Morocco-based Mardev Company Ltd has paid a compensation of US$ 840,000 (Sh1.9 billion) to 42 families living in four apartments of the Zanzibar’s Stone Town, an international heritage site.
Each family has received US$20,000 (Sh.46 million) which they will spend to find alternative accommodation elsewhere.
According to the Director-General of the Zanzibar Housing Corporation (ZHC), Mwanaisha Ali Said, the agreement with the company would increase government revenue.
The houses which are located at Hurumnzi, Forodhani and Kiponda, have been leased to the company for a 33-year contract reviewable after every five years, whose value has not been disclosed to the Zanzibar Mail.
The Director General said the company had met the set criteria for renting the houses, although it was not clear the houses would be used for what activities.
However, the Stone Town is a tourist hub in Zanzibar and one of the most visited tourist destinations.
After the agreement had been signed, the company was allowed to operate the houses.
The Corporation’s Director of Technical Services and Investment, Tahir Haji Ali, said they had followed all the procedures for renting the houses.
“The ZHC and the company have agreed that the contract will be reviewed after every five years,” he said and clarified that the rented houses are No. 288 and No. 289 located at Hurumzi, No. 291 at Forodhani and No. 292 located at Kiponda.