In a legal defense, Tatiana Aleshina of 1st, 3rd and 7th Respondents’ Opposing Affidavit of the CASE NO. HC 425/21 held at Harare narrated how Kenneth Raydon Sharpe through Augur Investments received vast amounts of land from the City of Harare through an illegal joint venture partnership.
She rebukes the citation of Augur Investments of Ukraine and went on to mention a different Augur Investments that is registered in Mauritius as indicated in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Applicant’s Founding Affidavit.
She affirms and attempts to justify the involvement of President Emerson Mnangagwa, July Moyo Minister of Local Government in the illegal sale and transfer of land to Augur Investments. Augur Investments belongs to Kenneth Raydon Sharpe who is cited as a land baron at large in a number of court cases.
This follows applicant’s founding affidavit by Allan Norman Markham (1st Applicant), Tavonga Savings Scheme (2nd Applicant) and Jacob Pikicha (3rd Applicant).
Tatian’s legal defense went a long way in showcasing how President Mnangagwa and Minister of Local Government July Moyo authorized the sale of land to Augur Investment.
Land Given with Authority of the President
“The land was given with full consent of the Parent Ministry and the President of Zimbabwe to Augur Investments. Stand 654 measures 273 2923 hecteres.”
“The rules requires that leave of the court be obtained for issue of any civil process which may be sued out against the President. No such leave was sought or obtained by applicants in this matter despite the 9th respondent, who is the President of Zimbabwe, having been cited in the matter.”
Meeting with President During Court Proceedings
There is mention of the involvement of Local Government Permanent Secretary and a meeting held with the President during a Supreme Court Proceedings.
“During the Supreme Court proceedings and in the spirit to trying to reach a settlement, I accompanied the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government to a meeting with the Head of State during which it was agreed that the parties should try and settle their differences as an out of court settlement. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government thereafter called a meeting of the City of Harare Officials. It was agreed that parties would try to negotiate a mutually agreed Deed of Settlement. On the 16th May 2019, the Council met and authorized the Town Clerk to proceed to settle the matter with Augur Investments. The Minister was outside the country hence parties had to wait for him to return. He eventually signed the agreement on the 28th May 2019 under case number SC878/18. I am also aware that during the period from 20th to 28th May 2019 there were deliberations and input from the Attorney General’s office before the go ahead was given.”
“Further relevant line Ministers exercise delegated authority on behalf of the State and the President. They are therefore capable of binding the State and the President in the respective manner in which they acted. I am advised that section 327 of the Constitution which has been cited by 1st applicant for the position that the President could not depose of the land in question without parliamentary approval is not applicable to the transaction in question. The 1st respondent is not an international organization for purposes of Section 327.”
“There was in place a commission appointed by the Minister in terms of Section 80 of the Urban Councils Act to run the affairs of the City of Harare. These care takers or commissioners were empowered to act as Council. Accordingly they had authority to enter into any agreements lawfully. The outrageous statement that the Minister Appointed Mr. Mahachi to loot is bald and unsubstantiated . There was a gap which a Caretaker Commission was appointed to fill.”
“The Anti- Corruption Commission absolved 1st respondemt , 2nd respondent and myself of any wrongdoings. The case never went to court and therefore the statements are irrelevant and must be expunged from the record. Augur Investment went on to write to the Secretary of the Land Commission Ms Virginia Mabiza advising that the Anti-Corruption Commission had been to see us and enquiring what the issues were. Full disclosure on the land bank was made. The Commission was requested to conduct an enquiry they needed to assist 1st respondent, 2nd respondent and I are even not implicated in the Uchena land commission report on illegal parceling of state land.”
The move to abandon the high court order
“The order by Justice Muremba under HC 727/18 is no longer extent or binding. It was superseded by the deed of settlement executed in the Supreme Court as a consequence of an appeal lodged by first respondent. Muremba J’s is no longer extant for reasons I have already alluded to above. The point has already been made that the judgment of Justice Muremba was superseded by the deed of settlement. The respondents effectively abandoned their judgment. The 5th respondents had impliedly abandoned it by agreeing to a settlement in a superior court.
Josiah Chisango and City of Harare illegal Joint Venture with Kerne Sharpe
“The deed of settlement was signed in May 2019 and not May 2007 as stated. There is in existence a council resolution and minutes authorizing Hebert Gomba and Josiah Chisango to sign the deed of settlement. The road construction was a public-private partnership where Augur Investments was contracted by City of Harare on the basis of a direct relationship with them. The two formed a joint venture company named Sunshine Development where the City is a joint shareholder with the 1st Respondent in the Company. This was escalated to the parent Ministry, then the President’s Office. The transaction went through necessary parliamentary adjudication process and parliamentary approval was obtained. Cabinet and Reserve Bank approval were obtained. The land was only transferred much later following protracted litigation and after Mushore J’s judgment HC 4528/19.”