Grace Mugabe’s sister arrested for selling state land

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER First Lady Grace Mugabe’s sister Shuvayi Gumbochuma was Friday arrested and dragged to court for fraudulently processing the sale of State land three times before paying for it.

She appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Elisha Singano who released her on $500 bail coupled with some stringent reporting conditions.

The suspected land baron was ordered to report twice a week at Concession Police.

She will be back in court on October 23.

Prosecuting, Michael Reza alleged that sometime in August 2014, stand numbers 139 and 140 Gillingham Estate; Dzivarasekwa was available for sale to land developers who had the capacity to develop it into high density residential stands.

The court heard that Gumbochuma then made an application which was granted by the Local Government Ministry and was offered the land on March 27, 2015.

It was further alleged that Gumbochuma received an offer letter and was required to pay $424 426 to the ministry.

However, she did not have the capacity to pay the amount nor develop the land and created a company called Scanlen (Pvt) Ltd as an alleged means to further her fraudulent intentions.

Between August and October 2017, Gumbochuma then sold the land to N-Frays for $2 060 000 without paying for the land with the ministry.

It is alleged that N-Frays then paid the intrinsic land value to the ministry and gave the balance to Gumbochuma.

According to the State, Gumbochuma erred by distorting the value of State land from $424 426 to an inflated value of $2 060 000.

Using the same modus operandi, Gumbochuma misrepresented that Rodonior (Pvt) Ltd was a registered company knowing that it was not.

She reportedly applied for land under that company and was allocated 150 hectares in Good Hope.

Checks that were later made with the Registrar of Companies unearthed that Rodonior was not registered.

Using the same company, Gumbochuma also applied for land in Chishawasha B in Goromonzi and was granted the request on August 4, 2016.

She was allocated 20 hectares of land but the offer was later withdrawn on September 15, 2016 after it was established that she had used unregistered companies to apply for the land.