MORE than 2000 Zimbabweans have had their houses auctioned by the Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe as banks try to recover some of the over US$700 million they are owed by thousands of people who gambled with their immovable assets as to borrow money which, due to the worsening economic climate prevailing in the country, later found themselves unable to service the loans, an investigation by the Financial Gazette reveals.
The number of houses and other immovable properties sold off to meet judgment debts against individuals could be as high as over 3000 since the country moved to use a multi-currency regime.
It appears like many Zimbabweans — still confused from the Zimbabwe dollar era — were tempted to stampede into borrowing from banks even when they had no viable business projects in which to invest the money. This week alone, nearly 70 properties were due to be sold at three public auctions, two of them in Harare, and one in Bulawayo.
Agribank has since mid last year been at the forefront of causing the auction sales, putting an average of 50 properties under the hammer every month.