Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Deputy Prosecutor-General in trouble for lying in court

by Staff Reporter
08 Nov 2022 at 20:33hrs | Views
A Harare property developer Georgious Katsimberis has reported prosecutor general Michael Reza to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) over what he said is criminal manipulation of his case against businessman Ken Sharpe.

Katsimeberis, who is embroiled in a bruising legal battle with Sharpe that is playing out in the courts,  reported Reza and three other prosecutors to ZAAC where he accused them of perjury.

The other prosecutors are Charles Muchemwa, Richard Chikosha and Tafara Chirambira.

According to the ZACC papers, Reza is accused of obstructing the course of justice while the other three prosecutors are accused of perjury.

The deputy prosecutor general is accused of lying under oath while prosecuting the case.

"On or about the 2nd of August 2022 and at the High Court of Zimbabwe at the hearing of the application in case number HC 6820/21 and on various occasions during the magistrate's court trial in case of number CRB R 423/20 Michel Reza in the course of or for the purpose of judicial proceedings made statements otherwise than upon oath, orally, knowing that the statements were false or realising that there was a real risk or possibility that the statement was false," reads part of the charge sheet.

"According to the outline of the state case, on or about 2 August 2022 at the High Court of Zimbabwe, Reza made a false declaration that Pokugara Properties owned by Ken Sharpe reported Katsimberis to the police first when it was not true."

Katsimberis narrated how his dispute with Sharpe started leading to the court case where Reza is accused of trying to manipulate the proceedings.

He said in 2016 he went into a joint venture with Sharpe where the businessman was supposed to contribute 13 housing stands measuring 25 932 square metres at an agreed value of US$34.00 per square metre, thus giving the land a total value of US$883 728. 48.

Katsimberis said he availed funds equivalent to the value of the stands brought into the joint venture by Sharpe for infrastructure development and the construction of cluster houses.

He said he paid US$900 000 into the joint venture and carried out developments on the property, including the building of a single-storey cluster show house on the development, as well as securing all the necessary certificates, permits and plans for the proposed housing estate.

Sharpe failed to send the title deeds for the property to the lawyers for the joint venture as contemplated in their agreement and failed to produce or procure the sewer pump, which was needed as the final condition for the joint venture to obtain the necessary compliance certificate for the development.

Katsimberis said he ended up doing more work on the project than was contemplated in the joint venture agreement, until compliance work was finally completed for 21 cluster stands in December 2017.

He said on September 25, 2018 he received communication from his lawyers with a letter from Sharpe's lawyers that included letters from the City of Harare advising Pokugara Properties to demolish the single-storey cluster show house.

Pokugara Properties is owned by Sharpe.

The letter claimed that the house had been inspected by the City of Harare in a random unscheduled visit, and demanded that the house be demolished by August 30, 2018.

If he failed to comply with the order, an enforcement order for the demolition of the house would be issued in terms of the relevant regulations, the letters warned.

Pokugara Properties, Sharpe and their associates are said to have demolished the show house on the pretext that they were complying with the council's orders.

"I immediately filed an urgent chamber application to stop the demolition of the house, Katsimberis said.

"In their opposing affidavit to that application, Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited and its officials including one Michael van Blerk as well as other associates filed sworn statements claiming that the show house was built without the approval of the City of Harare yet in actual fact they knew that there were approved plans from the City of Harare.

"They also lied that I had not submitted any plans for approval, and that I had built the show house on stand number 10 instead of stand number 9, when in fact the house was on stand number 9."

Katsimberis said in April 2019 he reported the matter to the police.

Sharpe, van Blerk, and Harare City Council officials gave statements to the police and are in court facing malicious damage to property charges after they were charged by the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU).

"Long after I reported the two cases of perjury and malicious damage to property Pokugara Properties and Michael van Blerk reported me to the police for fraud, it being alleged that I had acted unlawfully and with the intention to defraud Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited by furnishing to said Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited architectural plans purporting that they were duly approved by the City of Harare when they were not, thereby potentially prejudicing Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited of US$883 728.48," Katsimberis said.

"The prosecution of this case is on-going."

He added: "Two months after the report, the applicant then counter-reported to the police.

"For unknown reasons, the police brought the applicant's docket against Pokugara to court even though his report had been received last.

"They said the accused did not submit any plans for approval and records of proceedings in the cases and will be produced in court as exhibits.

"These statements were materially and perjuriously false."

Katsimberis said Reza declared that Pokugara Properties reported him to the police first, which was untrue.

The three prosecutors also made similar claims that Pokugara reported to the police first.

ZAAC chairperson Loice Matanda-Moyo confirmed that a report had been made against Reza but said the Zimbabwe Republic Police was handling the investigations.

"The matter is being handled by ZRP and not ZACC," Matanda Moyo said.

Police national spokesperson Paul Nyathi promised to comment on the matter, but was not picking up calls during further follow-ups.

Source - Byo24News