Grace Mugabe faces arrest on illegal land deals



By Daniel Nemukuyu, The Herald

At least 132 people, including former First Lady Grace Mugabe and other political heavyweights, face arrest for allegedly selling State land, corruptly allocating themselves face fraud, abuse of cooperative funds and criminal abuse of office.

This follows an audit report into Harare land sales by the commission of Inquiry led by Justice Tendai Uchena that traced land transfers in urban areas since 2005.

Grace Mugabe in happier Times with husband,
late Robert

Others stand accused of selling cooperative stands without authority from the Registrar of Cooperatives, malicious damage to property, as well as subdividing land reserved for recreational activities and schools.

Prominent names recommended for investigation in the Harare land audit report include Grace Mugabe, former Cabinet Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, ex-Local Government permanent secretary Engineer George Mlilo, ex-Cabinet minister Nyasha Chikwinya, businessman Dr Philip Chiyangwa, former Harare South legislator Shadreck Mashayamombe and Nhamo Tutisani.

Ignatius Chombo

The majority of other people on the list are leaders of housing cooperatives set up by political heavyweights.

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo yesterday confirmed receipt of a copy of the audit report, saying investigations would start soon.

“Yes, we were given a copy of the land audit report by the Commission and our general manager (investigations) is liaising with the police so that we know who is doing what to avoid stepping on each other’s toes when investigating.

Nyasha Chikwinya

“We hope investigations will start on Monday after we have agreed on the cases that ZACC and the police will be investigating,” she said.

Grace Mugabe is accused of grabbing stands at Carrick Creach Farm in Harare and transferring ownership into names of her relatives without payment.

Some stands at the farm were allegedly allocated to people who were later pushed out by Mugabe, according to the report.

The commission said all stands improperly allocated at Carrick Creagh Farm must be recovered.

“Ministry of Local Government should recover the 50 stands unlawfully transferred to Arusome. It should also recover all the stands unlawfully taken and transferred by the former Minister Dr I. Chombo and former First Lady G. Mugabe.

“The stands should be given back to the beneficiaries to whom they had been allocated before they were grabbed by the former minister and former First Lady,” wrote the commission.

Chombo, according to the report, should also be investigated for allocating himself vast tracts of land on the same farm allegedly registering several stands under three companies without paying.

Chombo is also under spotlight for allegedly corruptly facilitating Mugabe’s land grab.

The report states that Chombo “unlawfully took several stands and registered them in the names of his three companies without paying for them, well aware that the farm had not been handed over to the Ministry of Local Government by the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement.”

The three companies were listed as Comverol Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Some of the stands had been allocated to other beneficiaries, who were later allegedly pushed out by Chombo.

The Commission of Inquiry recommended that Chombo be investigated for abuse of office.