Home » Governance » Zanu-PF Land Baron Applies to Concourt

CHITUNGWIZA South MP, facing allegations of defrauding the then ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Water Development of Z$ 6 000 000 in land deal, this week made an application for his case to be referred to the Constitutional Court.

Christopher Chigumba, of Zanu PF, said the state was unreasonably delaying finalising the matter after charging him with criminal offence.

The offence was allegedly committed in 1999.

Chigumba Property Holdings Limited is cited as the first respondent while Chigumba himself is the second accused.

According to the state, during that time, Chigumba was the owner of Roon Estate in Kadoma, which was registered under Chigumba Property Holdings.

In 1994, Chigumba told his former business partner, Alex Shumba, that he was selling the land at a cost of Z $1, 6 million.

They both agreed that Shumba would pay in instalments.

It is the state’s case that Shumba paid $251, 000 and an agreement of sale was signed prompting Shumba to occupy the farm.

It is further alleged that Shumba again paid $350, 000 in the form of 100 cattle and then gave Chigumba his car which was equivalent to Z$350, 000.

He later realised that Chigumba owed Stanbic Bank $500, 000 who had the title deeds to his farm.

According to the state, Shumba paid the debt and was given the title deeds.

In 1998, Shumba realised that Chigumba owed Scotfinn Bank $200, 000 and the bank had obtained the writ of execution against the farm and he, again, settled the debt.

In 1999, the state alleges that Chigumba then sold the same farm to the Ministry of Lands at a cost of $6 000 000 and the ministry paid in full.

Chigumba then wrote an affidavit in which he stated that he had lost the title deeds to the farm and yet he knew they were being held by Shumba.

The farm was later placed in a government gazette and subsequently the deed of transfer was endorsed, exposing what he had done.

As a result, the ministry suffered a prejudice of $6 000 000 which was never recovered.

In his application, Chigumba said probing after 14 years was unfair to him.

He said most of the evidence that exonerates him has been lost, adding that some witnesses have since died.

“Some negotiations done then were oral and clearly there will never be a fair trial in this regards,” he said.

Prosecutors however said prosecution shall not be barred by the lapse of time.

“If it is within 20 years, prosecution is allowed to take place,” George Manokore said.

Source : New Zimbabwe