By Shamiso Dzingire
Former first lady Grace Mugabe’s sister, Shuvai Gumbochuma, who is facing allegations of fraudulently selling State land before paying for it, was yesterday remanded to January 8.
Gumbochuma, who has been on remand since September, appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa without her lawyer Lovemore Madhuku.
Prosecutor Shepherd Makonde advised the court Madhuku was engaged at the ongoing Commission of Inquiry and that the remand date was by consent with the defence counsel.
It is the State’s case that sometime in August 2014, stands number 139 and 140 Gillingham Estate in Dzivaresekwa were available for sale to deserving and capable developers who could subdivide them into high-density residential stands.
Gumbochuma misrepresented to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that she had the capacity to develop the land.
On March 27, 2015, she was offered the land and was asked to pay $424 426 to the ministry.
Gumbochuma, the State alleges, who had neither the capacity to pay the intrinsic land value nor to develop it then formed and registered a company called Scanlen (Pvt) Ltd as a vehicle to effect her fraudulent transaction.
Between August and October 2017, Gumbochuma sold the land to N-Frasys for $2 060 000-00 without paying for the land. She made a profit of $1 636 574 without doing anything.
N-Frasys then paid the intrinsic land value to the ministry and paid the balance to Gumbochuma, the court heard.
According to the State, the conduct of Gumbochuma was prejudicial to the good administration of the ministry as Gumbochuma profiteered from State land thereby distorting the market value of the land from a mere $424 426 to an inflated value of $2 060 000 without making any developments.
On the second charge, it is alleged that in February 2016, Gumbochuma misrepresented that Rodonior (Pvt) Ltd was a registered company capable of contracting as a legal persona.
As such, she made an application for land under the unregistered company and the ministry acting upon the misrepresentation allocated 150 hectares of land in Good Hope to Rodonior (Pvt) Ltd.
On the third charge in August of the same year, Gumbochuma again used the same company and made an application for allocation of land in Chishawasha B Goromonzi.
A few days later, the ministry acting upon the misrepresentation allocated 20 hectares of land to Gumbochuma, it is alleged. Checks made with the registrar of deeds and companies confirmed that Rodonior Pvt Ltd was not registered. Daily News/The Herald