State clears way for prosecution in Kuwadzana stands scam

The State has cleared a prosecution log-jam that had stalled the case of illegal sale of at least 150 residential stands in Kuwadzana for at least five years, by exonerating witnesses who had been bunched together with the accused in the case.

The move saw the dropping of charges against Harare principal housing officer Mr Edgar Dzehonye and the then acting director of housing and community services Mr Mathew Marara after it turned out they were the ones who had discovered the scam and reported to the police.

The State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti dropped the charges against Mr Dzehonye and Mr Marara before Harare magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje on Monday.

Further analysis of the case by the State revealed that the Harare City Council officials had been arrested on a charge of teaming up with several others to commit the crime despite that they were the whistle blowers.

The State discovered that during a verification and screening exercise, Mr Dzehonye discovered the fraudulent allocation of council land and filed a report at Harare Central Police Station under reference C.R 848/02/19.

He also alerted the City of Harare Municipal Police Investigations, which conducted some preliminary investigations and established how some workers in the council flouted procedures in the allocation of the residential stands, resulting in the recovery of fake layout plans, fake interview forms and stencil provisional allocation letters in respect of the 150 stands.

It was established that the City of Harare suffered loss to the tune of US$ 1 141 779,50, being the intrinsic land value of the stands fraudulently sold by accused persons

After dropping charges against Mr Dzehonye and Mr Marara, the State then charged Harare City Council survey assistant Tonderai Mukora (36), the council’s land survey technician Austin Tapiwanashe (47), land survey technician Bernard Mukuna (37), the city’s public lighting section employee Tapiwa Gona (35), area administration officer Believe Mupawaenda (46), revenue officer Mazano Zvakanyorwa (46), clerical officer Tinei Kureva (37), an employee in the water connections and maintenance section Margaret Sarudzai George (310 and clerical officer Samantha Bobosibunu Muserere (28).

But the State referred the docket back to the police for further amendments after it was discovered that some of the mentioned accused needed to be dropped since they were not part of the crime.

Allegations against them are that between 2018 and 2019, they acted in common purpose and connived in their complimentary employment capacities and inconsistent to their duties hatched a plan to defraud City of Harare of its land. 

They made misrepresentations and illegally sold land belonging to city to unsuspecting and vulnerable home seekers, thereby causing financial prejudice to the unsuspecting home seekers.

This was after they identified open spaces and vacant stands in Kuwadzana, identified the layout plans depicting those open spaces and vacant stands and illegally altered the layout plans before selling the stands to unsuspecting members of the public some through freelance sellers and some through Northway Real Estate Agency. 

They would proceed to issue out fake allocation letters to facilitate for the payment of the stands after the illegal creation of sundry accounts for the defrauded stands.

Herald

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