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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeCourtsDesperate Home Seekers Scammed by Notorious Couple in Crowhill Farm Land Fraud

Desperate Home Seekers Scammed by Notorious Couple in Crowhill Farm Land Fraud

Ronald Nyandoro

A notorious couple previously convicted and imprisoned for fraud, Florence (née Behane) Pambukani and Felix Pambukani, has once again been implicated in a scheme to deceive desperate home seekers at Crowhill Farm in Harare.

The couple has allegedly been posing as the legal owners of land belonging to Crowhill Private Limited, leading many unsuspecting individuals to part with their hard-earned money. The disputed property, Chirika Extension of Borrowdale Estate, spans 121.4029 hectares and is legally held under a transfer deed.

Despite a High Court order issued in 2021 by Justice Webster Chinamora, which was later confirmed by the Supreme Court, barring the Pambukanis from selling the land, the couple continued their fraudulent activities. According to court documents, the High Court ordered the eviction of all illegal occupants, but those who had purchased the land from the Pambukanis resisted the eviction order, resulting in a standoff.

Crowhill Farm has been proactive, serving affected individuals with letters inviting them to regularize their status or face eviction. However, the Pambukanis’ activities have left many land seekers in a dire situation, having lost substantial sums of money.

A legal occupant of Crowhill Farm recounted the Pambukanis’ history of fraud: “I know the Pambukanis after they were convicted of fraud for defrauding Lonrho Zimbabwe and served eight years each in prison. After their release, they came to Acorn Farm desperately seeking a stand, and we assisted them.”

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The resident further explained the couple’s underhanded tactics: “In 2017, Florence attempted to contest in the leadership elections for Acorn Farm, but we barred her due to her criminal record. She secretly approached Dr. Msipa to form the Acorn Township Developing Association, but it was all for her and her husband to gain financially.”

“The Pambukanis own a mere stand, a tiny fraction of Cleverhill Estate, far from where they are selling and leasing to unsuspecting individuals. Their rightful stand, number 720, is clearly marked on the map,” he added.

Efforts to contact the Pambukanis for comment were unsuccessful as their phones were unreachable at the time of publication.

The couple has also been accused of claiming close connections to senior government officials and has a history of evicting farmers from their land. Last year, they reportedly hired armed thugs to attack workers at Wakefield Farm in the Selous Area 5, a property they tried to seize from its owner, Kenneth Bartholomew. The farm workers sustained severe injuries, with some still receiving treatment at Chegutu Hospital.

The Pambukanis’ takeover of Wakefield Farm led to the eviction of 35 families, including children and the elderly, despite Bartholomew having written approval from the Agriculture Minister to stay on his farm.

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In 2008, the couple also illegally took over Scotsdale Farm, which resulted in the death of its rightful owner, Kobus Joubert, in 2010. Following Joubert’s eviction, all farm workers were displaced, rendering them homeless after years of employment on the farm.

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