- 150 council stands allegedly fraudulently sold
- Accused made up fake sale receipts
- 3 accused would make illegal water connections to beneficiaries’ homes
A HARARE City Council [HCC] syndicate allegedly used its close proximity to power to sell 150 stands of undesignated land to unsuspecting homeseekers in a heist that saw them pocket close to US$1 million.
The municipality suffered a financial prejudice of US$765 000, which is the marked value of the 150 stands and nothing was recovered.
The accused persons, Beliver Mupawaenda, Rudo Chigocha, and Magret George, are employed in the Department of Housing and Harare Water, respectively.
They all appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts facing allegations of defrauding the City of Harare.
The three HCC employees were on Tuesday allowed ZWL1 000 bail each by Harare Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
The complainant is HCC and is represented by its manager in the Department of Investigations, Belinda KUbvoruno.
During the period extending from 2017 to 2018, accused persons acting in connivance allegedly devised a plan to defraud HCC.
They are said to have identified open spaces in Kuwadzana 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Mupawaenda, Chigocha and George allegedly created a fictitious paying scheme and originated fake layout plans before they fraudulently connected water for the purpose of selling the stands to the homeseekers.
In so doing, a total of 150 stands was allegedly sold to the homeseekers by the accused persons without approval of the council.
To cover for their offence, the accused persons allegedly manufactured fraudulent provisional allocation letters and files for each stand in the said Kuwadzana areas.
It is the State’s claim that the files concerned were found in the possession of Chogocha.
Old cancelled stand numbers were said to have been used to illegally allocate the said stands in a way that circumvented their proper processing and allocation.
The State also claims that George connected water pipes to the stands concerned while aware there were no proper documents of approval from the City of Harare for their connection.
The offence was allegedly discovered following a tip-off, prompting a report to the police which led to the arrest of the accused persons yesterday [Monday].
The three accused were remanded out of custody to March 3.
Accused persons were ordered to report on Mondays and Fridays at the Criminal Investigative Department Commercial Crimes Division (CID CCD).