Habane residents demand new by laws on lease agreements

Habane residents are in dire need of reforms for Council Regulatory laws that will bind the operations of Umzingwane Rural District Council (URDC). These sentiments were raised during a Budget Consultation meeting that was conducted in Habane on Saturday, 6 October 2018.

Over the years, URDC has been operating without clear cut by laws. The unavailability of council by laws leads to malpractices such as unwarranted charges in the amount for lease payments that should be paid by house owners.

“It is not clear why I should pay a lease when I have already paid my dues for the housing stand,” said Esigodini Residents’ Association Chairperson Asan Mhlanga. “There is confusion that has to be addressed within Council as we do not have a point of reference to guide individuals who purchased housing stands.”

Lease payments in Habane are done at least twice a year, over a six-month period when comparing with what happens in other towns. The creation of an active Area Committee would be a starting point to follow up on the issue of lease payments on behalf of the community.

“An Area Committee would yield to the demands raised by members of the community and present them to Council,” said Council Chairperson from Umzingwane Rural District Council (URDC), Councillor Jethro Moyo. “Under normal circumstances a community should always have a functional Area Committee.”

Commenting on the matter, some of the residents highlighted their views on the lease that should be paid to Council.

“A lease should be first recognized as a once off payment and not what we are expected to continuously pay,” said Constance Banda, a resident from Habane.

However, others quickly dismissed the existence of the lease, claiming that it would be ideal for Council to scrap it off.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)

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