FIVE land barons who were arrested on Friday for illegally selling council and State land have been denied bail by Harare magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe.
by NQOBILE NKIWANE
The magistrate said he had taken this decision in order to allow the police time to investigate the matter.
The five; Innocent Chakandinakira, Driver Kasambarare, Pardon Manyima, Dominoco Mark and Daniel Nyamuno were arrested for allegedly swindling desperate home seekers of thousands of dollars after illegally selling council and State land.
They will appear again before the magistrates’ courts for further bail application tomorrow.
State prosecutor Michael Reza made the application seeking denial of their bail application, citing that the police needed the physical presence of the suspects in order to conduct further investigations.
Reza told the court that the police needed to detain the five in custody as they required them to be present when they conducted a search of the buildings which were said to have evidence that might help during the investigations of the matter.
“There is a council resolution which appears to have been fraudulently acquired and only these five can identify the council officials who provided them with that,” Reza said.
The investigating officer in the matter, Samuel Gono also told the court that the police had identified a house which the suspects used as an office, and which they intended to search in a bid to acquire documentary evidence.
“These investigations can only be done in their presence. Therefore, their continued detention authorised by the court will help us attend to the matter,” he said.
In his ruling, Chikwekwe said the police had not breached any constitutional provision by their application.
“The police are authorised to detain the five until Monday morning at 11am for further investigations,” Chikwekwe said.
Meanwhile, two more land barons who were linked to the case were also remanded in custody and will appear for bail application tomorrow.
Ebenezer housing cooperative chairperson Clifford Chimusoro and his secretary Stanley Mugari also appeared before the magistrates’ courts facing fraud charges after allegedly prejudicing complainants of $134 000.
Allegations against them were that on August 15 2012 the duo worked in cahoots with five other people still at large and formed Ebenezer Housing Co-operative with a plan to fleece desperate home seekers of their money.
The State further alleged that in November 2014, the cooperative had 149 members, each paying $450 a month for the first three months and $25 a month thereafter as subscriptions.
On August 3, the two accused were arrested for fraud and a visit was made at number 2809 Budiriro township where other alleged beneficiaries were identified.