By Harriet Chikandiwa/Elinera Manyonga
A 77-YEAR-OLD Harare grandpa has been arrested on charges of fleecing homeseekers of US$11 340 and $34 510 in a land scam.
Oswell Nduma Gwanzura appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti, who remanded him out of custody to November 19.
It is alleged that in September 2013, in a bid to fleece desperate homeseekers, Gwanzura and his co-accused, who are still at large, formed Goromonzi Housing Co-operative Consortium.
The consortium encompassed Solomon Mujuru, Shingirirai, Vaduku Forum, Civil Servants Housing and Devine Housing co-operatives chaired by Gwanzura, Joicy Chirodza, Charles Humboto, Nelson Mandizvidza and Edward Muzeza, respectively.
During the same year, Gwanzura and his accomplices allegedly started inviting homeseekers to join their co-operative upon payment of US$200 joining fee and US$25 monthly subscription in cash or transfers into Solomon Mujuru Co-operative’s ZB bank account.
In 2013, the accused persons registered their housing co-operative with the Small and Medium Enterprises ministry and applied to the Local Government ministry for a piece of land in Solomio, Ruwa, which was approved.
The complainants applied for the co-operative stands and paid deposits and purchase prices towards two stands of various sizes.
It is alleged that in 2015, an order was then granted by the High Court to the effect that ZB Bank and Landela Safari were the legal owners of the property.
Regardless of the eviction orders, it is alleged that Gwanzura went on to illegally occupy the open land and subdivided it into residential stands which they allocated to other members of their co-operatives.
Gwanzura was allegedly misrepresenting to other members that the Local Government ministry had already transferred the land into their name.
As a result of such misrepresentation, complainants suffered a total prejudice of US$11 340 and $34 5100 and nothing was recovered.
The State was represented by Sebastian Mutizirwa and Simba Katsuwa is representing the accused.