By Anyway Yotamu.
The case between Harare land developer George Katsimberis and Kenneth Raydon Sharpe well known as Ken Sharpe failed to take off on the 8th of December 2020 after the State failed to serve defence lawyers with court papers on time.
State Prosecutor Audrey Chogumaira said the delay in providing the defence with the court papers was caused because they had send the papers through a WhatsApp message to the defence lawyer Mr. Tendai Biti saying.
“We have sent the message through WhatsApp because the State doesn’t have messengers to deliver Court summons,” said Chogumaira.
Prominent Harare Lawyer Tendai Biti who’s representing George Katsimberis accused the prosecutor of acting unprofessional after she claimed to have sent the papers through WhatsApp.
“my lord the State never delivered Court summons to me or my offices located in Milton Park and the Prosecutor is the servant of the court he/she must comply with the Court and Mr. Zinyandu never phoned me and I never talked to him and I am not a WhatsApp person, I have thousands of unattended messages, for Court business, I write letters I don’t do business on WhatsApp. The conduct of the Prosecutor is not professional my lady,” said Biti.
According to the Evidence and Procedure’s Act, an accused person must be furnished with court papers three days before the trial kicks off, but the State, represented by Ms. Chogumaira, tried to convince the court to proceed to the trial despite failure to comply with the rules.
Magistrate Mrs. Loice Mukunyadzi asked “Prosecutor, how do you normally do your daily work when you say State doesn’t have messengers to deliver Court summons to the accused persons?
“The state should avail the papers to the accused. Do we all agree with that? and the State shall provide the following documents before the Court, The Deed of Settlement dated 28th May 2019, The letter from City of Harare dated 31st of May 2019 to Chinawa law chambers, Letter from City of Harare dated 26th of June 2019, Letter from Chinawa law chambers dated 12th June 2919, Letter from Chinawa law chambers dated 14th June 2019,”
But Katsimberis lawyer, Advocate Tendai Biti, said “the State’s inefficiency could not be used to prejudice his client and the State in interfering with the courts asked the court for a postponement to early January 2021 because am going to attend family business in South Africa,”
Magistrate Mukunyadzi told the State to bring the needed Court papers so that they can proceed with State hearing, after two hours in a locked up door the Prosecutor came back without the papers.
Biti accused the State prosecutor Chogumaira of interfering with Kern Sharpe’s sister Tatiana Aleshina who is not a witness but spend more than 2 hours locked up with the Prosecutor, State witnesses Michael Van Blerk and Simbarashe Kadye.
“My lady, my learned friend (Prosecutor, Chogumaira) just disappeared for 2 hours holding up in the office who are Tatiana Aleshina, Michael Van Blerk, and Simbarashe Kadye. Tatiana Aleshina is not a state witness but a land baron who’s is being led by Kern Sharpe the principal land baron,” said Biti.
After a nearly six-hour mark upon leaving the Courtroom drama exploded as Tatiana Aleshina confronted Tendai Biti over comments made by Biti in the Courtroom of interfering with the Court proceedings where she is not either a state witness.
“You stu**d” you were mentioning my name in the Courtroom, I am going to report you to Kern Sharpe,” charged an angry Aleshina.
More than twelve people outside the Courtroom witnessed the exchange of words between Aleshina and Biti and later on the day Aleshina created a Twitter account and then filed a police report leading to Biti’s detention after he surrendered himself at Harare Central Police Station.
The matter was deferred to the 11th of January 2021 for further hearing
By Anyway Yotamu.