The Chronicle 9/10/2018

Editor — It has come to light that there is a network of senior workers from various banks working in cahoots with the Deputy Sheriff’s office and targeting houses/homes that have been used as loan collateral for farming purposes by black farmers as they couldn’t use their 99-year lease titles.

It is known that banks previously rejected the 99-year leases arguing that they were not transferrable, in the event that a farmer borrowed money for farming purposes and failed to repay the loan in stipulated time due to mostly droughts and other unforeseen occurrences in the agricultural sector.

Now, however, there are banking officials who are taking advantage of farmers who are still not aware of the new regulations governing borrowing against the 99-year leases.

These bank officials reject debt reviews and/or debt consolidation but quickly grab collateralised properties, especially homes in the high and low density areas, to be auctioned at meagre prices, at times far below the debt.

The properties are bought by people fronting these networks at unrealistically low prices and then these vultures re-sell the same properties for their market value.

Most black farmers who hold the 99- year leases have no option but to use their personal homes as collateral due to banks rejecting the 99-year leases.

However, after marathon meetings involving Government, bankers and the RBZ, it was resolved that the 99-year leases are now bankable and this development is expected to transform the agriculture sector and assist the emerging black farmers as they can now obtain loans using the 99-year leases.

Notwithstanding the new developments, the network of corrupt bank officials and the Deputy Sheriff’s office are hard at work using their front men and women to buy these properties at auctions and re-selling at high market value prices before sharing the loot.

We need to put an end to this. Corruption must be stopped. It is unethical and most people involved in the scam are chartered accountants. They should be held accountable and punished by the Association of Chartered Accountants in Zimbabwe.

We need to name and shame these corrupt people taking advantage of well-meaning Zimbabweans.

Ronald Chimutimunzeve,Harare