HARARE – Another blow for controversial Ukrainian basesd Harare businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe well known as Ken Sharpe, as The Zimbabwe Federation of Homeless People ( ZFHP) and two other applicants have approached the High Court seeking to reverse ‘illegal’ land dealings between Ken Sharpe’s Augur Investments and City of Harare worth over US$90 million.
According to Court Applications seen by The Harare Times, Augur Investments represented by Oleksandr Scheremet with Tatiana Aleshina who is the 5th respondent and Kenneth Raydon Sharpe who is the 4th respondent was allegedly allocated vast tracks of land in the capital city bwithout paying anything to the Council.
The Court Application filed on the 11th of March this year reviewed that, Harare City Council and Augur Investments, owned by controversial businessman Ken Sharpe, entered into an ‘illegal’ joint venture agreement in which Augur Investments was illegally allocated 70 percent share with City of Harare getting 30 percent in the company they formed called Sunshine Development (Pvt) Ltd.
Harare City was represented by the then Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi and the then chairperson of the Commission running Harare, Sekesayi Makwavarara.
According to the agreement, the joint venture was supposed to build middle income houses and a hotel at Malbereign Golf Course, develop a commercial centre and Truck Stop in Hopley among other projects.
The land was transferred to Sunshine Development (PVT) LTD which is also cited as 7th respondent and a further 150 hectares which is 1 500 000 square meters of prime land was also transferred to Sunshine outside the ‘illegal’ joint venture agreement at a value of US$30million in 2007.
Augur Investments was supposed to invest USD$30 million into the project but nothing has been paid to City of Harare and the developments agreed have not been done but Augur Investments controlling vast tracts of prime land valued at US$50 million according to the ‘illegal’ agreement.
According to the information gathered by this publication Sunshine Development Pvt (Ltd) outside the agreement was ‘illegally’ given another 150 hectarers of prime land in Harare worth US$60 million , which was described in the founding affidavit as the biggest fraud ever happen in Zimbabwe after the Pioneer Colum.
Tinashe Kwambana and the Homeless People’s Federation in their founding affidavits reviewed that , there was a criminal conduct between Ken Sharpe’s Augur Investments and City of Harare
The applicants charge that Ken Sharpe is a serious land baron who owns extensive land in Zimbabwe through his foreign registered company Augur Investments.
In their joint affidavit the litigants say above all the illegalities of the allocation of the land in question, the joint venture company failed to honour part of its agreements.
“More particularly it has failed to inject the capital sum of USD$30 million as was envisaged in the Shareholders’ Agreement. They failed to use this loan agreement to develop the land for the purposes that the parties agreed, namely among other things residential suburbs and a hotel.
“More than that, instead of developing the land, the 7th respondent will effectively become a land baron selling and allocating part of the property that ought to be developed.”
According to the affidavit for former Ward 17 Councilor Warship Dumba partly reads: “I seek a Declaratory Order to the effect that the shareholders agreement and indeed the agreement itself was a nullity and void ab initio. I seek a cancellation of all the deeds of transfers of the land to the 7th Respondent (Sunshine Development).
“I contend that the agreement executed between the City of Harare and 1st respondent (Augur) is a nullity in that we as councillors ratified the same. In addition, I was elected councillor in March 2008, yet Minister Chombo went behind our backs and appointed a commission, an illegal commission chaired by Michael Mahachi in May 2008.”
Dumba argues that he is basing his arguments on the fact that those who signed and executed the Memorandum of Agreement and the Shareholders Agreement had no capacity or authority from the City of Harare to act as they did.
He further argues that Augur Investments, being a foreign company, lacked the requisite approvals and compliance with Zimbabwe’s Investment Laws.
“The disposal of land was done inconsistent with the Urban Councils Act, the agreements in any event were fraudulent and were contracts against public policy. The agreements should be set aside on the basis of unjust enrichment,” reads part of Dumba’s affidavit.
The respondents are City of Harare 1st respondent, Augur Investments 2nd respondent, The Minister of Local Government and Public Works (then Chombo) 3rd respondent, Kenneth Raydon Sharpe 4th respondent , Tatiana Aleshina 5th respondent, Michael John Can Blerk 6th respondent, Sunshine Development 7th respondent , Registrar of Deeds 8th respondent and Registrar of Companies as 9th respondent.
The respondents have been saved with court application but are yet to file the responses.
Recently Ken Sharpe and his Augur Investments taken to Court by Outspoken MDC Alliance’s Legislator for Harare North Constituency over ‘dirty’ land dealings valued at US$205million and they’re yet to appear before the Courts.