A director of a housing development company has been arrested on two counts of defrauding prospective home-seekers since 2010 in and around Harare.
Nelson Mandizvidza of Manyame Park in Chitungwiza is the director of Low Income and Land Development (Pvt) Ltd, which deals in residential stands and land development.
CID spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chinho said between September 2010 and this month, Mandizvidza advertised in newspapers that he was selling stands in Eastview, Glaudina, Windsor Park, Chitungwiza and Southlea Park. The stands are on both public and private land.
"In the same month of September 2010, one of the complainants approached the accused enquiring about the stands and he was shown a 1 000 square metre stand in Eastview, which the complainant showed interest in.
"He was charged US$1 500 and the complainant was advised to pay a deposit of US$800 so that he could be allocated the alleged stand," she said.
When the complainant paid the deposit, he was told that the price had risen to US$3 000, and was now supposed to pay a deposit of US$1 500.
Police said the complainant decided not to continue with the deal, but was sweet-talked by Mandizvidza into opting for two stands measuring 500 square metres in Windsor Park and Glaudina.
Mandizvidza asked the complainant to pay a total deposit of US$1 900, with monthly instalments of US$60 for three years.
The complainant paid the required deposit but was not allocated the two stands. He contacted Mandizvidza on several occasions but allegedly nothing fruitful came out.
In another case which occurred sometime in June 2020, Mandizvidza allegedly swindled US$1 000 from another complainant for a purported 300sqm stand in Glaudina, Harare.
"The other complainant paid the deposit in instalments and when he had finished paying the deposit, he asked the accused person to allocate him his stand. The accused person became evasive prompting the complainant to report the matter to the police.
"On 21 August 2020, the police arrested the accused person at his place of residence and a receipt book was recovered from him," said Detective Insp Chinho.
She urged the public to exercise due diligence at all times when acquiring properties, and not to believe every advertisement they come across.