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Zimbabwe govt pegs property rentals in US$

by Staff reporter
28 Nov 2023 at 05:27hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has pegged monthly rentals for all its properties in United States dollars ranging from US$5 to US$160, as the Zimdollar continues to lose value against the greenback.

A Finance ministry memorandum seen by NewsDay written on October 2 by the former National Housing and Social Amenities secretary Joyce Makumbe, indicates that the new rentals will become effective from January 1, 2024.

This comes despite government's refusal to dumb the Zimdollar. In August this year, ahead of the general elections, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the Zimdollar was here to stay. He, however, on Friday last week extended the use of US dollars to 2030 from 2025.

"Please be advised that the Treasury has approved to peg monthly rentals for government residential estates in US dollars, but payable at the official interbank rate on the day of payment," Makumbe wrote.

"You are, therefore, advised to notify all tenants in your province of the new fees in US dollars on or before November 30, 2023. The new fees are to be effected on January 1, 2024."

On October 20, estates management and provincial co-ordination deputy Owen Nhoro attached new fees in a memorandum to all provincial heads.

"Reference is made to the secretary's communiqué dated October 2, 2023, on approved rental reviews on all government properties. Please be advised to implement a new rental structure using the secretary's simplified extract rent schedule."

Rent for a one-bedroomed government pool flat was reviewed from ZWL$75 to US$80, two bedrooms from ZWL$150 to US$100, and three-bedroom from ZWL$225 to US$120 in cities.

Structures in provincial towns and districts have their own approved rentals.

Partially developed properties are rented for US$5, while a four-bedroom house is rented for US$160.

Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions director Rejoice Ngwenya told NewsDay that the development was a clear indicator that the government will not dump US dollar for Zimdollar anytime soon.

"The multiple or more accurately dual currency is still legal, so there's nothing amiss. However, beyond the clutter of propagandaabout the strength of bonds and ‘economic growth', the government knows the true value of the US dollar. The US dollar will not be dumped anytime soon," he said.

Economist and policy adviser Prosper Chitambara said: "It's a way of trying to preserve value given the depreciation of the local currency that we have been seeing. When you peg in US$ you will be able to preserve value."

Source - Newsday