Con artists target job seekers

Con artists target job seekers

Over the years, Harare residents and visitors have fallen prey to individuals and  groups of highly sophisticated con artists who target unsuspecting job seekers.

downtown harare

Investigations by Talking Harare have established that with the increasing number of job seekers in a country whose unemployment rate is said to be over 80%, ruthless con artists have emerged and these employ different methods to trick job seekers and get away with cash or property.

One of the ways used by this group of people, a method which has withstood the test of time, is to convince people moving around town, especially downtown area, that there is a lucrative business deal with huge monetary rewards of up to US$500 or even US$1000. To be part of the business, one would be required to pay a deposit fee of only US$20 and get promises of quick riches. Once the victim pay the money, the corn artists will disappear into thin air. 

The mushrooming of retail shops and supermarkets in downtown Harare has created ‘advertising space’ for the corn artists who use these to announce ‘job vacancies.’ ‘We have been dealing with numerous complaints from people who have been conned since we opened our supermarket here, but all I can say is that there are people who announce vacancies illegally using our supermarket’s external walls. They hoodwink their victims into thinking that it is the supermarket that is advertising for the jobs and the conmen go on to swindle money from the job seekers who will be told that the money is for training,’ explained a manager of a retail supermarket located along Cameroon Street.

Other posters with ‘job vacancies’ messages placed in strategic places like bus stops and restaurants also announce to job seekers that a certain foreign supermarket is hiring employees such as till operators, drivers, cashiers, cleaners and supervisors. ‘Attractive remunerations await interested candidates’ will be part of the message and mobile contact numbers will be given. Once these groups con their targets, they simply destroy the mobile phone sim card or continue to use it to attract more job seekers.

The corn artists have also devised other strategies including impersonating big companies and institutions such as the Zimbabwe National Revenue Authority (ZINARA). Recently these unscrupulous groups used social media to advertise vacancies for ‘Tollgate Attendances’ and urged applicants to respond on email ZINARA was forced to issue a press statement urging members of the public to ignore such calls for job applications and advised anyone seeking employment with the parastatal to approach the organisation’s human resources department.

Police have also on their part warned members of the public to avoid dealing with strangers and contact nearest police stations to verify on authenticity of such calls for job applications.

Harare attaches residents’ property

Harare attaches residents’ property

Harare City Council has started attaching property belonging to residents who have not settled their outstanding bills. The process, which started Tuesday in Tynwald, has since seen dozens of residents losing household property such as sofas, beds, wardrobes, fridges and stoves.

harare_cityTalking Harare sought comments from different stakeholders on this issue and below are the comments;

‘We have received sad reports that some residents in Tynwald have had their properties attached because they owe the City of Harare some money in water rates. If that is true, then the City of Harare has acted outside the law, because we have information that they do not have a court order to this effect. Water is a right and a human need which cannot be denied anyone, irrespective of their social-economic status.’ Harare Residents Trust

‘The duty of residents lobby groups (with regards to issues of rate payments and property attachments) should be double – sided. So the mandate of these groups should be widened to include urging residents to comply through rate payments and supporting existing council efforts to develop the city. We also need to look at the issue of water from a wider context beyond that of right to water and take into account costs involved for the water to get to the tapes.’ Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni

‘The whole scenario (of council revenue generation and failure by residents to pay bills resulting in property attachments) should point to us that all is not well. Our urban planning systems are fragile and place the burden of revenue generation on residents. Local authorities such as Harare should come up with holistic ways of fund raising through, for example, engaging private companies that are doing well and convince them to provide funds whilst removing some levies from their operations. It is such holistic ways that can unlock funds from the private sector and boost council coffers. Failure to do this will result in acrimony between residents and local authorities.’ Urban planning expert Percy Toriro

‘I owe council US$250 and today  they came to attach my property, am surprised because there was no warning and the amount is too low to warrant such action. I was even trying to run around to settle the bill’ Tynwald resident Norman Tigere

‘I agree water is a basic right but we do not want to get it directly from dams hence we should be responsible enough to pay for its treatment and distribution.’ M Tsuma

CORAH FM broadcasting live on Channel Zim today from 1- 5pm
NEWS presented by Rutendo Muqaga where Harare City Council has appealed to government for more land for residential purposes, AND, Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre Network engages government over lack of access to clinics in rural areas resulting in most women giving births at home.

In SOCIAL LINK, Enita Cherewo discusses the issue of witchcraft. Does it exist and where did it originate from? Guests of the programme will include traditional healer Mbuya Constance Makomo.

AROUND HARARE will have Enita taking us through the capital city speaking to young people who are said to be abusing drugs. If you want to speak live on this programme, post your phone number on this page and we will call you back. You can also send your comments on Community Radio Harare Facebook page, send Whatsapp on +263 777 998 028 or call direct to the studio on 04 - 782199

In this week’s WOMEN'S AFFAIRS edition, Enita features Caledonia (near Tafara) - based HIV and AIDS activist Dorothy Nyamhunga who has been working with The AIDS and Arts Foundation (TAAF) to assist HIV positive women in the area.

Tinotenda Munyukwi and Philimon Jambaya will host SPORTS REVIEW and give updates on the Chibuku Trophy soccer matches and other social soccer matches played over the weekend.


ZVIRIMUGAPU will conclude our day's programming with Enita who engages members of the public in a live phone in programme looking at what determines one into getting into a marriage, is it social status, money or?

If you want to speak live on our programmes, post your phone number on this page and we will call you back. You can also send your comments on Community Radio Harare Facebook page, send Whatsapp on +263 777 998 028 or call direct to the studio on 04 - 782199

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