Former Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe’s sister has been arrested on fraud charges for allegedly reselling state-allocated land for a massive profit four years ago, a newspaper said on Saturday.
Shuvai Gumbochuma, who is eight years older than the 53-year-old Grace, appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on Friday, reports the state-run Herald.
It’s alleged that in 2014 Gumbochuma successfully applied for state land worth more than $400 000 to develop into stands for low-cost housing in Harare. But instead of developing the land, she allegedly sold it to another land developer for more than $2 million.
“Gumbochuma profiteered from State land thereby distorting the market value of the land from a mere $424 426 to an inflated value of $2 060 000 without making any developments,” the Herald said, citing state papers.
“She made a profit of $1 636 574 without doing anything.”
Gumbochuma is facing two other charges of receiving land for development two years ago using the name of an unregistered company.
Gumbochuma has been released on $500 bail. Hers was the second high-profile this week. On Thursday former health minister David Parirenyatwa was arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office for allegedly ordering changes in June to the board at the state pharmaceutical firm, Natpharm, to the company’s detriment.
The minister’s arrest was the “first high profile casualty of a crackdown by a Special Anti-Corruption Unit set up in May this year by President Emmerson Mnangagwa,” said the private NewsDay. It said more arrests were imminent.