Zimbabwe: Council Quartet Remanded Over Land Scam

FOUR Harare City Council employees who are facing charges of fraudulently allocating 150 residential stands in Kuwadzana high-density suburb were yesterday denied bail.

Harare Magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna denied principal housing officer Edgar Dzehonye, his workmates Tineyi Kureva, Samantha Bobosibunu Maserere and Wellington Tauya bail on the basis that they were likely to abscond if set free.

The quartet is facing fraud with an alternative criminal abuse of office charges.

They were not asked to plead to the charges when they initially appeared in court.

They were remanded in custody to July 22 for routine remand.

The State alleges that between 2018 and 2019, the four city employees connived with other council officials including Matthew Marara, Tapiwa Gona, Believer Mupawaenda, Margaret Sarudzai George and Rudo Chigocha, who are already on remand, to defraud the council.

They allegedly identified open spaces in Kuwadzana 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Further allegations are that they connived with other employees in the survey department and drew layout plans and allocated them stand numbers.

The court heard that they created fictitious paying schemes before fraudulently connecting water and creating sundry accounts for the purpose of selling the stands to home seekers.

The State said this was not consistent with their duties.

It is said they sold a total of 150 stands in Kuwadzana without council approval.

Further allegations are that the stands were disposed of through an estate agency, which received the money and deposited it into Gona's bank account, who in turn allegedly transferred it to his alleged accomplices' accounts.

Council allegedly lost US$$1 141 779 in the process.

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