Letter to the Editor

Verify ownership of advertised property

Dear editor,
It is true to mention here that some people have been swindled of their hard earned money through fraud and theft in an effort to buy properties such as houses, plots, motor vehicles to mention but a few.

Some of the people who have lost out are those who respond to adverts for the named properties in the print media, the newspapers.

 In view of the aforesaid, I don’t mean to say that all advertisements in the newspapers are fake. Some are fake and others are genuine. In this context, it is appropriate that the potential buyer should verify authenticity of the advertised asset in terms of ownership of the purported seller.
For instance, you cannot buy a residential or commercial plot without verifying with the Ministry of Lands. The plot is not a simple thing which you can buy as if you are buying a toy for your baby in shopping mall. There are some procedures that have to be followed before you transact business. The same applies to buying other assets as highlighted above.
However, it is not the duty of the newspaper to verify whether the advertised item is for the advertiser or not. The newspaper’s duty is to advertise the item so as to create awareness to the general public about what is on offer.
Crime in modern times has become very sophisticated as some crooks use all sorts of tricks to swindle the unsuspectin general public. Whether someone is educated or not, she or he can fall prey to swindling and lose the money upon knowing that the person who sold the property is not the legitimate owner. Our prisons are full of the fraudsters who are serving jail sentences after swindling some people through such shoddy transactions.
Early this year, former North Western Province Minister, Dawson Kafwaya was swindled in the transaction of buying the residential plot. The seller purported that the plot was his and yet it was not. Mr. Kafwaya regretted buying the plot as he lost K40, 000 in the process. After concluding the transaction the seller vanished in thin air. This is just one of the incidents involving swindling.
Buying of assets is not wrong but there is need to verify ownership of the property in the print media before buying it to avoid being swindled by the tricksters who can either be men or women.


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