A MAN who allegedly conspired with the chief estates officer in the Ministry of Lands and bought a residential stand worth US$24 384 for just US$65 in the name of his eight-year-old daughter, yesterday denied any wrongdoing and told the court that he was the rightful owner of the stand.
Taruvinga Hamura also denied conspiring with Rejoice Pazvakavambwa to acquire a deed of transfer for the stand by getting Pazvakavambwa to grant the required power of attorney of the seller to the lawyers handling the transfer.
Hamura, who is represented by lawyer Mr Tapson Dzvetero, appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko and denied charges of conspiracy to abuse his office as a public officer.
“The accused denies the allegations in toto and in particular that the accused knowingly agreed with Rejoice Pazvakavambwa to have stand No 300 Carrick Creagh, Harare, registered in the name of the accused’s then minor child, Michelle Hamura.”
He also denied he was obliged to act in accordance with an agreement between developer Arosume Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd, Sally Mugabe Housing Cooperative and the Ministry of Local Government. He was not party to that agreement and was not cleared of development fees.
The defence also denied Hamura paid US$65 to the State instead of US$24 384.
Hamura said that sometime in 2008, he entered into a lease agreement with the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to buy the stand.
He initially intended to purchase the stand for his minor child, which explained why the name of his daughter is reflected on the lease although this was changed later.
Mr Ephraim Zinyandu, prosecuting, said in 2007, Arosume Property agreed with Sally Mugabe Housing Cooperative and the Ministry of Local Government to develop 280 hectares of land at Carrick Creagh into residential stands.
The tripartite agreement was signed on June 7, 2007 and Sally Mugabe Cooperative was to identify beneficiaries for the stands.
Arosume Property developers was tasked to develop the stands and surrender 20 percent of the area to the State as commonage.
Ten percent of the beneficiaries of the stands were to pay service fees to the developer while others were exempted.
Between 2008 and 2010, Hamura, allegedly working in cahoots with Pazvakavambwa, allocated 300 Carrick Craegh measuring 1,2384 hectares in the name of his minor child Michelle Hamura. Michelle was 8-years-old and had no contractual rights at law.
The stand was among the commonage stands not exempt from the payment of developmental fees, according to the State.
Pazvakavambwa allegedly favoured Hamura to acquire a Deed of Transfer for this stand by granting the power of attorney dated June 19, 2010 to a firm of lawyers handling the transfer, despite the fact that Hamura had no letter of declaration from Arosume Property Developers, as he had not paid developmental fees.
Pazvakavambwa allegedly allowed Hamura to pay US$65 to the State for the 1,2384 hectare stand instead of US$24 384, according to a memorandum from the Valuation and Estates Management Department.
The State was allegedly prejudiced of US$24 319 in land intrinsic value and Arosume Property Developers lost potential US$557 280 in developmental fees.