National Prosecutor sucked in Pokugara saga

The long standing dispute between Ken Sharpe of Pokugara Properties Pvt LTD and George Katsimberis has taken a new twist.

The latest fiasco have seen the involvement National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with the latter claiming damages to the tune of US$500 000.00 for malicious prosecution.

This have also embroiled Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) who according to Katsimberis will jointly pay the amount with National Prosecuting Authority.

In a letter directed to NPA, George Katsimberis postulated that he signed an agreement with Sharpe on a 50/50 basis resulting in the formation of Pokugara eco-friendly Estates, Borrowdale Eco-friendly Estates and Gunhill Eco-friendly Estates of which he injected US$883 728 48, US$300 000 and US$750 000 respectively, in accordance to the requirements.

Katsimberis explained how Sharpe dubiously crooked him in the deal.

Katsimberis further states that after he had obtained relevant building plans and constructed a showhouse on Stand 19828 Harare Township of Salisbury measuring 20.8438 hectares as per their agreed terms, Sharpe dodged the contract claiming that the company which signed the contract was Pokugara Estate Pvt LTD instead of Pokugara Properties Pvt LTD.

“I received a letter from Ken Sharpe’s lawyers on 11 January 2018 claiming that the Pokugara Joint Venture was null and void as both parties were unincorporated companies in entering into the Joint Venture Agreement….When I refuted that contention, it came as a shocking surprise to me that he was referring to Pokugara Estate Pvt LTD duly represented by Ken Sharpe in the joint venture agreement as he was both Director and shareholder,” he said.

However, according to Katsimberis, Sharpe’s claims are fraudulent considering that he had forwarded payments to Pokugara Properties Pvt LTD’s banking account as per their agreement adding that he is in possession of all the receipts and evidence to support his submissions.

In March 2018 Sharpe reportedly proposed to cancel all the 3 joint ventures to substitute them into one consolidated agreement. When Katsimberis denied the new set up, Sharpe, through his lawyers on April 16 2018 wrote a letter to him cancelling the joint venture agreement accusing him of breaching terms of the agreement.

Katsimberis said Sharpe and his associates unlawfully demolished the showhouse on the basis that he had fraudulently acquired building plans and used substandard material. He denies the same.

“In fulfillment of the agreement, our client, through Pokugara Properties obtained relevant building plans and proceeded to construct a showhouse at the above property. Without a court order, Kenneth Raydone Sharpe and his associates at Pokugara Properties, proceeded to unlawfully demolish the above showhouse without any lawful and just cause,” reads his statement.

Moreover, Katsimberis filed a report of perjury against the averments that had been made on oath by the City of Harare and the officials from Pokugara Properties Pvt LTD prompting the ZRP to open a docket under CR 2723/08/2019 and CR 2722/08/2019 against Michael Van Blerk, Pokugara Properties Pvt LTD, Hosiah Chisango and the City of Harare.

“In papers that we have filed in the High Court in Case no. HC.8943/2018 officials from Harare and Pokugara Properties who include Michael Van Blerk and Simbarashe Kadye perjured themselves and lied under oath in claiming that our client had constructed the showhouse without the requisite plans approved by the City of Harare. This clearly was false as our client had approved plans which he had paid for,” reads his submissions.

Katsimberis reiterated that there is no proper basis for prosecution and the State’s actions, through Prosecutors, Ms Audry Chogumaira and Mr Ephraim Zinyandu are malicious and unjustified. He said the State’s conduct in prosecuting him is injurious to his personal feeling and is harmful.

“We therefore write to you in terms of the State Liabilities Act, read with the High Court rules, providing you with sixty days notice of intention to institute proceedings against the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the National Prosecuting Authority for malicious prosecution.

“The damages that have been suffered by our client are in the sum of Five hundred thousand United States Dollars (USD$500 000.00) or its equivalent at the official rate to be paid jointly and severally by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the National Prosecuting Authority,” he said.

Katsimberis stressed that unless the National Prosecuting Authority responds directly to his legal team or pay the aforementioned amount within 60 days, summons will be issued without further warning.
The NPA is yet to respond.

Tendai Guvamombe