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Zanu PF official arrested for forgery and fraud

by Staff reporter
18 May 2024 at 13:08hrs | Views
A former Zanu PF councillor and unsuccessful parliamentary candidate has been apprehended for fraud, accused of forging land ownership documents in an attempt to claim mining rights at a farm near Gweru.

Charles Simbi, aged 55, seeks control of Kanuck Farm along the Gweru-Shurugwi road following the discovery of lucrative gold deposits on the property.

Previously representing Gweru Urban ward 12 and contesting for MP in Mkoba, Simbi was released into the custody of his lawyer, Wellington Davira, following his arrest on May 7, as police continue their investigation.

Davira stated: "Police and the prosecution will proceed by way of summons when they are ready to charge him. He maintains his innocence, of course."

Allegedly involving his wife, Zodwa Thembinkosi Simbi, Simbi forged an offer letter for the 10-hectare plot where gold was found. The contested land is part of Kanuck Farm owned by Melvin Van Gopal.

Documents reveal a dispute between Simbi and his wife on one side and Nyengeterai Tsvangirai and Musiyiwa Paradza on the other. Paradza and Tsvangirai's New Generation Mining Syndicate are the current rightful owners of the disputed mining claims.

Simbi purportedly engaged in mining at the area known as Pretty Polly 33 Mine in 2022, authorized by Tsvangirai's late husband, Casper Tsvangirai. However, after disappointing gold samples, Simbi withdrew. Later, partnering with Paradza, they discovered substantial gold samples and registered nine gold claims.

Upon learning of the new findings, Simbi attempted to claim one of the territories registered by the New Generation Mining Syndicate but was ordered to retreat by the Ministry of Mines.

Following this setback, Simbi allegedly utilized his wife's identity to forge an offer letter, falsely claiming ownership of the land and disrupting the syndicate's mining activities.

After legal intervention, Simbi allegedly persistently claimed ownership of the land under his wife's name, presenting a purportedly fake offer letter, which the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development disclaimed.

Gweru police confirmed that Lots 4 and 5 under RIE of Kanuck Farm are legally owned by Melvin Van Gopal.

Midlands Provincial Lands Officer Chenai Mnangagwa was contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of publication.

In a separate incident last September, Tsvangirai's daughter was attacked and robbed of 55 grams of processed gold near the New Generation Mining Syndicate area.

Simbi and his associates also face a pending theft case at the Gweru Magistrate Courts for allegedly stealing 90 tonnes of gold ore from Tsvangirai's Pretty Polly 33 Mine in October last year.

Source - zimlive
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