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Real estate agent arrested for fraud

HARARE — A real estate agent appeared in court Tuesday on fraud charges for allegedly duping three people out of US$16,670 by selling them land he didn’t own.

Godwin Khulame, 29, was arrested after the buyers discovered that the residential stands he showed them in Nyabira, about 40 kilometers northwest of Harare, belonged to a different company.

Khulame had advertised the stands, measuring 300 square meters each, on Facebook and WhatsApp groups, claiming they were serviced and available for US$10,200 each. He asked for a US$1,000 deposit and $170 monthly installments, according to the state’s case.

The complainants — Clementine Chengetai Nehumba, 34, Maybe Masaiti, 60, Fatima Ururu, 39, and Clive Masawi, 33 — paid Khulame a total of $16,670 and received receipts. But when they tried to contact him later, he became evasive.

They then visited the Devine Aid Trust Company (DATCO), which owned the land, and learned that Khulame had no affiliation with the company or the stands.

The company official told them they had been scammed and advised them to report the matter to the police.

Khulame was remanded in custody pending a bail hearing by Harare Magistrate Ethel Chichera. Nothing was recovered.