Blow for Zacc as prominent Norton land developer wins case

A HARARE magistrate yesterday described allegations that Norton land developer Cuthbert Mupame illegally parcelled out agricultural land to prospective homeseekers at Kingsdale Farm as baseless.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Mupame was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) last month on allegations of parcelling out agricultural land without government approval.

He was being charged with contravening the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act and fraud when he appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.

In her ruling to Mupame’s application for refusal of remand, Mugwagwa said the allegations were baseless as the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) had already ruled in his favour.

Mugwagwa said the ConCourt ruled that Mupame owned the land after producing an agreement of sale between him and former owner Nicholus Nel that was also validated.

“The State failed to proffer reasonable suspicion that the accused acted fraudulently in selling the same land. As the Constitutional Court ruled in his favour, the accused was free to do what he wishes with the land,” the magistrate said.

Mugwagwa’s ruling is a blow to Zacc, which had arrested Mupame despite having been provided with the documents of the ConCourt outcome over the same matter.

Mupame has since filed a $100 000 lawsuit against Zacc commissioner Goodson Nguni and one Masiye for unlawful arrest and detention.

In his lawsuit, Mupame’ s lawyer Admire Rubaya submitted that the arrest and detention were actuated by malice, as the investigation officers found out there was no reasonable suspicion that he committed the offence.

Rubaya described Mupame’s arrest as culpable negligence, abuse of positions for self-gratification and also a bid to please political vultures.


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