via State lines up 322 witnesses in Mabamba fraud trial – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 8, 2015
A RECORD 322 State witnesses have been lined up to testify in the $8 million fraud trial of former Zanu PF Chitungwiza councillor, Frederick Mabamba, which starts in February next year.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Mabamba was expelled from council last year after it emerged that he had allegedly defrauded hundreds of desperate homeseekers of their cash, after selling them residential stands at illegal sites.
Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira told the court of the development yesterday when Mabamba appeared before Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo on routine remand.
“We seek that the accused be remanded to February 12, 2016, when we shall provide him with his trial date. The delays have been caused by the large number of witnesses from whom the police needed to record statements,” she said.
“We will also take the opportunity to consolidate his dockets, as he is appearing on two different dockets at the moment. The combined cases have a value of $7,8 million.”
Mabamba, who is represented by Rekai Maposa, first appeared in court in September this year, after some of the people he had allegedly sold land to for an average of $2 000 a stand, discovered that he did not own the land, but it was State property.
Mabamba was granted $3 000 bail coupled with conditions that included surrendering his passport to the clerk of court, not to interfere with witnesses and to report each Friday at CID Serious Frauds Squad in Harare.
It is the State’s case that Mabamba and one Agnes Nhidza, who is still at large, formed a housing cooperative that identified several pieces of vacant land in Chitungwiza.
It is further alleged that the duo went on to allocate residential stands to 3 894 members of the cooperative at $2 000 each.
About 60 of the stands in St Mary’s were at a site reserved for a cemetery, while 2 500 others are in Units N, O and P of Seke.
The State further says the scam was exposed by Conrad Muchesa, a senior employee at Chitungwiza council, leading to Mabamba’s arrest.