A PROMINENT Bulawayo lawyer allegedly ganged up with an alleged bogus estate agent and defrauded four home seekers of more than R200 000 in botched residential stand deals.
Vuyile Jamela Mpofu (52), who is a senior partner at VJ Mpofu and Associates and resides in Queens Park suburb in the city, allegedly teamed up with Mayor Kazingizi (35) of Cowdray Park and swindled four home seekers of their money after misrepresenting to them that they were selling residential stands in Pumula South and Emganwini suburbs.
They allegedly forged lease agreements of sale and identification documents relating to the purported owner of the property and sold the stands they did not own to the four unsuspecting complainants.
The complainants paid down payments and the balance, it was agreed, would be paid in due course.
Mpofu and Kazingizi appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Jeconiah Ncube facing fraud charges. They were remanded out of custody to October 30 for provision of a trial date on $3 000 bail each.
As part of the bail conditions, the two accused persons were ordered to surrender their passports and to report once a week at Bulawayo Central Police Station. They were also ordered to reside at their given addresses and not interfere with witnesses until the matter is finalised.
Prosecuting, Mr Leonard Chile said between July and September this year, the two accused persons acting in connivance misrepresented to Ms Rumbidzai Chimbunde, Ms Lina Takura, Ms Angela Chikanya and Mr Douglas Tizirai that they owned the stands and received varying amounts from the complainants.
“Sometime during the month of July, the accused persons acting in connivance misrepresented to Lina Takura that Judith Moyo was selling a residential stand in Pumula South when they knew that the property was not for sale,” said Mr Chile.
He said in furtherance of their enterprise, the two accused persons arranged for Ms Takura to meet an impostor to whom she paid a deposit of R60 000 towards the purchase of the stand.
“During the month of August, the accused persons connived and misrepresented to Angela Chikanya that Nomsa Sibanda was selling a residential stand in Emganwini knowing fully well that the property was not for sale. They looked for an impostor who collected R40 000 deposit from the complainant,” said Mr Chile.
Sometime in September, Mpofu and Kazingizi defrauded Ms Chimbunde of R56 100 after lying to her that Khulumani Mpofu was selling a residential stand in Pumula South. During the same month, the two men using the same modus operandi, swindled Mr Tizirai of R60 000 after promising him a stand in Emganwini. The matter was reported to the police leading to the accused persons’ arrest.
The total value of property prejudice is R220 700, US$3 700 and $752,19 and nothing was recovered.