By Collen Nikisi
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested a land developing company for duping 120 land seekers of more than USD$160 000 by developing two pieces of state land in Zvishavane and Shurugwi without approved engineering designs by the respective local authorities.
The company faces 120 counts
Accused is RM Construction Private Limited, a land developing company being represented by one of its two directors, Martin Willie Muzeza (40) of Bulawayo who has since appeared in court.
It is alleged that during the period between 17 August 2011 to 2015, RM Construction Private Limited was allocated 1 200 stands to service at Mabhula Phase 2, Zvishavane and another 1 000 stands at Magakooshla, Shurugwi by the office of the former Midlands Province Governor, Jaison Machaya.
All the stands were on State land.
RM Construction embarked on the two projects by opening up roads and excavating water trenches at the Mabhula project, and opening up roads and laying of water pipes at the Magakooshla project, without approved engineering designs by the respective local authorities as per requirement. That was for the purpose of luring home-seekers to come and buy residential stands.
From 2014 to 2016, one hundred and twenty (120) home-seekers got lured and bought stands after being assured that the work the accused company was doing was above board and that they would be allowed to start constructing their houses immediately after paying for the stands.
When the complainants started raising concerns due to lack of progress at the two projects seven  years on to date, with some demanding their money back, the accused closed its Gweru offices without notifying the complainants and became evasive.
In the other charges, RM Construction is accused of embarking on the project by opening up roads and laying water reticulation pipes for both the Shurugwi and Zvishavane projects before it was issued with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) License by the Environmental Management Agency as per requirement.
At the Magakooshla project in Shurugwi, RM Construction also cleared a gum plantation for their housing project.
The case was remanded to 11 June 2021 without bail conditions when one of the directors Willie Martin Muzeza appeared before Gweru magistrate Mr Marecha at the Gweru Magistrates Court. Mr R Musvaire prosecuted