By Court Reporter
It never rain but pours for Kenneth Raydon Sharpe, a controversial businessman based in Ukraine, who is now being haunted by the unfinished legal proceedings at the High Court of Zimbabwe.
The latest is the notice of filling by Allan Norman Markham as the first applicant at the High Court Case No. HC4 25/2021 where Sharpe and Tatiana are sited as the 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively. This relates to the illegal transfer of land to Pokugara Properties(owned by Sharpe and Aleshina as an official) by the City of Harare through the facilitation of the Minister of Local Government and the President.
In the notice of filling Allan Norman Markham as the first applicant showcased how Sharpe and Aleshina engaged in corruption mode through state capture on the transfer of vast amount of lands in Harare.
“Corruption has been a major scourge in Zimbabwe.
The 9th Respondent in his various speeches to the nation, in particular the three addresses he has made on the occasions of the official opening of 9th Parliament, a large part of the same has been devoted a huge amount of time to corruption. So much so that, the 9th Respondent himself has set up a Special Anti Corruption Unit (SACU) housed in his office to combat this disease.
Corruption takes many forms. It is in insidious. One of the new forms of corruption is now known essentially as State Capture. This is the situation where private actors such as the 1st Respondent in casu, manage to influence the State at multiple levels in order to obtain certain outcomes for certain benefits.The facts of the instant matter are sad. An agreement for the construction of the Harare Airport road was made between the City of Harare and the 1st Respondent. That agreement was negotiated under an illegal environment where a commission was created despite the fact that a few weeks after the election of March 2008 lawfully elected Councillors existed.”
The papers further showcase the gimics played by Sharpe through his Company known as Augur Investments on state capture. In this regards Augur was awarded vast amount of lands in Harare despite them loosing a High Court Case to the City of Harare. The involvement of Minister of Local Governments and the President in the case translate to what Markham refers to state capture.
“Pursuant to this agreement, huge amounts of land were transferred to 1st Respondent’s satellite companies under circumstances where Augur Investments OU failed to construct the road in question. In fact they did not construct more than 2.5 kilometres of the road. Despite this, further additional land was transferred to the same, which was not in the original agreement. When the agreement was eventually cancelled belatedly in 2014 for non performance, Augur Investments OU demanded more land. This time, it demanded land in Pomona which was not even owned by the City of Harare but by the State through the 9th Respondent. Augur Investments OU went to arbitration to demand that land. Even the arbitrator did not award them that land. He awarded them a substantial
payment in damages under circumstances which were questionable. Rightfully so, the City of Harare vehemently and robustly challenged the arbitration award. The High Court of Zimbabwe agreed with the same. However when the matter went to the Supreme Court on appeal, it is now evident from the Respondents’ own documents that pressure was made to bear on the City of Harare, through a directive from the 9th Respondent in the form of a letter dated the 15th of May 2019 referred to in paragraph 72.4 of the 1st Respondent’s affidavit to withdraw all
proceedings and settle. The minutes produced by the 1st Respondent of the City of Harare’s
meeting of the 29th of May 2008 which are attached as Annexure IV to Augur Investments’ affidavit, clearly show that pressure and duress was put on the City of Harare to sign a settlement. What is shocking is that Augur Investments, through Tatiana Aleshina, has unleashed the demon of State Capture and extracted so much
influence even from the highest office in the land in ensuring this Deed of Settlement. The disclosure naively made in paragraphs 72 – 75 of the 1st Respondent’s affidavit are shocking. In these paragraphs, Tatiana
According to Aleshina, she forcefully engaged Ministry of Lacal Government July Moyo, the Permanent Secretary Virginia Mabhiza whom she claimed to have went for a meeting with President Mnangagwa. This was conducted during a court proceeding. Her influence overpowered City of Harare in signing a legal transfer of land. She claims to have all legal matters been cleared by the Anti Corruption Commission.
“Aleshina on behalf of Augur Investments confesses that she was actively involved in pushing the Ministry of Local Government, its Minister and the Permanent Secretary, to actually visit the offices of the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. She makes the shocking disclosure that it was in this meeting with the Head of State that a settlement was ordered. A meeting which according to her was heard when court proceedings were taking place. Further, pursuant to this meeting, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government then called officials from the City of Harare to force a settlement.What she is in fact saying is that she uses her influenced to extract a forced settlement on the City of Harare. This is State Capture.She is therefore unfairly and mendaciously, name dropping and fingering innocent public officials none more important than the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. She is in fact saying to this Honourable Court that do not touch the Deed of Settlement. It was made at State House. Her demon of State Capture does not end there. The disclosures in paragraph 46 of her opposing affidavit are shocking. She claims that the Anti Corruption Commission has cleared Augur Investments of any corruption. This is not correct and it cannot be correct.
Tatiana Aleshina’s moves in fingering big names in the court proceedings makes her hands to be dirty and merely compromises good cooperate governmence practices in the country. According to the court papers Aleshina advertises her state capture with confidence, a predicament which kept the nation under compromise in terms of development.
“Secondly, she makes disclosures about her interaction with Mrs Virginia Mabiza the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice. Thus in one affidavit we know of Augur Investments OU’s entanglement with the levers of power. We know of Tatiana Aleshina’s machinations in roping in the Minister of Local Government, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, the Mayor of Harare, the Town Clerk of Harare, the Permanent of Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, the Land Commission and the Attorney General. This is shocking and unacceptable.”
“As Zimbabwe as a country should never allow itself to placed into a position where nefarious corrupt individuals can bend and corrupt the entire State infrastructure.This is sad and unacceptable. The 1st Respondent therefore approaches this court with dirty hands. Its activities stink of corruption. To the extent that they have advertised their State capture machinations in this matter, the 1st Respondent has a duty to produce the full minutes of its meeting with the 9th Respondent, the Minister of Local Government and the Permanent Secretary in that ministry. They have a duty as well to disclose and produce the letter by the Permanent Secretary of Local Government to the City of Harare of the 15th of May 2019. The principles of good governance transparency, being some of the founding values and principles of our constitution demand this transparency. The principles of Good Governance demand that they not be heard before this court. Their hands are dirty.”