Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Land barons get 5 years behind bars

Land barons get 5 years behind bars

Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter

Three members of the Kuwadzana Home Industry Housing Cooperative have been imprisoned five years each for illegally parcelling out 24 hectares of council land.Silas Madombi, Misheck Mukamira and Dumisani Zhou had pleaded not guilty to fraud charges when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro but they were convicted because of overwhelming evidence.

The trio converted an open space reserved for recreational purposes, measuring 24 hectares into illegal housing stands prejudicing council of $1,1 million.

Of the five years, one year was suspended on condition of good behaviour and a further two years and six months were suspended on condition that the trio restitutes council the $1,1 million before December 30 this year.

According to papers presented in court by council representative in the matter Mr Funny Machipisa, orders to vacate the land were issued but members of the cooperative led by the jailed leadership refused to move off the land.

Last month another land baron formerly employed by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Simon Boora was slapped with an effective five-year-jail term for swindling home seekers of more than $80 000.

Boora (33), who was a chairman of a housing cooperative, was convicted of six counts of fraud after a fully contested trial.Boora misrepresented to the complainants that his housing cooperative called Mukushi had been given permission by the ministry to sell stands in Pomona on behalf of the ministry.

It was proved that the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing had never allocated any stands to any developer or any housing cooperative.Boora tricked the complainants by using stamps and other documents that were used by the ministry.

He had accessed the stamps and documents from the ministry during the time he was still its employee.Payments of the said stands were either made directly to Boora or transferred to Mukushi Housing Cooperative’s POSB bank account.He was denying the charges but the State led by Ms Francesca Mukumbiri managed to prove its case.

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