HomeNewsGweru man in US$300 000 stands scam

Gweru man in US$300 000 stands scam

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BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

A 70-YEAR-OLD Gweru man appeared in court yesterday on charges of defrauding property developer, River Valley Properties of 12 residential stands worth US$300 000.

Mugeza Hove of Hertfordshire Farm in Gweru was arraigned before magistrate Miriam Banda facing theft charges.

He was remanded out of custody on free bail to December 1.

Prosecutor Chipo Matshe told the court that on an unknown date, River Valley was allocated 1 604 stands at Hertfordshire Phase 2A to develop houses.

Between July 2010 and April 2014, respectively, the then Ministry of Local Government and Public Works gave two offer letters to River Valley, which confirmed ownership of the stands by the property developer.

The farm was lawfully gazetted and servicing of stands was granted to River Valley Properties, which proceeded and sold stands to over
2 000 beneficiaries.

The court heard that Hove then contested the acquisition of the land and lost the court case, but clandestinely proceeded to allocate over 12 residential stands to unsuspecting people before pocketing the money.

The matter came to light when some of the people who were duped by Hove approached River Valley Properties to verify if their stands were genuine.

It was discovered that they had been conned by Hove and a report was made to the police, leading to his arrest.

The value of the stands is
US$341 318 and nothing was recovered.

Meanwhile, River Valley Properties has been granted an interim order to stop Hove from parcelling out stands at Herfordshire using fraudulently acquired maps and site plans.

It is alleged Hove has been using stolen site plans to allocate residential stands to unsuspecting homeseekers in Hertfordshire despite having lost the case against the acquisition of his farm.

Last month, Hove through his lawyer, Thomas Militao tried to evict residents of Hertfordshire using an invalid writ, but was stopped by High Court judge Justice Foroma, who ruled that River Valley was the rightful owner of the
property.

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