By Court Reporter
The City of Harare was overpowered by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works in authorizing a controversial land deal awarded to Kenneth Raydon Sharpe’s Augur Investment(AU) as part of payment for the construction of Airport Road which was never completed.
Meanwhile the current Acting Town Clerk for the City of Harare, Engineer Mabhena Phakamile has asserted that council remained unsatisfied by the half done work done by Sharpe’s owned company, Augur Investments.
This comes amid the Harare North Member of Parliament and two others filed a High Court application seeking reversal of an illegal deal entered between City of Harare and Augur Investments.
Responding to the High Court application, Eng. Moyo stated that the City Fathers were ordered by Local Government Minister July Moyo who decided to pay the investor with state land in question.
“There is tangible evidence that work was done on airport road although not to completion. It is true that at some point council was not happy with underperformance by Augur. That is why it cancelled the agreement. It did so in consideration of what was best for the council.
“From the information that I have gathered from some of the records relating to this transaction, the Deed of Settlement was entered in good faith and that it was made in the best interest of the public. Things may not have gone as expected but the original intention was to promote infrastructural development for the benefit of the public,” reads court papers.
The submissions also state that City of Harare had no capacity to refuse the orders from the Minister of Local Government on the transfer of stand 654 Pomona Township which is a stateland.
“The transfer of stand 654 Pomona Township is a bilateral contractual issue. Once the owner of the property decided to transfer the property I do not believe third parties can interfere. This was state land which the state decided to transfer to Augur. The City of Harare could not have stopped or refused that,” he said.
He added “It appears from the Council records that at some point the 5th respondent disagreed with Augur regarding the value of work done. Those matters were litigated upon and there are outcomes. So it is not as if the 5th respondent has not taken steps to protect the interest of the public regarding this transaction.
“It is true that stand 654 Pomona was state land and the state through the relevant ministry decided to transfer it. There is nothing that the 5th respondent could have done to stop that.”
Markham, Jacob Pikicha and Tavonga Savings Scheme are seeking reversal of the land deal sighting massive land corruption.