May 14, 2021

Land Developer Dupes Home Seekers of US$160 000

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ZTN Correspondent

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested a land developing company for duping 120 land seekers of more than US$ 160 000 by developing two pieces of stateland in Zvishavane and Shurugwi without approved engineering designs by the respective local authorities.

The accused company is RM Construction Private Limited, a land developing company being
represented by one of its two directors, Martin Willie Muzeza (40) of Bulawayo, who has since
appeared in court.

It is alleged that during the period between 17 August 2011 and 2015, RM Construction Private
Limited was allocated 1 200 stands to service at Mabhula Phase 2, Zvishavane and another 1 000 stands at Magakooshla, Shurugwi by the office of the former Midlands Province Governor, Jason Machaya.

RM Construction embarked on the two projects by opening up roads and excavating water trenches at the Mabhula project, and opening up roads and laying water pipes at the Magakooshla project, without approved engineering designs by the respective local authorities as per requirement. That was for the purpose of luring home-seekers to come and buy residential stands.

From 2014 to 2016, 120 home-seekers got lured and bought stands after being assured that the
work the company was doing was above board and that they would be allowed to start constructing their houses immediately after paying for the stands.

When the complainants started raising concerns due to lack of progress at the two projects seven years on, with some demanding their money back, the company closed its Gweru offices without notifying the complainants and became evasive.

In the other charges, RM Construction is accused of embarking on the project by opening up roads and laying water reticulation pipes for both the Shurugwi and Zvishavane projects before it was issued with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Licence by the Environmental Management Agency as per requirement.

The case was remanded to 11 June 2021 without bail conditions, when one of the directors, Muzeza appeared before Gweru magistrate Edwin Marecha at the Gweru Magistrates Court.

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