'Land baron' dragged to court

HARARE - A suspected land baron that allegedly swindled prospective home seekers of cash in botched residential stands’ sale has appeared in court.

Cuthbert Mupame, 55, was released on $300 bail when he appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa charged with fraud on Friday.

He was ordered to continue residing at his present address, not interfere with witnesses and report once every week at Marlbrough Police Station until the case is finalised.

The complainant is Norton Town Council represented by Kizito Muhomba, the town clerk.

Mupame and Brian Mafirambudzi — who is still at large — are directors at Maparahwe Properties, a registered company in the business of developing land.

Prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that sometime in 2014, Mupame and Mafirambudzi entered an agreement and purpoted as if Peter Neil had sold them Kingsdale Farm.

However, the pair failed to change ownership and had no Deed of Transfer of the property but proceeded to sell residential stands to home seekers.

When Notorn Town Council noted the illegal transaction, they ordered Mupame and Mafirambudzi to stop the sales but the duo remained adamant and continued.

Due to the duo’s misrepresentation, prospective home seekers began paying for the residential stands but Mupame and Mafirambudzi failed to furnish them with offer letters or process title deeds.

The court heard that Mupame and Mafirambudzi were now being pressured to provide paperwork for the residential stands but continuously gave excuses.

A total of $6 720 was lost and nothing was recovered.

The council made a public notice of illegal sale of residential stands without a subdivision permit before the case was taken to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. 

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