By A Correspondent | An intensive three-year investigation has uncovered a massive financial scandal involving a UK nurse, Sithule Tshuma, who is accused of diverting a staggering $25 million from investors under the guise of purchasing agricultural land in Zimbabwe. The investigation has exposed a complex web of deception and fraudulent practices, leaving numerous investors in despair.
Tshuma, who had promised investors that their funds would be used to acquire land in Zimbabwe, claimed to be operating a community interest company known as “QOKI ZINDLOVUKAZI GROUP C.I.C.” However, it has been revealed that this entity was neither a CIC nor a multiple-director organization, as she had previously asserted. A CIC under UK law requires at least three directors or trustees, but Tshuma operated it as a one-person business. (read the full story)
The scheme, which lured investors with promises of blessing and empowerment, employed deceptive tactics that included trapping buyers through an installment-concept payment model instead of an outright purchase. Victims were made to believe that they were investing in a community-driven initiative when, in reality, they were funding Tshuma’s private business.
Investors paid substantial sums ranging from $7,000 to $70,000 per person, with the total funds raised reaching a staggering $25 million. However, years later, not a single residential stand had been delivered as promised. This has left investors questioning how such a substantial amount of money could be raised over a six-year period without any tangible results.
The initial investigation by ZimEye uncovered numerous fraudulent practices, including:
1. **Fake Community Organization:** Tshuma falsely advertised her company as a community interest organization when, in fact, it was a one-person operation.
2. **Incomplete Contracts:** Investors signed incomplete or skimpy contracts that were only signed by one party, leaving them vulnerable.
3. **Bullying and Harassment:** Tshuma and her associates engaged in coordinated bullying on social media, silencing anyone who questioned their operations.
4. **Evasive Answers:** Tshuma avoided providing clear answers to inquiries and diverted conversations, leaving investors in the dark about the true nature of their investments.
5. **Lack of Transparency:** Investors were not informed that the products they were buying into were not divisible, and they faced the risk of losing their entire investment in the event of death.
6. **Cult-like Behavior:** Tshuma’s tactics were described as cult-like, with investors feeling enslaved and bullied.
Properties purchased from 2016 to 2023 were yet to be issued title deeds to buyers, and any complaints were met with bullying and demands for additional payments for land development and maintenance.
The scale of the alleged fraud is immense, involving numerous projects and investors, including Nondwene, Douglasdale, Esigodini, Riverside, Qoki School, Airport Road, Woodville, Burnside, and many more. All of these investors are now left in uncertainty and financial distress.
Sithule Tshuma, in audios addressing investors, continued to claim that her property purchases underwent due diligence processes, assuring them that they would receive title deeds. However, these claims appear to be a part of the deception.
In the wake of this shocking revelation, Tshuma’s lawyer, Zibusiso Charles Ncube, continued to assert that she was not involved in any fraudulent activities, despite the glaring contradictions between her claims and the reality of the situation.
This scandal has had far-reaching implications, and investors who trusted Tshuma are now left facing financial ruin. The case has revealed the need for stronger regulatory oversight and safeguards to protect investors from fraudulent schemes.
In a separate investigation, it was revealed that a UK solicitor, Julian Condliffe, who was closely associated with Tshuma, was found liable in a court case related to deceptive practices in property investments. Condliffe had promised clients empowerment and blessings but failed to deliver on those promises, leaving some clients in such distress that they contemplated suicide.
This breakthrough in exposing fraudulent land investment schemes highlights the importance of due diligence and vigilance in financial investments, and it serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of falling victim to such scams. The authorities are now actively investigating these cases, and legal action is being taken to bring those responsible to justice.