Council officials face US$765k fraud

39

THREE City of Harare officials who allegedly illegally sold residential stands worth US$765 000 to people in Kuwadzana appeared in court yesterday.
Believer Mupawaenda, 46, Rudo Chigocha, 45, and Margaret George, 31, were released on
$1 000 bail each when they appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa charged with fraud.
As part of bail conditions they were ordered to continue residing at their present addresses, report twice a week at CID Commercial Crimes Division and not interfere with witnesses. The matter was remanded to March 3.
The complainant is City of Harare represented by Belinda Kubvoruno, the manager of investigations.
Mupawaenda and Chigocha are attached to the department of Housing and Community Services, while George is based at Harare Water.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that between 2017 and 2018 the trio connived and hatched a plan to defraud Harare City and identified land in Kuwadzana.
The court heard that they created a fictitious payment scheme and originated fake layout plans before they fraudulently connected water to enable them to sell residential stands.
They reportedly managed to sell 150 stands in Kuwadzana without approval from Harare City and to their individual benefit.
In a bid to conceal the offence, Mupawaenda and his team allegedly manufactured fraudulent provisional allocation letters and files for each of the residential stands.
The files were recovered in Chigocha’s possession and it was established that cancelled stand numbers were used to illegally allocate the land without proper documentation or approval from Harare City.
The offence was unearthed following a tip-off, leading to the trio’s arrest on January 27.
The State alleges that Harare was prejudiced US$765 000 and nothing was recovered.

Comments are closed.