HomeLocal NewsMan steals farm title deeds

Man steals farm title deeds

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A 67-year-old Chinhoyi farmer Sandy Watson McLeod was arrested last week on allegations of fraudulently acquiring title deeds to a deceased relative’s farm valued at $1,2 million.

McLeod is also alleged to have used the title deeds of that property, Umzari Agricultural Lot 1 in Lomagundi, to obtain a loan of $30 000 from Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ).

It is alleged in 2009, McLeod removed the original title deeds of the late Herbert Thompson from the Deeds Office and allegedly replaced them with a fictitious one bearing his name and claimed he was the only surviving family member to the estate.

The matter came to light when McLeod’s cousin, Margaret Annie Pereira, a daughter to the late farm owner Herbert Thompson, approached her lawyer Kimberly Senior of Honey and Blackenburg intending to obtain the original title deeds to the property.

Pereira was told by the lawyers that the estate could only be processed if she approached Deeds Office where all the documents were kept and processed.

It is alleged that Pereira approached the Deeds Office in Harare where she discovered that her parents’ title deeds were missing and had been replaced by fraudulent ones bearing McLeod’s name.

Pereira reportedly went back to her lawyers and was referred to another lawyer identified in court papers as Chigwada who had processed McLeod’s papers.

Chigwada is said to have confirmed that the original title deeds to the property were taken by McLeod and surrendered to the bank where he acquired a loan.

Pereira then made a police report leading to McLeod’s arrest.

McLeod was not asked to plead when he appeared before provincial magistrate Shane Kubonera on Thursday.

He was remanded out of custody to June 23 and was ordered to surrender his passport and to report once a week every Monday at Chinhoyi Police Station.

Prosecutor Vernancia Mtake appeared for the State.

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