Ex-magistrate in dock for fraud

Former Harare magistrate Memory Chigwaza and her two alleged accomplices appeared in court yesterday facing charges of defrauding homeseekers of $155 000 after selling them non-existent residential stands.


Chigwaza (48), Everson Luni (38) and Davison Zvomarima (65) appeared before magistrate Elijah Singano, who remanded them to today for bail ruling.

Allegations are that the trio and one Michael Kawanzururwa, who is still at large, put an advertisement in a local newspaper offering residential stands under Maizview Projects at Strathaven, selling at $25 a square metre.

Zvomarima allegedly obtained a fake identity card document in the name of Gabriel Kabanda and purported to be a director of Topmark Stationers (Pvt) Ltd using a fake CR14 document.

Luni and Kawanzururwa allegedly hired agents and showed them stands for sale in Strathaven and were armed with fake title deeds.

It is the State’s case that on September 27 this year, Sonboy Mapanzure responded to the advertisement and proceeded to Maizview offices in Eastlea and transferred $25 000 into the bogus company’s CBZ Bank account.

Thereafter, he was referred to Chigwaza’s offices at Chikore and Chigwaza Law Chambers where an agreement of sale was prepared by the accused who never bothered to take any due diligence to the authenticity of the title deeds.

It is alleged Zvomarima presented himself as Kabanda.

The State alleges another complainant, Benjamin Manungo, responded to the same advertisement in the newspaper and paid $40 000. The complainant, on October 3, paid another $5 000 and an agreement of sale was again prepared by Chigwaza.

It is further alleged that on October 4, this year, Peter Manyoni responded to the advert and paid $55 000 into Maizview Projects’ bank account. Chigwaza again allegedly prepared an agreement of sale.

On October 5, Jacob Kasumba paid $25 000 and nothing was recovered.

The State alleges the accused persons received the monies and entered agreements of sale with the complainants, well knowing that the title deeds were fake and that the property would never be transferred to the complainants’ names.

They also allegedly knew that Topmark Stationers was owned by Abel Zhuwao and Rumbidzai Mapfumo and not Kabanda. Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.

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