LARGE tracts of land belonging to local businesspeople will go under the hammer next week as Bulawayo City Council, eight banks and microfinance firms, seek to recover unspecified debts.
The banks include CBZ, CABS, People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB), NMB Bank Limited, African Banking Corporation of Zimbabwe, ReNaissance Merchant Bank, ZB Bank, Kingdom Bank.
CK Holland-TA Hollands are the auctioneers contracted to conduct the auction on June 27 at a city hotel.
Land to be auctioned ranges from 197 square metres to as much as 19 252m².
According to a notice, some of the prominent businessmen set to lose land include Ernest Marima of E Marima Investments.
The local authority took Marima, who owns several properties in the city, to the auctioneers over 1 388m² piece of land along Main Street.
POSB and NMB have four cases, CABS (three) and CBZ two.
An official with the auctioneers said they were “merely acting as an agent of the Sheriff” hence they cannot comment on the matter.
“We are just agents of the Sheriff who is also executing a judgment from the High Court. Obviously the banks went to court and obtained a judgment,” the official said.
Late last year, there was an outcry in Bulawayo after the Sheriff of the High Court attached property worth millions of dollars belonging to 13 Bulawayo companies and seven businesspeople over failure to service loans owed to different financial institutions.
The move came at a time when there was concern over an increase in company litigations in Bulawayo.
That saw the Affirmative Action Group appealing for government intervention on the issue of litigations, saying the development was against the spirit of the revival of industries.
The lobby group said banks were abusing clients and should not be allowed to auction any property as business, especially in Bulawayo, was in distress and not in a position to finance debts.
It argued litigations had become big business and were negatively impacting on Bulawayo’s economy.