A bogus Chitungwiza estate agency director who swindled seven prospective homeseekers of their hard-earned cash was this week sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.
The unsuspecting victims responded to an advertisement published in a local newspaper about residential stands for sale.
According to the state, Shingirirai Mapurazi (47), allegedly advertised in the local media in February 2008, selling stand number 20558 in Chitungwiza.
Prospective buyers visited Mapurazi’s offices at Maps Asset Management at Chikwanha shopping centre, where they signed agreement of sale forms.
The state said some of the victims who responded were Getrude Mawire, Maxwell Nyakatsari, Sifelani Mkandhla, Zivanai Mafuta, Stanely Maranga and Patience Manyere.
Mapurazi allegedly also offered for sale stand number 7455 in Zimre Park, but it later emerged that the property belonged to Enoch Magodo, who had never put it up for sale.
The state said when prospective buyers approached Mapurazi to change ownership after paying the full amount, he became evasive and cooked up stories, prompting the victims to suspect they had been duped.
The matter was reported to the police.
Investigations by the police revealed that stand number 20558 belonged to the Ministry of National Housing and could not be offered for sale since it was registered under Margaret Muchero.
The sentences for the seven counts were combined into three categories and Mapurazi was sentenced to 12 years, two of which were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
A further five years was suspended on condition Mapurazi paid restitution to the complainants amounting to $10 550 by November 30 this year.
Mapurazi will spend five years in jail.
Carol Kugarakuripi appeared for the state.