AN elderly Chigodora woman devised a get-rich-quick scheme by selling State land to eight people.
Idah Kaserera sub-divided and sold residential stands in Chitakatira peri-urban area of Mutare to eight land seekers for US$1 000 each.
She, however, did not leave space for a road in between the pegged stands.
As a result, she pocketed US$200 more from each land seeker as a road service fee after they had approached her over the issue of an access road to their stands.
All in all, the elderly woman pocketed $9 600 from the land seekers.
The matter was revealed at Headman Chigodora’s court recently when Kaserera was summoned following complaints from the eight land seekers.
Kaserera justified her actions, saying the land belongs to her family and therefore she could dispose of it as she pleases.
“I sold my land after we gathered that the council wanted to repossess the land for residential purposes since it is in a peri-urban area. I did nothing wrong and went on to charge the road fee as it is the norm in all urban settlements.
“Land is paid for in urban settlements, while residents have to pay for their roads to be serviced. It was not fair for me to peg the road without receiving anything from the land seekers,” said Kaserera.
One of the land seekers, Ms Pirai Zimunya claimed that she was promised an access road to her residential stand when she bought the land in 2014.
“I bought the residential stand for US$1 000 in 2014 and I started developing the stand three years later. I inquired from Kaserera on how I would access my property since there was no road. She told me that I should pay an extra US$200 as a road fee. She promised to create a road from her own land. Since I wanted to have easy access to my new home, I paid the money she had asked for,” said Ms Zimunya.
However, Ms Zimunya said Mrs Kaserera did not open the road as promised.
“She only pegged the road. We cleared and serviced it because we wanted to use it. We hired our own labour to clear the trees and shrubs to enable us to drive our cars to our properties,” she said.
Some of the land seekers accused Mrs Kaserera of scamming them.
They claimed that she sold them land that belongs to her sons, Messers Evson and Walter Kaserera, who now want their land back.
Headman Chigodora fined Mrs Kaserera US$2 400 for selling State land.
He also advised Mrs Kaserera to reimburse the eight land seekers their money.
“This is State land and should never be sold. If you felt that you no longer wanted the land, you should have surrendered it back to Government through the village head and traditional leadership. Instead, you sold it to unsuspecting land seekers.
“It is either you pay the fine or reimburse the land seekers their money and let them stay for free on that land. If you opt to pay the fine and evict them, you still have to reimburse them the money they paid for the land and expenses they incurred in developing the land,” ruled Headman Chigodora.
Mrs Kaserera said she would inform her children about the court ruling and chart the way forward.
“I will tell my children to give me the money to repay these people. I am even regretting selling my land to some of these women as some of them are rude and disrespectful,” she said.
She was ordered to have paid back the whole amount by June 30, 2023.
— Manica Post