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Bulawayo housing scammer arrested

by Staff reporter
16 Apr 2024 at 14:30hrs | Views
POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested a man who allegedly moved around the city scamming several residents of money promising them houses to rent, which, however, were never availed.

Gerald Sibanda, who according to reports, operates from Parkade Centre at the National Railways of Zimbabwe building, appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Maxwell Ncube last week.

He was not asked to plead and was remanded on US$200 bail.

He is expected to appear in court by way of summons.

A lawyer representing complainants in the case, Mary Nyika of Macharaga Law Chambers, told the court that Sibanda would pretend to be a landlord while in other instances he would pretend to be a real estate agent or property manager.

Desperate residents were referred to Sibanda by agents and he would allegedly show the clients houses on the pretext that the occupants would be moving out.

"Sometimes he would show people flats that are being renovated and lure his clients to pay a deposit equal to the rent charges of maybe US$500 as deposit.

"Of all the counts that I have, the smallest amount that he took is US$500 to about US$1 200. When he was taken to court, he had eight counts, but we were told that there were others that had come to make reports. He had been in custody for two days," Nyika said.

She said some of her clients ended up being stranded, adding that this could have been a premeditated criminal act.

Nyika said police had to use one of his former colleagues to lure the accused, leading to his arrest.

Source - southern eye