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ZBC, ex-workers fight over apartments

by Staff reporter
15 Mar 2024 at 07:15hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has given its former employees a 90-day ultimatum to vacate some apartments they have been staying at for decades to pave way for "renovations."

The ownership of the apartments is being contested with the ex-employees claiming that they bought the units through a credit facility in the 1990s.

The matter is still before the courts.

In a letter dated January 29, 2024, ZBC investment executive James Chiwera told the occupants to vacate the flat.

"Please be advised that the ZBC will be embarking on extensive renovations of the Hatley House in line with the corporate strategy as well as to comply with the City of Harare's public health bylaws.

"As a result, the contractor will be commencing exterior works effective January 29, 2024. You are given 90 days' notice period to vacate the premises," read the letter.

The former ZBC employees now residents claim to have purchased the apartments through a credit scheme in the 1990s and that ownership is under legal dispute.

They believe the courts will rule in their favour.

"For decades, these haven't just been flats, they have been our homes," said one ex-ZBC employee.

"Many of us have raised our families here, built our lives within these walls."

While acknowledging the need for maintenance, they argued the eviction timeframe disregarded their long-term residency.

"We are more than happy to cooperate with reasonable upgrades," the spokesperson said.

"But surely, alternative solutions can be found without pushing families onto the street, especially during a housing crisis."

In an affidavit, former ZBC director marketing, administration and finance, Onias Gumbo, said he was instrumental in the establishment of an employee credit union where each employee would contribute some money every month for the purchase of the flat.

"These funds assisted in acquiring properties in Harare and other cities and some of the properties purchased in Harare include Copper Queen, Dick King Didsbury, Sendton Court and Hatley House (the property in dispute herein)," he said.

Source - newsday