Victor Maphosa and Blessing Chidakwa
Chitungwiza land baron Frederick Mabamba, who was recently arrested on charges of illegally parcelling out land worth well over US$16 million belonging to Chitungwiza Municipality, collapsed in prison and died yesterday as his lawyer was applying for his bail.
Mabamba collapsed in a cell at Harare Central Remand Prison on February 25 and was rushed to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where he eventually died.
He died as his lawyer, Mr Tapiwa Munodawafa from Nyikadzino, Simango and Associates, was making submissions for his bail appeal at the High Court.
Judgment on the appeal was reserved.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed Mabamba’s death yesterday.
“We confirm that we received information on Mabamba’s death through our station at Parirenyatwa. Reports are that he was rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital after he collapsed. That is all we can say for now,” he said.
Allegations were that since 1999, Mabamba, a former Chitungwiza councillor and deputy mayor, abused his office and parcelled out stands without authority, pocketing US$13 724 000.
He allegedly created 200 residential stands in St Mary’s suburb which he sold for US$600 000 and 230 stands on wetlands in Zengeza 4 worth US$1 058 000.
He allegedly sold another 57 stands in Zengeza 4 for US$3 000 each and a batch of 400 stands which he sold in Unit A before receiving US$44 000 for two commercial stands in Unit B.
In Unit C, Mabamba allegedly sold 120 stands, while another 120 were allocated to people in Unit N and F, with one of the beneficiaries having exchanged the stand for his Toyota Gaia vehicle.
Mabamba was also accused of selling 76 stands in Unit G, 211 in Unit J, 151 in Unit K and 227 in Unit L worth US$1 589 000.
In Unit N, Mabamba is said to have allocated 284 stands and created a stand for a hospital plus another 1 671 stands for his housing cooperative named United We Stand Multi-Purpose.
He also allegedly sold 150 stands in Unit P, with the other stands subdivided to accommodate a church stand. In all these sales of hundreds of stands, the beneficiaries were not given offer letters, according to the State.