Harare land baroness in court

By Harriet Chikandiwa

A 64-YEAR-OLD Harare woman has been hauled before the courts on charges of fleecing several homeseekers of US$10 000 in a land scam.

Joyce Chirowodza yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba, who remanded her to December 20 for possible trial.

It is alleged that sometime in 2001, the Lands ministry acquired a farm registered as Solomio in Goromonzi.

Chirowodza and other individuals formed a housing co-operative, which they named Shingiriro yeMadzimai and made an application for housing development to the ministry.

The court heard that the ministry approved their application and Chirowodza entered into a consortium with other co-operatives namely Solomon Mujuru, Shingirirai, Vaduku Forum, Civil Servants Housing and Totonga War Vet.

It is alleged that in 2014 a land developing company named Glorious Properties was appointed by the then Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to develop roads, sewer and water reticulation.

However the appointed company withdrew after violent clashes between company officials and residents.

It is alleged that the co-operative went on to allocate their members residential stands on the farm. However, the co-operative was told that the acquisition of the farm by the government was not done procedurally as it belonged to ZB Bank and Landela Safaris.

The State alleges that Chirowodza was formally advised to stop subdividing the farm and allocating stands as well as putting up structures on the farm until regulation was complete.

In a bid to fleece homeseekers Chirowodza allegedly disregarded the directive and continued sub-dividing the farm into residential stands.

As a result, the complainants suffered a prejudice of US$10 000.

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