Mercy Moyo (not real name), a United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean mother of one, since 2010 was determined to invest in a family house first upon settling foot in foreign lands.
All was not rosy upon settling in the green getting around US$16,00 per hour with the main lump sum going to taxes and rentals.
She was though determined to be a proud home owner at least for her extended family back home.
Alas, not all was rosy as her uncle whom she had tasked to secure a residential stand was duping her through fraudulent title deeds and agreement of sales such that the dream paled in the air.
“I have been in the UK since 2000 and I couldn’t come back easily,” Moyo said.
“After setting to visit home in 2020, then the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc, closing international air travel.
“With the travel restrictions due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic that were later liberalised, I later came home to receive the shock of my life, realising that all the pictures about the house were fictitious.”
This is just, but one of the numerous stories of fraud affecting Zimbabweans based abroad, at the hands of their “trustees” in their wish to invest back home.
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Perhaps this is one of the major reasons that gave birth to Richvim Construction.
The young company, whose full blossom is yet to come, has become a household name among local Zimbabweans and those based abroad, offering plan-drawing and construction project management services, having started in 2017.
Could this be realistic given the harsh macroeconomic environment characterising the country?
According to the founder Richard Masendeke, a civil engineer by profession, endurance is the mainstay of business survival.
He also believes that Covid-19 made an emphatic realisation on the populace about the importance of homes.
“Competency consistency, and the heart to serve under all conditions, harsh or favourable, are irreplaceable values,” Masendeke said.
“Construction industry is at its peak following the global outbreak of Covid-19.
“It awakened everyone to the fact that home is best and life is uncertain; you just need somewhere to relax and rest when pressures of life besiege you.
“We feel what needs to be addressed is for contractors to respect and value all clients, big or small, to man up and resolve any conflicts amicably and on the client's side to value contractors' families just as theirs when a service has been provided.We need each other in all circles of life.
“Market-wise in terms of construction we have gone almost to all the provinces of Zimbabwe, in terms of design or management we have gone beyond the borders, we recently registered in South Africa, a milestone we feel is actually going against the tides of the economy at the present moment.”
The Harare-headquartered company notes that although the Diaspora, which constitutes 90% of its clients can be lucrative; it has its down side in that some clients would never pay, along other business glitches.
Masendeke, however, is grateful that once a proper job is acknowledged the subsequent referral is huge highlighting that it’s a niche market that teaches one to be very organised.
The company has young and old professionals, among them engineers, engineering technicians, architects, bricklayers, painters, plumbers, tilers, carpenters, steel fixers and many other qualified tradesmen.