By Ndatenda Njanike
THE police have confirmed the arrest of two men who forged signatures in 2019 to secure possession of land for their cooperative.
Livingstone Chikanga (56) and Eliah Hamandishe (55) have since appeared in court facing fraud charges.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of Livingstone Chikanga (56) and Eliah Hamandishe (55) of Caledonia, Harare on 19 October 2020,” police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests.
“The suspects were arrested following the discovery that they used fake documents and forged signatures in 2019 to secure possession of land for their cooperative.
In court, the two men were granted bail.
Meanwhile, the police have also confirmed the arrest of a Harare City Council town planner, Priscilla Charumbira (53) Tuesday for criminal abuse of office charges.
“The suspect unprocedurally approved a subdivision of land which had been set aside for other purposes, without the authority of the Minister of Local Government. The matter came to light following a tip-off which was received by the police and prompted investigations into the matter. The suspect will appear in court soon,” the police said in a statement.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police will leave no stone unturned in its quest to account all people involved in illegal land allocation and other criminal activities.”
There has been an increase in the arrests of land barons and senior council officials in recent months, especially in Harare. Some of the arrested officials include former Harare mayor Herbert Gomba, town clerk Hosiah Chisango and housing director Edmore Nhekairo.
The government is set to conduct lifestyle audits for Harare City Council officials, amid indications that some of them might have amassed wealth through the sale of State land, Harare provincial development coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti said this week.
“It is sad that council officials have been facilitating the illegal sale of State land,” he said after meeting Harare City Council officials.
“As Government, we want to know those who have been allocated stands since 2014. There will be lifestyle audits for people who amassed a lot of wealth through land sales. There will also be a lifestyle audit for all council employees.”