CFI Holdings is allegedly making huge profits through fleecing home-seekers in Harare South’s Saturday Retreat residential area (popularly known as Ushewekunze), the Mail and Telegraph has learnt.
The company is reportedly charging unjustified “penalties” for late payments on residents in complete negation of an agreement that was reached between the ZSE listed company, residents and government.
In terms of the agreement, residents were obligated to pay $4 per square-metre, a figure which was consistent with what local authorities charge for residential stands. The figure would translate to $1200 per residential stand. There was no mention of penalties.
However, CFI officials have been demanding more money as ‘penalties’ for late payment, a development that has been met with resistance from residents.
“I finished paying the original $1200 for my stand then I was told to pay an extra $200 for the surveyor’s fees but when I failed to pay it in time CFI charged me $200 penalty per month.
“I am trying to settle the amount which has ballooned to close to a $1000 but I cannot because they keep on adding some more money,” said an irate resident.
Another resident told this publication that he had no hope of getting title deeds as CFI Holdings project manager Taurai Shava told him that he was going to continue charging penalties until the day he comes and clears his debt in a once off payment.
“I failed to meet the deadline and now I cannot afford to pay the amount which has ballooned to over $1000, Shava told me to bring a once off payment failure to do that he was going to continue adding money onto my account,” he said.
Mail and Telegraph contacted CFI Holdings group company secretary Panganai Hare last week and he was evasive and directed all questions to Shava saying he was the best person to talk to.
Shava could neither confirm nor deny the allegations and he referred this reporter back to the company secretary.
“Please call the company secretary and get a comment from there, the secretary is the one who can comment as a public officer,” he said.
Hare referred this reporter back to Shava saying he was the best person to talk to regarding the issue. “The person who administers those stands is Taurai Shava you can call him, he is the best person to comment. I do not run Ushewokunze stands he is the one, he is the one who runs them,” Hare said.
The company recently recorded earnings growth of $1,9 million against $1,6 million in the previous year, on the back of property related recoveries for the year ended February 28, 2018.
Enhanced property related recoveries resulted in the group posting an 87 percent growth in profit before tax of $2,8 million, against $1,5 million for the same period last year. The group said some of the recoveries pertain to residential stands in Ushewekunze.
The land, where the stands are located is part of CFI’s Crest Breeders International, which was parcelled out to home seekers, through cooperatives, by land barons during the farm invasion era.
The government, however, stepped in and struck a deal with CFI Holdings for residents to pay reasonable amounts in compensation to Crest Breeders International as part of efforts to regularize their stay but that has since changed according to some residents who claim to be paying exorbitant prices.