Byo residents fall victim to property fraud syndicate

Nkulumane residents have raised concern at the increasing number of people who have reportedly fallen victim to an organised syndicate that is allegedly swindling residents of their property including houses.

This came out during a resident’s feedback meeting organised by the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA).

Speaking during this meeting, one resident who identified himself as G. Ncube said a number of people in the ward have lost houses in unclear circumstances.

“I am actually one of the community members who has been following this case even to the courts because I have personally identified some of these syndicates, who employ sophisticated methods.

“These people approach land developers with fake documents and demand title deeds to certain properties with the knowledge of the rightful owners,” said Ncube.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkulumane Constituency, Kucaca Phulu said residents have to make sure that estates are registered under their names.

“I have come across such situations and I have represented some people who had lost their property under these schemes, I also know a number of lawyers who have been involved in such cases.

“The other weakness was the law which administers estates but I think the new law will come in handy to address these issues especially the power of Attorney. It will now be expected that before one writes the power of Attorney, they first pass through the notary public who will stamp upon having been satisfied with identifying a person,” Phulu said.

Phulu also urged residents to register their estates so as to protect themselves against cases of fraud.

“Estates belonging to deceased people should be changed immediately so that the remaining family members benefit,” he added.

Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said they have not received such cases.

“We have not received such cases but we encourage people to go via the local authority when buying or selling houses to avoid falling victim to such scams,” he said.

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