By Senior Court Reporter
Controversial businessman and a top land baron in Zimbabwe, Kenneth Raydon Sharpe’s fraudulently granted immunity from prosecution will suffer a major blow.
This follows a legal step taken by Harare Land developer, George Katsimberis who recently approached the High Court challenging a tripartite Deed of Settlement that ‘fraudulently’ granted immunity from prosecution to the disgraced investor.
The move will inevitably open floodgates of lawsuits against the controversial businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe and his personal assistant Tatiana Aleshina.
The Deed of Settlement signed by Sharpe’s Augur Investments OU, City of Harare and Ministry of Local Government and Public Works on 28 May 2019 granted protection against prosecution to the exiled and his associates despite various people keen to seek recourse for different issues related to his land dealings in and around Harare.
One such aggrieved entity was City of Harare who approached the courts after they were left unimpressed by Augur Investments’ work on Airport Road.
As a result of the deed of settlement, City of Harare had to withdraw its court case against Sharpe.
In his High Court application filed on the 23rd of August 2022 where he cited the Prosecutor General, Local Government Minister July Moyo, Augur Investments OU, Tatiana Aleshina, Pokugara Properties Private Limited, City of Harare, Harare Regional Magistrate Vongai Guwuriro Muchuchuti, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney General of Zimbabwe, Katsimberis wants the High Court to declare the Deed of Settlement null and void so that those benefitting from the protection can be arraigned before the courts to answer to charges of fraud.
Katsimberis also wants the High Court to nullify the actions taken by the Prosecutor General and City of Harare to withdraw charges against any person linked to Sharpe’s Augur Investments.
“That any actions taken by the first and sixth respondents to withdraw criminal charges against any person or entity pursuant to the deed of settlement signed between Augur Investments OU, the City of Harare and the Minister of Local Government and Public works on 28 May 2019 be and is hereby declared null and void,” reads part of Katsimberis’ application.
He threatened to pursue private prosecution in the event that the Prosecutor General fails to prosecute any person linked to Augur Investments over the deed of settlement.
Katsimberis said he has also been denied the same protection as the Prosecutor General has failed to heed his plea against being an accused person in a case where he is a witness on the same set of facts.
He also questioned why the Prosecutor General chose to delegate the Minister of Local Government and Public Works when the constitution does not provide for such.
This follows the Local Government minister July Moyo agreeing to grant Augur Investments and its associates protection from prosecution on any issues arising from the Deed of Settlement.
Katsimberis also reminded the Court that the Deed of Settlement in question violated Sections 56, 62 and 68 as read with sections 258, 259 and 260 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.