BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
THE Bulawayo City Council has given Hyde Park village residents a lifeline after renewing their lease agreements for another 10 years.
Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) co-ordinator Khumbulani Maphosa applauded councillors for the decision.
“We really applaud the council’s decision because it enhances people’s rights in terms of shelter and it enables people to continue with their lives. We applaud councillors for that,” Maphosa said.
“We are, however, concerned that the Hyde Park residents do not seem to understand the concept of lease agreements and how it works. They do not understand that the area that they occupy is a leased area, which may not be renewed in the future,” he said.
He urged Hyde Park residents to take advantage of the 10-year grace period to apply for their own land.
Latest council minutes state that the director of housing and community services Dictor Khumalo said a request for renewal of leases had been received for 405 leased properties in Robert Sinyoka and St Peters whose 10-year leases had long lapsed.
“The lessees had been faithfully paying their monthly rentals even across the lapsed period. Some of the lease holders had since been deceased and the office re-registered the properties in their spouses’ names subject to consultation with the approval of village development communities upon submission of death certificates to the offices,” the minutes read.
The council minutes added that the BCC financial director had no objection to the renewal of the leases as long as the outstanding rentals were cleared.
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