Udcorp, clients clash over US$6m deposits

By Staff Reporter

GOVERNMENT entity, Urban Development Corporation (Udcorp) has been accused of duping its clients at Knockmalloch housing scheme in Norton of an estimated US$6 million in deposits for stands.

Disgruntled clients told NewsDay that Udcorp demanded deposits of between US$1 500 and US$3 000 in 2018 for stands at Knockmalloch, where 2 078 stands are being developed.

At the time, the total value of each stand, which measures a minimum 200 square metres, was not yet available and the company had said that payments would be made over a period of five years and placed costs of land at US$33 to US$35 per square metre.

However, recently the homeseekers got the shock of their lives after they were informed about the amount they should pay for the stands in US dollars within a year or face eviction.

The cost of the land has now been pegged at US$38 per square metre and the entity will refund part of the deposits, after subtracting administration costs in Zimbabwe dollars at a rate of 1:1 to clients who can no longer afford the stands.

This means, for instance, if one paid US$1 500 as deposit, they would most likely get less than $1 000 if they opt out.

Letters written last week by Udcorp show that 60% of the purchase price of the stands is required by April next year, while the balance should be paid by end of December next year.

Responding to questions from NewsDay, Udcorp acting general manager Zvichanzii Mugota said her company was asking for the payments to be made over 18 months to enable it to pay contractors and ensure completion of the project.

“We are also inviting our stakeholders to pay the purchase price of the stands that we reserved for them as they never signed any agreement of sale in 2018,” Mugota said.

“Payment of the deposits was done in 2018 when the currency was 1:1. Therefore, the bank balances reflect payments as at 2018. No one has been prejudiced,” she added.

Mugota said at the time clients paid deposits, they knew that the final project costs had not been ascertained, and therefore, there was no price for the stands.

“Now the costs have been ascertained at US$38/sqm,” she said, adding that servicing is 32% complete.

Source – NewsDay

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