Broken promises: A peep into Mabamba’s land storm

09 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Broken promises: A peep  into Mabamba’s land storm The late Mabamba

The Sunday Mail

FREDERICK MABAMBA was a former Chitungwiza councillor and deputy mayor, who allegedly illegally parcelled out State land for his own benefit. He reportedly prejudiced land seekers of large amounts of money.

In 2021, the wealthy land baron was arrested for parcelling out land worth over US$16 million belonging to Chitungwiza Municipality illegally.

He collapsed in a cell at the Harare Central Remand Prison on February 25, 2021 and was rushed to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, where he eventually died.

The death brought to an end an eventful life of a land baron who could rightly claim to own a huge chunk of Chitungwiza.

When he was arrested, he faced 15 counts of fraud involving US$13 million.

He was accused of illegally allocating more than 8 000 stands through his United We Stand Housing Cooperative. It was stated in court papers that Mabamba also created two car sale stands without council approval and pocketed the money.

His land-grabbing spree is said to have started in 1999 up to his sudden death in 2021.

Some few months before his death, the land baron caused a stir after trying to block Chitungwiza Municipality from building its Civic Centre on State land, which he claimed as his own.

Vast land empire

According to court papers, Mabamba allegedly created 200 residential stands in St Mary’s suburb, which he sold for US$600 000, and 230 stands on wetlands in Zengeza 4 worth US$1 058 000.

A total of 57 stands in Zengeza 4 were sold for US$3 000 each.

The late land baron also created 400 stands in Unit A and two commercial stands in Unit B.

It is alleged in the court papers that Mabamba went on to create another 3 159 residential stands and pocketed the money.

In Unit C, he is said to have sold 120 stands, while another 120 were allocated to people in Unit N and F.

He was also accused of selling 76 stands in Unit G, 211 in Unit J, 151 in Unit K and 227 in Unit L worth US$1 589 000.

In Unit N, he is said to have allocated 284 stands and created a stand for a hospital.

He allocated another 1 671 stands to his United We Stand Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

In Unit P, he also sold 150 stands, with the other ones subdivided to accommodate a church stand.

According to the State, in all these sales of hundreds of stands, the beneficiaries were not given offer letters.

His activities resulted in him clashing with the late famous prophet Madzibaba Wimbo over a 3,4-hectare plot, which was subdivided and allocated to 92 people. Among properties owned by Mabamba is a massive complex near Chitungwiza Town Centre, which is popularly known as “Mabamba Complex”.

He also left various properties registered under his schools — Long Range Academy and Rioboth Mission Primary — and a fleet of vehicles.

This massive land grab has resulted in Chitungwiza housing officials scratching their heads as they try to figure out the exact amount of land that the late businessman supposedly owned.

In 2014, an audit report fingered Mabamba as the chief land baron in Chitungwiza.

He was subsequently fired from his post as deputy mayor due to allegations of corruption.

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