By Senior Court Reporter
HARARE – Former Harare Councilor Warship Dumba has take controversial land baron and justice fugitive Kenneth Raydon Sharpe and Local Government minister July Moyo to court over a ‘fraudulent’ joint venture agreement between City of Harare and shelf company involving vast tracks of land in Harare’s Warren Park, Hopley, Warren Hills Golf course and Arcadia.
In a High Court application seen by this publication, Dumba together with Zimbabwe Homeless People Federation and a Harare resident Knowledge Tinashe Kwambana wants the joint venture agreement that resulted in the formation of Sunshine Development Private Limited company declared null and void.
According to the joint venture agreement in possession of this publication, Sharpe’s company Augur Investments OU which was a day old when the deal was signed would be entitled to 70 percent shares while City of Harare which contributed 99 hectares of land would only get 30 percent shares.
Dumba wants to know how the 70-30 shareholding agreement was arrived at as it is not explained in the Memorandum of Agreement.
“Besides the above obvious corruption, there is no explanation in the Memorandum of Agreement or in the Shareholder’s Agreement why the shareholding structure is 70 to 30 in favour of Augur Investments OU,” said Dumba.
The litigants says the land provided by City of Harare as part of the agreement is worth over US$45 Million based on an independent valuation conducted by Mike Eric Juru of Intergrated Properties Private Limited.
According to the Shareholding Agreement, Sharpe’s contribution was a maximum of US$30 Million which is way less than City of Harare’s contribution to Sunshine Development Private Limited.
Local Government minister July Moyo is also a respondent in the High Court challenge filed by Warship Dumba and the Homeless
Dumba also questioned the criterion used to select Augur Investments to be development parter of the City of Harare.
“There was no defined criterion as to why Augur Investments OU was selected to be the development partner of the City of Harare,” reads Dumba’s High Court challenge.
Dumba and his co-litigants also poked holes in the registration and existence of Augur Investments which is registered in Estonia as opposed to Ukraine as indicated in the Memorandum of Understanding signed with City of Harare.
“The Augur Investments itself is a fraud. The Memorandum of Understanding signed on the 22nd of June 2007 with the City of Harare refers to Augur Ltd a company registered in Ukraine,
“On the contrary the Shareholders Agreement refers to Augur Investments Pty Ltd as a company registered in Estonia,” further reads Dumba’s Court challenge.
A Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) investigation also showed that Augur Investments was not Ukrainian but Estonian and its address was questionable as it showed a flat in an industrial area.
“Although it claims to be a Ukrainian company, investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission show that in fact it was registered in Estonia as an Estonian company. And according to papers filed in the Estonian Registry, Augur Investments OU lists Ranakupst 12 Tallin 10917 Estonia as its physical address. However this address is more flat in an industrial area in Tallin the capital city of Estonia,” said Dumba.
More worrying to Dumba and his co-litigants was the fact that City of Harare negotiated and agreed to a deal with a non-existent company which according to the Commercial Registrar of Estonia was registered on 7 September 2007 which was a day before the Memorandum of Understanding was signed.
“The shareholders Agreement between Augur Investments and the City of Harare which created the Joint Venture Sunshine Development Pvt Ltd was signed on the 4th of September 2007 as pointed out above. Only a day after the official registration of Augur Investments OU in the commercial Registrar of Estonia.
“This in fact means that the negotiations pertaining to the Shareholders Agreement were commenced and concluded before Augur Investments was officially registered in Estonia,” added Dumba.
He further told the court that while City of Harare did put land upfront, Sharpe’s Augur Investments did not put anything and to this day havent done so raising suspicions of Sunshine Development being created as a fraudulent vehicle of extracting land from the municipality.
The Joint venture agreement was expected to result in the construction of a hotel, truck inn and shopping centre among other developments.
Ken Sharpe and his associates currently facing a litany of serious fraud cases before the Courts involving State land worth over US 2 billion dollars.
According to several applications before the Courts Sharpe is also being accused of State Capture.
He is currently at large and believed to be hiding in Maritius which is about 2 791 kilometres away.
By Senior Court Reporter