Harare repossess sports clubs
THE Harare City Council has resolved to terminate all leases with their sports clubs, council principal communications officer Innocent Ruwende has said.
In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Ruwende said that most sports facilities had 99-year leases which were no longer benefitting the local authority.
The termination comes a year after council named and shamed sports clubs that owed them rental arrears, some which spanned more than 10 years.
“Most of the 99-year leases date back to the colonial era with most of them paying less than $100 in monthly rentals. We also realised that most clubs were breaching their lease agreements by subletting the properties to other tenants for higher rentals thereby short-changing council in the process,” he said.
According to a schedule of debtors released by council last year, Highlands Sports Club owed $82 661, Royal Harare Golf Club $1 490, Milton Park Bowling Club, $78 782 and Princess Squash owed $33 818.
Mukuvisi Woodlands owed $85 782, Goan Association (St Francis Xavier) has a debt of $43 370, Sherwood Golf Club was the biggest debtor with arrears running into $260 967, Mabelreign Country Club owed $16 264 and Callies Sports Club (Motor Action) owed $69 258.
In 2017, council revealed that it had lost out more than $7 million in rentals from properties it had leased out.
A report by the city showed that many of the tenants had political affiliations which they used against council enforcement when rentals were due.