over outstanding debts to various banks and the local authority.

BY NQOBILE BHEBHE

The Bulawayo City Council and several financial institutions recently won a High Court order to auction the properties to recover their money.

Some of the banks include Agribank, POSB, NMB, African Banking Corporation of Zimbabwe, Standard Charted Bank, CBZ, ZB Bank, CABS and Tetrad Investment Bank.

Properties to be auctioned were spread in Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Chiredzi, respectively.

According to a notice, the Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe, on behalf of Bulawayo Real Estate, will auction the properties on July 3 at a city hotel.

Among those whose properties will go under the hammer is Marima whose four-storey Derby House building, which comprises apartments, shops and offices, has already been attached.

The local authority is the applicant in Marima’s case.

According to the list, renowned author Shimmer Chinodya appears as the applicant in a case involving Paramount Holdings and three others.

Chinodya also wanted a nine-bedroom double storey building in Masvingo placed under the hammer over an undisclosed amount.

In June last year, an auction conducted by the Mutare-based Hollands Estate Agents in Bulawayo flopped as it was characterised by a very low turnout following verbal threats by the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) to disrupt it and effect a citizens’ arrest on the auctioneers.

Hollands had intended to auction more than 20 residential houses as banks moved to recover money they were owed by various companies and individuals in the city.

Out of the 23 residential stands that were up for auction, only five were bought while others had no bidders or were cancelled due to poor turnout.

AAG said the sale was unfair to the business community in Bulawayo considering the harsh economic conditions that have seen most companies closing down.

The AAG Bulawayo branch has been calling for a moratorium on litigation against businesspeople battling to pay rentals and other utilities.
It has argued that litigations had become big business and were negatively impacting on the city’s economy.