BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A HARARE man, who forged the signature of Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka on a fake offer letter and duped an unsuspecting farm seeker of US$2 000, was slapped with a two-year jail term yesterday.
Bright Murandamaoko (45) pleaded guilty when he appeared before Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga.
The State proved that sometime in June this year, the complainant, Rudolf Jingo, was introduced to Murandamaoko by a neighbour, Ernest Muchenya.
Murandamaoko lied to Jingo that he was an official from the Lands ministry and that he could facilitate the allocation of a piece of land for his brother Epthon Jingo for a fee.
The complainant applied for land on behalf of his brother and Murandamaoko demanded US$2 000 which Jingo paid in instalments of US$500.
Murandamaoko originated a document with a fake government logo and forged Masuka’s signature. On August 19, upon receipt of the fake offer letter, Jingo approached National Land Inspectorate offices for verification.
A trap was set after Murandamaoko called Jingo to demand a balance of US$500.
When the police arrested Murandamaoko, they recovered date stamps, for Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West provinces.
Also recovered were two date stamps for the Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement ministry headquarters.
Of the US$1 500, US$1 260 was recovered.