The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Mutodi Speaks On Arrest

TROUBLED businessman Energy Mutodi blames unscrupulous land owners for his failure to provide his clients residential stands. The businessman-cum-musician, the owner of Zim-Trust, was arrested on Thursday on allegations of swindling desperate homeseekers. Mutodi claimed that he had been duped by bogus land owners.

He said he had also failed to get land from several local authorities.

"It is also important that I mention the fact that Zim-Trust has been duped by some land owners especially co-operatives most of them led by former freedom fighters.

"The organisation has been robbed in excess of US$1 million by bogus land owners who collected deposits from us only to change their demands after receiving the money.

"Some of them have been ordered by the courts to reimburse us but they have failed to do so," he said.

Mutodi said his organisation had no contractual obligations to refund customers but to deliver them land.

"The prices for stands are being pushed upwards primarily as a result of land acquisition prices. It is those customers who have found the going tough who are now demanding refunds.

"Unfortunately, our rules and regulations do not permit refunds of clients who are in default," he said.

On Monday this week, civil servants besieged his office at NSSA House forcing the musician to close the company. Mutodi once faced arrest for allegedly swindling over 200 desperate home seekers.

The former geography teacher was accused of "stealing" from desperate home-seekers, most of whom are civil servants.

Mutodi has since denied the charges. Some of his customers reported him to the Commercial Crime Unit under initial report number IR120486.

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