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Fake title deeds flood market

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The Registrar of Deeds and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has warned members of the public of an upsurge in the circulation of fake title deeds and tax clearance certificates in the country.

A title deed is a legal document which is used to prove ownership of a piece of property.

Speaking at the Real Estate Institute of Zimbabwe workshop in Harare last week, assistant Registrar of Deeds, Absolom Magwere, said potential buyers should be cautious when buying property by verifying the authenticity of the sales and the documents involved before making any transactions.

He said the Deeds Office apart from fake title deeds, had also noted the use of fake identity documents that was leading to members of the public losing their monies.

“We believe the fake IDs are coming from the Registrar-General’s Office and we are trying to see how best this can be dealt with,” said Magwere.
Zimra officer Jairos Chiwara said there was an increase in circulation of fake tax clearance certificates and this was a cause for concern for the government.

Chiwara said there was need to for stakeholders to assist each in order to reduce fraudulent activities in the property sector.

The Real Estate Institute of Zimbabwe vice-president Mhlanguli Mpofu said there was need to capitalise the real estate institute so that it could be able to work with the Registrar-Generals Office, and the Registrar of Deeds to reduce the circulation of fake title deeds.

“We can assist the Registrar-Generals office, but this will involve us going to every province to conduct awareness campaigns,” said Mpofu.
Participants at the event said there was need to create a database so that issues affecting the sector could be dealt with holistically, especially issues to do with valuation of property, given lack of information.

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