Grain Marketing Board (GMB) non-executive board member, Basilio Sandamu yesterday appeared in court facing charges of swindling the parastatal of $1 040 000 and a potential $2,5 million in a botched land deal.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Sandamu (64) pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Harare magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini, who remanded him to October 16 on $500 bail.
Sandamu is the third GMB official to be brought to court after one Korbs Mutandiro and GMB pension fund chief executive Taona Munzvandi.
According to the State, sometime in the 1990s, the government embarked on a land reform programme involving the compulsory acquisition of land for redistribution.
The government acquired Romary Farm situated in Harare, measuring 197,37 hectares.
Following the acquisition, the State alleges on July 7, 2002, Mutandiro fraudulently acquired 51% shares in Romary Farm (Pvt) Ltd from the previous owner, David John Sheehan, for a purported value of ZW$5 million.
The State alleges on April 30, 2013, Mutandiro, acting in cahoots with Munzvandi and Sandamu, entered into a fraudulent agreement of sale for the said farm to GMB Pension Fund for $2,5 million.
It is alleged while acting on the misrepresentation, GMB transferred $1 040 000 into Organs Resources bank account.
When Mutandiro sold the farm, he allegedly knew it was State land acquired during the land reform programme.
As a result of the actions by Sandamu, Munzvandi and Mutandiro, GMB Pension Fund suffered a potential prejudice of $2,5 million and an actual prejudice of $1 040 000 and nothing was recovered.
Sabastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.