By Court Reporter
Harare businessman Georgios Katsimberis has exposed a sinister agenda by Local Government minister July Moyo to shield controversial businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe from facing prosecution over countless corrupt land dealings that have stripped City of Harare of prime land worthy over US$2 billion.
According to High Court challenge filed by Katsimberis, July Moyo usurped the Prosecutor General’s powers to grant Sharpe, his companies and an undefined number of associates criminal immunity, through a secretive deed of settlement.
Katsimberis told the High Court that Moyo’s immunity to Sharpe also shielded all of his associates, noting that this could end up being abused by the self-exiled businessman to protect criminals around him.
“The people given immunity are so many that the deed of settlement will purportedly continue to protect the 3rd Respondent’s associates forever. And, with associates not being defined anywhere, the deed of settlement effectively makes it possible for anyone that 3rd respondent claims to be their associate to be untouchable by the criminal justice system. Such a wide discretion given to a private entity, and such blanket immunity, is not even enjoyed by the people who have immunity in terms of the constitution,” said Katsimberis.
He further reminded the High Court that it was unconstitutional and against tenets of good governance and public accountability for a government department to enter into confidential agreements with a private citizen.
“In any event, to the extent that the deed of settlement states that it is confidential, it is in violent of section 62 of the Constitution. For the purposes of public accountability, the state cannot enter into secret agreements of this nature, which have no national or public policy justification for said secrecy,” added Katsimberis.
Katsimberis who is a state witness in case in which he reported Sharpe’s Augur Investments OU for malicious damage to property said the inclusion of the secretive deed of settlement as part of the accused’s defence smacked of a plan to intimidate him that they are untouchable due to fraudulently granted immunity.
Sharpe who is facing a litany of charges before the Courts raging from fraud, money laundering and corruption is currently at large and believed to be hiding in Mauritius back home his personal assistant of Ukrainian origins Tatiana Aleshina is running the controversial business empire.