NHC losing out to developers in joint venture projects

22Dec 2017
The Guardian
NHC losing out to developers in joint venture projects

STATE owned National Housing Corporation is losing big time to private developers it had entered into agreement over five years ago mostly in Dar es Salaam’s central business district.

An artist’s impression of NHC Kawe Beach Project

In one case, NHC which entered into a joint venture agreement with Dar es Salaam based Better Homes Limited in 2010 to develop a plot in Upanga upmarket area, a 10 floors residential flat called Fayrouz has been managed by the private company which charges tenants in United States dollars but pays the state developer in local currency.

“This block of flat has 28 apartments of between two and three bedrooms, Better Homes charges between U$ 1,500 and U$ 2,200 each but pays NHC a flat rate of only 542,860/- each,” said a source who is privy to the development.

The sources pointed out that the private developer who built the flat under a build operate and transfer agreement, has been paying senior NHC management officials to keep the bogus agreement intact for many years.

“Construction of this residential flat can hardly reach 10bn/- but it is actually said to have fetched over 15bn/-) said the sources who urged the current NHC management to act quickly and get back ownership of such joint venture buildings many of which only benefit developers.

The Fayrouz flats with units registration B101 to B501 which constitute 14 apartments belonging to NHC are also said to evade payment of income tax as the developers show Tanzania Revenue Authority officials that payment is done in local currency.

Worse still, the sources said, the private developer has violated the joint venture agreement by outright selling another 14 units which under the agreement belong to Better Homes which collects rent paid by tenants.

“All 14 second set apartments are sold to individuals most of whom have no title deeds while a few others have forged title deeds,” the sources noted saying the apartments have been sold at between U$ 185,000 and U$ 270,000 each.

The sources said in the second case also government revenue in form of taxes has not been collected by TRA because the agreement is for leasing and not selling. “This developer has several other joint venture projects with NHC in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Tanga cities where two different companies, Prime Properties and Showmax Tanzania Limited are partnering the state developer.

“This scheme has denied ordinary Tanzanians access to better NHC housing at affordable rates because greedy people have usurped them and are charging dollars or other hard currencies,” the sources noted.

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, William Lukuvi suspended NHC Director General, Nehemia Mchechu and Director of Operations, Raymond Mndolwa last week after President John Magufuli openly accused the NHC chief executive officer of engaging in deceitful acts.

“You have your own private company which is also doing real estate business, in some cases we have investigated and found out that you buy plots of land using different names to hide your identity,” President Magufuli charged saying his government wants a clean up at the state developer before providing guarantee for loan acquisition.

The head of state also accused Mchechu’s management of involving a private company in the ownership of the giant Kawe Beach Project which was already borrowed U$ 2bn from PTA Bank with government guarantee.

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