Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
A Bulawayo businessman yesterday appeared in court on allegations of defrauding an unsuspecting land seeker of US$1,5 million in a botched property deal.
Ismail Moosa Lunat (age not supplied) allegedly sold a property that he had already sold to someone else some three years back.
He was not asked to plead to the fraud charge when he was hauled before Harare magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
Due to the gravity of the offence, Lunat was advised to seek bail at the High Court.
It is alleged that sometime in August 2018, Lunat phoned Mr Mahomed Zakanya Patel, who is a managing director of Toppers Uniform, advising that he was selling a stand in Bulawayo for US$1,5 million.
The court heard that Mr Patel, who was in Harare at that time, travelled to Bulawayo to view the property.
He showed interest in purchasing the property before the parties signed an agreement of sale on September 4 last year.
After negotiations, the purchase price was reduced to US$1,4 million.
According to the documents signed, Lunat stated that he was selling the property on behalf of one of his companies called Converging Investments (Pvt) Limited.
It is alleged that Lunat showed Mr Patel an original copy of the title deeds and Form CR14 before the agreement was signed.
Upon signing the agreement, Mr Patel made a down payment of US$1 million in cash.
Lunat allegedly advised Mr Patel to settle the balance of US$400 000 on or before December 15, 2018.
It is the prosecution’s case that Mr Patel paid the balance on December 14, 2018 before he was given the original copy of the title deeds to the property.
A follow-up with the Registrar of Deeds revealed that the property was, in factm registered in the name of Timothy Mafuka Nkomo.
Investigations revealed that Nkomo had purchased the said property from Lunat in 2015, hence he became the legitimate owner of the property.