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Harare Magistrate refused to withdraw charges leveled against a state witness 

By Court Reporter

In an improper modus operandi, Harare Magistrate last week Friday refused to grant the withdrawal of a case against George Katsimberis, a land devekoper who is a state witness in a case of malicious damage to property involving City of Harare officials and Pokugara Properties personnel including its owner Kenneth Raydon Sharpe.

The charges that has persisted has since faced objections from Tendai Biti, a prominent lawyer who feels a mistreat on his client. The matter of the case is on the refusal of the court to withdraw charges against state witnesse cum accused.

Biti argues that it is very unfortunate for a witness of the state to become the accused and appearing in the courts of law as a defendant against the same facing fraud charges.

Biti’s argument went a long way in narrating how the self exiled Kenneth Raydon Sharpe crooked a bussiness partner by the name Georges Katsimberis in a joint venture agreement.

Courts documents seen by this publication has it that Geroges Katsimberis reported Sharpe who is the main culprit in the whole fiasco who is still at large and his other employees Michael Van Blerk and Simbarashe Kadye from Pokugara Properties as well as City of Harare Town Clerk Hosiah Chisango for maliciously destroying his show house, a case that is still before the courts.

During the court proceedings, answering to the allegations the accused falsely misrepresented the matter of facts under oath indicating that that Katsimberis had built the show house without approved plans which was not true, hence the perjury charge against them.

“My lady the accused is a land developer, sometime in 2016 he formed a joint venture company with the complainant who is a fugitive from justice, at large and land baron, Kenneth Raydon Sharpe, Pokugara Properties managing director John Michael Van Blerk and have brought up charges to my client who is also the chief witness hence there are similar cases for them before the Courts,” said Biti.

“Michael Van Blerk representing the fugitive Kenneth Raydon Sharpe in High Court in their opposing papers that was filed in opposition of destructing of the property a Show House without the Court order, Michael Van Blerk representing the fugitive Kenneth Raydon Sharpe as well as the City of Harare represented by it’s Town Clerk (Hosiah Chisango) sworn an affidavit in those papers where they alleged that the accused person (Georgios Katsimberis) had constructed a Show House without valid approved city of Harare building plans, they made this contention under oath in the High Court, after this matter has been resolved, then the accused person brought a complain for perjury against Michael Van Blerk and Simbarashe Kadye the charge being that you lied under oath that I do not have approved building plans.

“My Lady criminal proceedings being brought against Michael Van Blerk, Simbarashe Kadye and Town Clerk of the City of Harare for lying under oath that the accused person constructed his Show House without approved building plans from the City of Harare in breach of regional town planning Act on that my lady the trial is actually to commence on the 11th of May 2021,

Kenneth Raydon Sharpe, who is at large is being accused of malicious damage to property
“So the accused person is the main witness in that trial for perjury in addition, my lady there are also fresh criminal proceedings with a trial to commence again on the 12th of May 2021 against the same Kenneth Raydon Sharpe the fugitive at large land baron and Michael Van Blerk for malicious damage to property as defined in the criminal code for destroying property,

“Once again the accused person is the principal witness that matter, so the position we now have my lady is that on the same set of facts that the accused person (Georgios Katsimberis) brought a complaint against the witness in the present trial namely Michael Van Blerk, Simbarashe Kadye and City of Harare, that he developed without approved plans, he is also the witness on the same facts in the trial against Michael Van Blerk 1 for perjury and 2 for malicious damage to property,” he added.

According to Biti, charges against Katsimberis are a clear contravention of his constitutional right to equal protection of the law as defined in Section 55(1) and his right to a fair trial which is contained in Section 65.

Tendai Guvamombe