Police in Harare have arrested eight people for parcelling out land that did not belong to them in addition to selling non-existent stands as the Government cracks down on land barons.
Four people claiming to be linked to housing cooperatives were arrested in Harare and Chitungwiza for fraudulently selling stands which they did not own and duping their unsuspecting clients of a combined US$3 700 and $18 765.
Another four were arrested for illegally pegging residential stands they do not own in Waterfalls.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: "The Zimbabwe Republic Police has intensified efforts to ensure that all land barons who are illegally parcelling out land to members of the public are brought to book."
Givemore Chikuwamba (46) and Phillip Mwanawasauka (48) of Parklege Housing Cooperative were arrested for allegedly duping prospective housing stand owners of $18 765.
Bonface Manyonganise (54) was arrested in Chitungwiza for allegedly defrauding a complainant of US$700 through fictitious stand offers in Nyatsime area, under the name of Yemurai Housing Cooperative.
Moffat Sizizane (48) was arrested in Kuwadzana 5 for allegedly receiving US$3 000 in fake housing stands deals through Vanhuvatema Housing Cooperative.
His suspected accomplices, Pedzisai Chibondo and Alista Kurumbi, are on the run.
Police also arrested Precious Maphosa (60), Silvester Mamova Taurai (38), Simukai Matangira (40) and Kundishora Nyaruwabvu (33) for illegally pegging residential stands and cultivating on stand number 1915 Eyecourt Township, Waterfalls, Harare.
"The Zimbabwe Republic Police assures members of the public that the law will certainly take its course on anyone who is involved in criminal acts of pegging, parcelling out land and offering it to people fraudulently," said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He advised members of the public to approach relevant local authority offices, Government departments and institutions to acquire land through the correct channels.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the police operation, which is aimed at "bringing to book all criminals, will continue until there is sanity in the acquisition and allocation of land through the relevant authorities".
The arrests come at a time when the Government has declared zero tolerance to illegal land sales and gone further to institute land commissions to get to the bottom of the matter.