Land baron in court over botched deal

Source: Land baron in court over botched deal | Herald (Africa)

Prosper Dembedza
Court Correspondent
A 42-year-old Harare man yesterday appeared in court on allegations of defrauding an unsuspecting home-seeker of US$18 500 in a botched stand deal.

Kelvin Marimo was facing fraud charges when he appeared before Harare magistrate Sheunesu Matova.

He was freed on $25 000 bail and ordered to report twice a week at the nearest police and not to interfere with witnesses. The matter was deferred to January 20, 2021.

The court heard that on 14 September 2020, the complainant posted a message in a WhatsApp group named ‘Car Deals’ asking if there was anyone selling stands around Ashdown Park area. On the same date and at around 4:49pm, Marimo sent a message to the complainant’s inbox claiming that he had two stands in Ashdown Park which he was selling.

It is said the complainant asked Marimo if they could exchange the stand for a car and he agreed. He complainant further asked Marimo to go with him on the ground so that he could view the two stands in order for him to make a choice.

Prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa told the court that Marimo made an arrangement for the complainant to meet his younger brother, identified as Kudzi.

The two met on September 15, 2020 at a stand site in Ashdown Park. Kudzi showed the complainant two stands among them stand number 17783, measuring 459 square metres. The court heard that the complainant agreed to pay for stand number 17783 and they agreed on a price of US$18, 500.

The complainant offered his two vehicles, a Toyota Quantum kombi and one Honda Airwave which he had just imported and was still to be registered.

The two agreed that the two vehicles had a value of US$16 500 and complainant had to top up the difference of US$2 000.

It is alleged that on September 17, complainant gave Marimo the two vehicles which were registered in his name on customs clearance certificates.

Accused one and two entered into an agreement of sale with the complainant.

It is the State’s case that after about a week, complainant decided to put a structure at his new stand but he was prohibited from doing so by the security guards in the area who informed him that accused one and two had no stands in Ashdown Park.

One caretaker showed complainant a copy of a High Court Order number HC 9355/19 issued on 05 August 2020 prohibiting accused one and two among other respondents, from having anything to do with the land. It then emerged that the accused persons sold the stand knowing very well that they were not the owners of the stand.

The complainant made queries with Marimo on the new developments and he told him to phone one Themba Dzamwarira who advised that they could not assist and instead, referred him back to Marimo.

The complainant discovered that he had been defrauded and made a report to police leading to Marimo’s arrest.

Total prejudice suffered was US$18 500 and nothing was recovered.