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Lawyer pleads for court protection against "antagonising" Ken Sharpe aide

by Simbarashe Sithole
27 Feb 2023 at 22:29hrs | Views
Top lawyer Alec Muchadehama was forced to plead for court protection against controversial businessman Ken Sharpe's aide, Tatiana Aleshina who had turned abusive after he handed her a torrid time during cross-examination.

Muchadehama was cross-examining Aleshina in an ongoing case where politician Tendai Biti is accused of verbally assaulting her at the Harare Magistrates court in November 2020.

During a session of cross-examination, Muchadehama pleaded with the courts to rein Aleshina after she refused to answer questions from the lawyer.

Aleshina declined to answer a number of questions relating to Sharpe's company, Augur Investments before bursting in court calling the prosecuting process nonsense.

"No, am not able to represent Augur Investments and am here as an investor, I don't want to seat in Court and listen to this nonsense."

The Ukrainian woman who calls herself an investor has been in the country since 1997 and holds a Zimbabwean passport.

Following Muchadehama's protest to Aleshina's conduct, Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro told the Russian investor to retract her statement.

Aleshina's temperament rose from the questions posed by Muchadehama which pertained to her businesses.

According to Muchadehama, the verbal assault charges his cleint is facing are intricately linked to a number of cases where Biti is representing companies that were allegedly defrauded by Augur Investiments OU and its associated subsidiaries.

"Your Worship, I do not want to answer to questions about Augur Investments. I do not have rights to talk about Augur Investments. I don't know anything about it, I cannot discuss it, I have no authority to talk about it. I am not the director, CEO or shareholder, I have no authority to talk about it," Aleshina said.

Aleshina,who is a close of Sharpe, is currently engulfed in a number of cases before courts where Biti is representing companies that are suing Augur Investments for fraud.

One of the companies being represented by Biti, Fairclot Investments, is suing Augur investments for duping them millions of dollars.

Fairclot was subcontracted to construct the airport road on behalf of Augur Investments before the later defaulted payments.

Initially the airport road construction project was said to have been fraudulently awarded to Augur Investments who in turn acquired construction services elsewhere due to lack of capacity.

Augur in turn went ahead and claimed over 700 hectares of land valued at US$52 million that was agreed on as part of payment by the Harare City Council (HCC).

Despite failing to meet the agreed terms in the airport road construction deal, Augur Investment went ahead claimed the land before parceling it out to its associated companies to avoid litigation.

"It is not surprising that the witness is refusing to answer my questions about Augur Investments OU, the cross examination relates to how the two link and relate.

"The questions I am asking about Augur are relevant to the case and I want to prove that the complainant is capitalising on the accused to get back to him for his role on representing companies that are suing the complainant," Muchadehama said.

In cross examining Aleshina, Muchadehama questioned as COO of Augur if she knew about the shaddy deals her company is involved in.

"You said you are not involved in Augur Investments yet you approached Sekesai Makwavarara as an investor and you were representing Augur Investments OU to the City of Harare.

"So you are linked to Augur Investments OU and other creation companies?

"Can you confirm that you were party of the Harare Airport Road with City of Harare and Augur Investments. Are you aware that Augur did not develop Airport Road the contract it entered with City of Harare," questioned Muchadehama.

Aleshina declined to answer the lawyer's questions.

"I will not be able to answer questions which is not assault case. I am not representing Augur Investments OU and am not able to speak about it," said Aleshina.

Muchadehama did not deter from prying response from the investor.

"Do you agree that West Properties did not buy the land independently.

"You are the one fronting all the companies were the accused person is representing his clients.

"Did you ever wrote any letter representing Augur Investments OU," queried Muchadehama.

Aleshina again declined to answer

"I am not allowed to talk about Augur Investments OU and am refusing to answer," said Aleshina.

After the botched agreement, reports by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and HCC recommended that Augur Investments forfeit the land to the local authorities, a submission that was not followed.

Source - Byo24News