Government has increased rentals for civil servants and other tenants occupying its houses by more than 100 percent while those no longer in the civil service have been ordered to leave.
According to a circular sent to Government departments by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing in February, tenants who have defaulted in paying rentals should have their leases terminated. The move has angered civil servants’ unions who yesterday said the hikes would erode their income at a time they expect to be cushioned through non-monetary incentives.
Government has, as part of the non-monetary incentives,directed all local authorities to cede 30 percent of serviced stands to civil servants with Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira saying the National Social Security Authority was setting up a building society dedicated to help civil servants secure affordable housing loans. Property and economic analysts allayed fears that the move by Government would trigger a general increase in rentals saying the prevailing macro-economic
factors made it difficult for landlords to hike rentals as properties would be left without tenants.
Civil servants living in one-bedroomed houses in high-density areas will now part with $50 from $15, those in two-bedroomed houses will pay $105 up from $20 while those in three-bedroomed houses will now pay $150 up from $25. Those in high densities in provincial towns will pay $37 for a one-bedroomed house, up from $11 while those occupying two-bedroomed houses will part with $78 up from $15 and a worker with a three- bedroomed house has to pay $112 up from $20. Rentals for all civil servants are supposed to be paid through a stop order facility. In medium density areas in cities, civil servants will be required to pay $75 up from $20 for a one-bedroomed house, $150 from $35 for a two-bedroomed house and $225 up from $40 for a three-bedroomed house. In provincial towns, a one-bedroomed house in medium density areas will attract $56 up from $15, those in two bedroomed houses will fork out $112 from $26 while those with three-bedroomed houses will part with $168 from $30.
In low density areas, a one-bedroomed house in cities
is now going for $75 from $25, a two-bedroomed house levies $150 from $40 while a three-bedroomed house is $250 up from $50.
Civil servants staying in Government flats in cities will pay $75 for a one-bedroomed flat up from $20, while those in a two-bedroomed flat will part with $150 up from $35 and workers in a three-bedroomed flat will have to fork out $225 up from $45.Flats in provincial towns cost $56 from $15 (one bedroomed flat), $112 from 26 (two-bedroomed) and $168 up from $34 for a three-bedroomed flat.
Zimbabwe Teachers Association president Mr Richard
Gundani said the Apex Council, a body that brings together all civil servants’ unions, had tabled the issue before Government negotiators with a view of having the decision reversed. “We have been outraged by the move because one of the few things workers were getting was affordable
rentals,” he said. “Moreover, this should be a product of mutual agreement between Government and the workers but there was no consultation.” A Harare-based property analyst Mr Vengai Madzima said the move would not affect rentals being charged by landlords. “At the moment, rentals are steady and in some cases are declining because of the macro-economic factors prevailing in our economy. Some properties are going unoccupied where landlords are demanding unreasonable rentals,” he said.