Bank demands its $12m back from council has development stalls

By Matebeleland North Correspondent

DAGGERS have been drawn between Victoria Falls Municipality and CBZ bank which is demanding to be repaid a $12million loan extended to the local authority.

The Municipality entered into partnership with CBZ bank to service more than 1,000 housing stands two years ago.

In terms of the partnership, the bank was supposed to fully service 1,174 low cost housing stands for first-time home seekers in the resort town.

However, the project faced resistance from residents, who argued that the partnership disadvantaging home seekers.

While part of the scheme was launched last year on the Buffer Zone where a few beneficiaries have started building properties, council hit a snag in BC847 area where about 400 intended beneficiaries want the bank out of the housing deal.

The general argument is that the un-serviced stands are too expensive at $9,000 each. 

A recent full council meeting featured heated debate as municipal management and councillors struggled to chart a way forward after the bank demanding its money back.

Correspondence from the bank which was read in the full council meeting was to the effect only 15 out of more than 400 beneficiaries had paid for their stands.

The low uptake was noted with concern as the local authority is already paying back interest for the money.

The full council meeting resolved to engage the beneficiaries and encourage them to pay.

“What you can do now is engage those people and encourage them to pay because the longer we take the more interest becomes due,” said Town Clerk Ronnie Dube.