Senior official in the dock over State land

A senior Government official in Manicaland province was on Thursday arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on allegations of selling State land, misrepresenting to a buyer that it was hers.

In a statement, ZACC said Joice Munamati, who is Manicaland Provincial Civil Registrar, is alleged to have fraudulently sold a 32,5 hectare plot, Subdivision 22 of Wallacedale in Odzi, to one Calvin Ziki for US$15 000, after misrepresenting to him that she owned the said property.

“The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has arrested Manicaland Provincial Civil Registrar, Mrs Joice Munamati for fraudulently selling State land,” the commission said.

“Munamati is charged with fraud as defined in section 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act,” it added.

Last Wednesday, Government warned anyone, including traditional leaders, against selling State land, saying those found on the wrong side of the law will be prosecuted.

The warning by Obert Jiri, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development came against a background of a growing practice by village heads, especially in communal lands around Harare Metropolitan, to sell state land.

He said traditional leaders were not allowed to sell State land, adding that all communal land was classified as State land held in trust.

Over the years, a number of individuals have been arrested for selling State land, some hiding behind the ruling party.

In 2015, the late businessman and former Chitungwiza Ward 25 councillor, Fredrick Mabamba was arrested by police on allegations of selling both State and council land to home-seekers.

In October 2022, three land barons, States Simusanza, Ranson Chingwara and Tidings Keta were jailed for 12 months on fraud charges by a Harare magistrate for illegally selling State land reserved for a new primary school in Budiriro.

The trio was arrested by ZACC.

In October 2020, Naboth Manyengera, a Zanu PF councillor in Hatcliffe,was also arrested on allegations of illegally selling State land in the area. – New Ziana.

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