A FORMER top official in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has been arrested on allegations of criminal abuse of office after facilitating the sale of a Borrowdale residential stand in Harare to a minor for just US$65.
The ex-chief estates’ officer in the Local Government Ministry — Rejoice Pazvakavambwa (46) of 5 Tungsgate Road, Mt Pleasant, Harare — was hauled before the Harare magistrates court facing charges of contravening Section 174 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9: 23 or criminal abuse of office by a public officer. She was denied bail and placed in remand prison until November 20, 2020.
Allegations against Pazvakavambwa are that in 2008, she connived with one Taruvinga Hamura to allocate stand number 300 Carrick Creagh, in Borrowdale, Harare to the minor who was aged eight at the time.
The residential stand measures over one hectare in size.
In his affidavit, investigating officer Inspector Gilbert Manyore stated that the minor who is Hamura’s daughter had no contractual right to possess land title. Court documents say, “Taruvinga Hamura paid US$65 to the State for the said property after valuation instead of the actual value of the stand which is US$24 384 according to a memorandum from the valuation and estates management development referenced UL/162/12 dated 5/03/09.”
Independent realtors told The Sunday Mail yesterday that at prevailing market prices, 1,2 hectares of land in Carrick Creagh can fetch over US$2 million.
The Borrowdale land belongs to the State and was developed by Arosume Property Developers in partnership with Sally Mugabe Housing Cooperative in terms of a tripartite agreement with the Ministry of Local Government dated 7 June 2007.
“The accused (Pazvakavambwa) facilitated the issuance of title deeds for the said property to Taruvinga Hamura after having given the same power of attorney despite the fact that he had no letter of declaration from the land developer Arosume Property Development.
“Hamura did not pay any developmental costs to the developer as required and in the tripartite agreement signed between the land developer (Arusome), Sally Mugabe Housing Co-operative and the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works as well as the allocation letter from the ministry dated 12 December 2008.”