Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Former Zimbabwean journalist and wife exposed as council home cheats in BBC TV show

By Jessica Labhart | Express and Star |

A professional couple who lied about being homeless to get a council house while living a lavish lifestyle have been exposed on TV. Mkhululi Mpofu (originally a journalist in Zimbabwe) and his wife Vanessa featured on BBC One’s Council House Crackdown programme on Monday.

Mkhululi Mpofu and his wife Vanessa in 2013
Mkhululi Mpofu and his wife Vanessa in 2013

The fraudsters lied about their circumstances to secure a property in the sought-after area of Fordhouses in Wolverhampton.

According to the programme, the couple had told housing officers they were homeless, and sleeping on friend’s sofas with their young family.

But they were leading a lavish lifestyle, posting photographs on social media that showed them sipping Champagne abroad and driving expensive cars.

They had been put on a high-priority list – usually reserved for applicants in the most desperate need of help – after saying they had no bedroom of their own.

They provided bank statements and wage slips to Wolverhampton Homes, which suggested there was ‘nothing untoward’ going on, and beat more than 230 other applicants to get the two-bedroom property.

The house in question that was featured on the programme.

However, 18 months later, investigations by officers at Wolverhampton Homes and the city council found that the couple, who were both working at the time, already had a social housing tenancy in Walsall.

During the investigation, the couple’s documents were found to be false, and they had knowingly not included their Walsall address on their list of previous addresses.

Speaking on the programme, Elaine Morgan, of the fraud investigation team at Wolverhampton Homes, said: “It is sickening, it just reinforces what we always say, ‘there is no such thing as a typical fraudster’.

“A lot of our applicants are very desperate for a home, and the situation with housing in the UK at the moment means it’s not very easy for people to get onto the property ladder anymore. The demand for social housing is very great.”

Louise Humphries who works in the same team, added: “We deal with so many people who are desperate for housing and have no other means of getting housing either by buying or renting privately because it’s just not affordable for them.” 

Demand for housing in the West Midlands is at an all-time high, and fraudulent tenancy claims can have a devastating effect.

Mkhululi Mpofu and his wife Vanessa

Elaine added: “Social housing is designed for people in need, it’s not just something that should be available for people to come along and say ‘I want that house, I fancy living there’.

“It should be for the people that genuinely need it. Looking at their photos makes me feel a great sense of satisfaction knowing that we won’t tolerate anyone committing housing fraud and will take action against them.”

The couple, who lived at Minehead Road, Fordhouses, pleaded guilty to tenancy fraud at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court on November 12, 2013.

Mr Mpofu, a former journalist in his native Zimbabwe, was sentenced to a 12- month community order and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work.

His wife, who worked for the NHS, was given a three-month community order. Both were ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60 and costs of £320. They were then evicted.

Darren Baggs, assistant director of housing at Wolverhampton Homes said: “Tenancy fraud is illegal; it’s not fair on others and is something that we take very seriously.”

  • Your take on this Muzie Brian Moyo since it’s always Shona’s 🤔🤔

    • It’s the woman’s influence, you can’t tell a white woman shit! I know!!

    • Smh can’t take you serious now

    • 😂😂😂 Bree Dube your take?

    • I’ve been watching the series for a minute now on BBC. In this particular instance I’m going to have to agree with Muzie Brian Moyo.
      Applying for a 2nd house in a different council is a typical mlungu thing to do that I have seen a lot of. Especially down here in the South East.

    • Bree Dube stop making excuses lol it’s a typical birds eye view zim peeps see. The only play she influenced was probably him staying out of jail & getting community service. Had it been a zim couple probably jailed & deported😂

  • Haàa bro thats lunatic

  • Once again, Zimbabweans behaving badly!

  • Vakawanda maZimbo anozviita.

  • Mandex ndozvaari

    • Msunu kanyoko

    • Asi uri mundex .Mandex huruwek nenkunzi ndikubasa bob ndiye akadero

    • Rashidi Alfonso but you people are busy raping 9 year olds. Your women are even being paid by kids to babysit for them while they sell sex for money. Can we now say that is how Shona people are? You sleep with minors and the Shona community smiles? Don’t do this. It’s a game of numbers and there is no way you will win it. Just accept that there are bad people on both sides

    • Am just quoting the president who said ndex specialise in nkunzi and huruwek

    • Ndebele or shona we jus one people ..stop being stereotypical and tribalist too

  • They are not even based in the UK people !!!

    • They were but he served community service & move out of UK after.

  • Ma Hanana your people. 😂

    • Haha yeah but your brothers are busy sleeping with 9 year olds deep in mashonaland and recently, one of yours tried to scam the UK government by lying that her family had been affected by the Grenfell tower incident. I think I will pick mine any day and we can do this all day😂😂🤗

    • You are deflecting and you know it. Just take the hit and wait for your turn next time. 😂😂😂😂😂😂

    • But fo sure has it escalated to such level of ignorance ‘ who knows the tribe of those who raped the kid. Cause in Zim we have 15 official tribes.

    • Gordon E Changata dude! This issue is so old but both of yours are very new. You made it about tribe and I just responded appropriately

    • Knowledge Knox Matope let’s be reasonable. What are the chances that rapists moved from Bulawayo to go and rape little girls deep in Mashonaland? Okusalayo yikuthi most of them are Shona, even the women who babysat while the kids were raped are Shona. The whole fucking community just looked and did nothing while kids were being abused and you people want to be telling me about ‘my people’ let’s talk about all people then🤗

    • You wouldn’t know irony even if it hit you in the face would you?

    • Gordon E Changata oh I totally got it but nope, I won’t concede😂

    • Ma Hanana you say that in this age we’re living in.

    • Knowledge Knox Matope with confidence

    • Amen

  • Ak

    Hee whites are superior vachinyepa so


  • Kanzuru dzekutasva

    Asi kumwe havawanzopa imba kana une mukadzi , varumwe vasina kuroora chete ndovanodiwa , kuitira vagozo gogodza pamusuwo pako when ever they wish , vakadzi vakaroorwa , council tax part 2 , or else unonzi buda.

    Outside England and wales kunyanya. 70% yevarume vechitema havana kuroora….vanotambwa. Neither are financially better off.