Developer loses US$2 million in land fraud

HARARE – A local company, Aberfoyle Farming has been dragged to court on allegations of duping a land developing company, Mikando Housing Development Trust of land valued US$2 million.

Aberfoyle Farming was represented by its director Tazviwana Chivaviro who appeared before magistrate Stanford Mambanje charged with fraud.

Chivaviro was remanded out of custody on free bail.

He was remanded to April 28.

The complainant is represented by Martha Mutamburi.

According to court papers, sometime during the year 2014, parties entered into an agreement in which Mikando was to develop and service Chivaviro’s 191,71 hectares of land at Lot 51 and Lot 52 of Kintyre Estates, Harare.

Mikando was to be given 24 stands as payment for services.

The complainant carried out land development which included preparation of layout plan, preparation of Topographical and Soil Surveys as well as preparation of a General Plan and Road Drawings.

“The complainant completed the task and was given the 24 residential stands by the accused but was not given the Deed since those stands were under one Parent Deed 9507/2002 which includes other complainant’s stands.

“The Parent Deed allegedly contains 105 residential stands,” reads court papers.

Sometime in 2017, Chivaviro allegedly took a loan of US$1,000,000 from a company called Icejay Investments Private Limited and surrendered Title Deed for Lot 51 and Lot 52 of Kintyre Estates, Harare which encompasses Mikando’s residential stands, as surety without the complainant’s knowledge.

“The accused person failed to pay back the loan and Icejay Investment Private Limited approached the Supreme Court for the attachment of the stands and the accused was ordered to transfer the land in the market value of US$1,500,000 to Icejay Investment Private Limited.”

In December last year, the complainant went to Zvimba Rural District Council intending to pay for a Certificate of Compliance in respect of the residential stands.

The state alleges she was advised to submit a Parent Deed for Lot 51 and Lot 52 of Kintyre Estates, Harare.

“On January 6 this year, the complainant went to the Registrar of Deeds where she discovered that the Deed which includes her residential stands had a caveat, prompting the complainant to report the matter to the police,” further reads court papers.

Mikando lost US$2 million and nothing was recovered.

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