Econet boss up for $500,000 fraud

HARARE: The manager at Econet’s Borrowdale Branch was last Thursday hauled before the courts after he purportedly swindled a home seeker of $500,000 in a botched residential stand deal.

Dereck Zhanje, 50 and wife Faith, 35, appeared before magistrate Josephine Sande answering to fraud charges.

The duo was not asked to plead with the court remanding them out of custody on $500 bail each.

The complainant in this case is the Silvern Family Trust which was represented by Silvern Chisewe.

According to court papers, the couple bought a stand sometime in 2015 and went on to subdivide it into three stands measuring 1,600 square meters each.

In July the same year they applied for a mortgage bond of $140,000 from NMB Bank and submitted the title deeds of their stand as surety. NMB Bank approved the application and registered the bond with the Registrar of Deeds.

It is alleged that the couple went on to advertise the land for sale. Chisewe received information to the effect that Zhanje was selling stands and she approached him.

She reportedly offered to buy a stand at $80,000 after the couple misrepresented that the land was free from any mortgage bond.

An agreement of sale was reached in September the same yea and Chisewe allegedly deposited $80,000 into the couple’s NMB Bank account. She later paid the outstanding amount at the end of the same month.

Court heard Chisewe went on to build a structure worth $350,000 after the couple indicated that they were going to transfer the ownership of the stand into her name.

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It is alleged that Chisewe bought another stand valued $70,000 from the couple last year and they again did not disclose the issue of mortgage bond.

Chisewe reportedly made another bank transfer of $25,000 into the couple’s bank account and started making follow ups with regards to the issue of changing ownership of the two stands.

However, the couple became evasive, prompting Chisewe to visit the Deeds Office where she discovered the existence of mortgage bonds.

She then approached Zhanje who persuaded her to pay the outstanding $45,000 indicating that he would use the money to clear the mortgage bond and Chiweshe agreed to the proposal.

But Zhanje failed to act as promised leading to his arrest. It was then established that the couple is yet to clear $77,000 in arrears with the bank.

Court heard the property may be sold by NMB in recovery litigation.

Tatenda Murindagomo prosecuted.

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