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Pandari Hotel chairman scammed US$90,000 land sale

HARARE – A Harare couple, Usedia Zhuwaneti (50) and Edzayi Arufaneti (55), have been convicted by the Harare Magistrate Court for defrauding Sunday Chifamba, chairman of Pandari Hotel, of $90,000 in a fraudulent land sale.

Magistrate Ethel Chichera found the couple guilty of fraud after a full trial, with sentencing scheduled for tomorrow.

The court heard that Zhuwaneti and Arufaneti, former neighbors of Chifamba in Glen Lorne, approached him in 2014, falsely claiming to be shareholders of Anglovaal Investments Pvt Ltd and owners of Stand Number 761, Glen Lorne. They presented fraudulent documents, including a power of attorney and share certificates.

On March 31, 2014, Chifamba, deceived by the couple’s misrepresentation, purchased Stand Number 761 for $90,000. The property was equivalent in value to 200 shares in Anglovaal Investments Pvt Ltd.

Chifamba made the payments through his personal assistant, Matifadza Muzariri, with the final payment completed on May 26, 2015.

In 2016, Eelco Alexis Walraven, the rightful owner who had sold the property to Anglovaal Investments in 2011, approached Chifamba, claiming ownership after Anglovaal Investments failed to pay the full purchase price. This claim was supported by a High Court Order granted on May 11, 2015 (HC 1355/11).

On June 27, 2019, Walraven obtained an Order by Consent from the High Court (case number 8132/16) to evict Chifamba from the property. Chifamba’s attempts to engage Zhuwaneti and Arufaneti were unsuccessful, leading him to report the matter to the police.

As a result, Chifamba suffered an actual prejudice of $90,000, with no recovery of the funds to date