Ken Sharpe’s has chickened out of his $20 million claim against a company he accused of causing him huge financial prejudice by erecting a billboard urging people not to buy stands on land under contention, avoiding a potentially explosive cross examination by Tendai Biti.
Sharpe’s company, West Properties made a surprise move and withdrew its case against Fairclot, offering to pay the court of suit to avoid facing Biti in court.
The withdrawal comes three days after Tatiana Aleshina, Sharpe’s aide was embarrassed in court by top lawyer Alec Muchadehama during cross examination in the case in which she accuses Biti of insulting her.
Sharpe’s company had sort to claim the money for loss of business after an altercation that resulted in Fairclot erecting a billbord along Borrowdale road to warn prospecting buyers and home seekers against acquiring residential stands at stand 654 Pomona Township.
In a letter of withdrawal by West Properties, the company agreed to settle the costs of the suit.
“Take note, that the plaintiff intend to withdraw this action and will tender costs at an ordinary scale withing three days from the date that this notice is served,” read the withdrawal application.
“Further take note that the plaintiff undertake to pay Fairclot taxed costs.”
Fairclot was subcontracted to construct the Harare Airport Road by Sharpe and the company has not been paid.
The construction company is also disputing the payment, demanding payment in US$ and the case is awaiting judgment at the High Court.
Further, Fairclot is also challenging the decision by the deputy Sherriff of the High Court, Mcduff Madega for transferring the Pomona property “without following proper procedures.”
Despite protests and objections by Fairclot’s lawyers, Madega went ahead and transferred the land, whose title deed are held in escrow by local law firm.
Fairclot demanded US$5 million from Augur for the work it performed in the refurbishment of the Airport Road, challenging the payment in local currency at a 1-1 rate. The case is still awaiting judgment at the High Court.
Currently, there are summons under case 4599/19 which is seeking an order to declare stand 654 Pomona and the 17 shelf companies where land was transferred executable.
The airport road construction project was fraudulently awarded to Augur Investments, an associate company of West Properties, who in turn acquired construction services elsewhere due to lack of capacity.
Augur then went ahead and claimed over 700 hectares of land valued at US$52 million that was agreed on as part of payment by the Harare City Council (HCC).
Despite failing to meet the agreed terms in the airport road construction deal, Augur Investment went ahead claimed the land before parceling it out to its associated companies.
A deed of settlement signed between the company, local Government minister July Moyo and Harare City Council later gave Sharpe cast tracts of land and criminal immunity.
Several cases challenging the deed of settlement have flooded the courts