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Zanu PF land baron Mabamba has been arrested six times since 2015 without any conviction

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |

A Zanu PF linked Chitungwiza land baron Fredrick Mabamba of United Westand Housing Cooperative who was arrested by the anti-corruption hawks this week, has been apprehended six times since 2015 without any conviction, Nehanda Radio can reveal.

Businessman and former Chitungwiza Ward 25 councillor Fredrick Mabamba
Land baron and former Chitungwiza Ward 25 councillor Fredrick Mabamba

On Tuesday, the former Chitungwiza Ward 25 councillor Mabamba was arrested on allegations related to illegal parcelling out of residential stands all over Chitungwiza.

But this is not the first time the former ruling party councillor has been arrested following his apprehension in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021 over illegal parcelling of land.

Mabamba who has been untouchable, allegedly getting protection from the late former president Robert Mugabe reportedly acquired most of the land during his tenure as Chitungwiza deputy mayor in the early 2000s.

In September 2015, the businessman and former Chitungwiza Ward 25 councillor was arrested for allegedly selling State and council land to home-seekers. He was arrested after more than 50 land barons had appeared in court over allegations of selling State and council land in Harare.

In that case, it is reported that one of the victims, a Chitungwiza woman (name withheld) who was duped of eight residential stands worth over US$34 000, reported the case to police, leading to Mabamba’s arrest.

In May 2014, the then Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo dismissed Mabamba from council after he was convicted of gross mismanagement of council affairs by a disciplinary tribunal.

Mabamba’s dismissal was recommended by a board of enquiry in terms of Section 114 (i) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15).

In December 2015 again, a record of 322 State witnesses were lined up to testify in the US$8 million fraud trial of former councillor, Mabamba, which was to start in February 2016.

On 23 January 2016, Mabamba faced arrest for allegedly selling State land meant for a school to more than 120 home-seekers in Chitungwiza.

The home seekers alleged that Mabamba pocketed more than US$500 000, although he did not pay for the land in question and now Chitungwiza Municipality was demanding US$1 500 from residents to regularise their stay.

In April 2018, Mabamba appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate Oliver Mudzongachiso facing two counts of fraud involving close to US$19 000 after he allegedly duped some home seekers.

On the other count, he is jointly charged with Gabriel Maphosa (46) over illegal parcelling of land.

In January 2020, Mabamba was picked up by officers from Zacc on charges of illicit land deals.

Meanwhile, Mabamba is expected to make his initial appearance at the Magistrate’s Court.