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Where are the houses?

Staff Writer

ZIMBABWEANS living in the diaspora have cried foul over property developers asking them to pay millions of dollars upfront and yet fail to complete the projects on time.

>There are several housing schemes that have mushroomed in Zimbabwe targeted specifically at individuals living abroad.

The schemes, which comprise mansions or four-bedroomed apartments, are located in Norton’s Knowe Phase 1 area, Westgate, Borrowdale Brooke, Helensvale, Zimre Park, Bloomingdale, Snake Park, and St Andrews Park in Mabelreign.

The stands, measuring anything between 500 square metres and 10 000 square metres, are going for between $90 million and $2 billion.

Zimbabweans living abroad pay half the amount requested and the balance in three equal installments thereafter.

“These developers are just using our money to further their interests and not for the benefit of customers,” said an angry Zimbabwean who pitched up in the country last week only to discover that her duplex apartment was still incomplete despite the fact that she had completed payments last year.

She said this was tantamount to fraud because it amounted to breach of contract.

Zimbabweans in the diaspora have become quite popular with property developers because they pay in foreign currency for their homes.

The customers pay for their stands or houses in United States dollars, British pounds, or South African rands, which are going for $7 500, $11 000 and $1 300 respectively on the parallel market. The official auction rate is $6 500 for the US dollar.

The foreign currency, sent into the country using various means, is in most cases sold on the parallel market that has mushroomed once again in Zimbabwe.

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