A strange real estate deal, indeed THISDAY REPORTER Dar es Salaam A NEWLY constructed residential block built in Dar es Salaam by the Tanzania Building Agency (TBA), with six apartments and a current leasing market price estimated at $2,000 (approx. 2.3m/-) per month minimum, has been snapped up by a private company at $850 (approx. 977,500/-) a month, it has been learnt. TBA, established in 1997 through an Act of Parliament with the primary objective of improving residential facilities for public servants, is understood to have leased the two-storey block located in an upmarket suburb of the city to Bright Ventures Limited. Said TBA Chief Executive Makumba Kimweri in an interview with THISDAY:There are six apartments in the building and all have been leased to M/S Bright Ventures Limited. The company followed all necessary procedures and also paid a years rent in advance for all apartments. According to Kimweri, the building cost a total of 910m/- in construction, and is now expected to earn the agency at least 73.4m/- annually. But a survey by THISDAY in the Ubalozi area where the block is situated, established that an unfurnished two-bedroom apartment of such standard fetches up to $2,000 as rent per month - and not $850. As such, informed sources have told THISDAY that the Bright Ventures Ltd is now in the process of subletting the block to third parties. And when asked to provide contact details for Bright Ventures Limited or any of the companys representatives, TBA officials have so far shown little cooperation. Kimweri said the agency is also constructing two blocks of flats in Arusha valued at 1.3bn/- each, but is faced with the problem of shortage of plots within urban centres and delays by utility companies to connect water and power supplies to new TBA blocks. We also have other challenges like non-paying tenants, competition from other real estate investors, and escalating construction costs, the TBA boss noted. TBA was established under the then Ministry of Works with the aim of providing housing accommodation for public servants and providing building consultancy services to the government and its departments. With the Ministry of Works since scrapped, the agency is under the Ministry of Infrastructure Development in the current government set-up. According to Kimweri, TBA has over the years managed to build and sell a total of 8,320 houses to public servants all over Tanzania mainland, and constructed modern headquarters for itself in Dar es Salaam TBA projects around the country have also helped local communities by providing temporary employment and bringing various key infrastructure closer to them. For example, according to a statement signed by Kimweri and posted on the TBA website, people living near TBA housing estates like those at Mbweni Malindi in Dar es Salaam and Mwangaza in Dodoma, are witness to the fact that they now enjoy accessible roads, water and electricity through such projects.