Sheillah Mapani Herald Reporter
A HARARE man and his wife have appeared in court on fraud charges after they allegedly sold properties that were still under an NMB Bank mortgage bond. Dereck Zhanje (50) and Faith Zhanje (35) appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Josephine Sande and were remanded to November 16 on $500 bail. The prosecutor Ms Tatenda Murindagomo alleged that on June 17, 2015, the pair bought a plot held under Deed of Transfer 4486-2015 from Moses Tonderayi and Memory Zhenje. They subsequently divided it into three residential stands measuring 1 600 square metres each.
It is alleged that on July 13, the same year, the two applied for a mortgage bond of $140 000 from NMB Bank and submitted title deeds of the said piece of land as surety. The bank approved the application on the following day. The court heard that the couple offered the same piece of land for sale. It is the State’s case that in August, the same year, Silvern Family Trust represented by Silven Chisewe heard that the couple was selling properties in Harare.
She approached them and Dereck confirmed that they were selling stands for $85 000 each, which Chisewe negotiated down to $80 000. Allegations are that during the process, the two intentionally failed to disclose the existence of the mortgage bond. It is further alleged that on September 1, they compiled an agreement of sale in which they again falsely indicated that the property was free from any mortgage bonds.
On November 20, Chisewe bought the stand through bank transfer and the couple promised to transfer ownership of the stand into her name and convinced Chisewe to build a structure worth $350 000 on the stand. The court further heard that on August 1, 2016, Chisewe bought another stand from the couple for $70 000. When she was about to pay the outstanding balance of $45 000 for the second stand Chisewe engaged Dereck over the issue of changing ownership of the two stands and he disclosed the existence of bonds.
He enticed her into paying the balance on the pretext that he was to use the proceeds to settle the outstanding bonds payments to facilitate the finalisation of the conveyance process. She paid the balance and later held several meetings with the couple over the ownership transfer but they failed to yield any positive results leading to Chisewe reporting the matter to the police on August 25 this year.