By A Correspondent| In a quest to evade fraud charges glaring her master, West Properties Chief Operating Officer, Tatiana Aleshina unraveled how she and Kenneth Raydon Sharpe employed State capture machinations to swindle Harare City Council’s huge tracts of land despite disregarding terms of the deals.
West Properties is a sister company to Augur Investments, a vehicle that robbed Zimbabwe of its vast tracts of land under the pretense of executing “national projects”.
To this day, Ken Sharpe is living the dream somewhere somehow. A few months ago, Sharpe made headlines after donating US$50 000 to government to purchase Ivermectin, a feat he performed from his cocoon, unbeknown to his casualties. A move believed by many to be a sanitizer for his misgivings to government and Zimbabweans at large.
Aleshina narrated how she approached senior government officials to “clear their names” on corruption accusations.
In the High Court Case No. HC425/2021 filed by Allan Norman Makham’s answering Affidavit. Aleshina is cited as the Third Responded whilst her doyen, Ken Sharpe is cited as the Second Responded.
Sharpe went AWOL eversince various litigations involving the land deals between his company and City of Harare ensued. To this day, he remains a fugitive from justice.
“What is shocking is that Augur Investments, through Tatiana Aleshina has unleashed a demon of State Capture and extracted so much influence even from the highest office in the land in ensuring the Deed of Settlement,” reads Markham’s submissions to court.
The Deed of Settlement cites Local Government Minister July Moyo as a signatory on behalf of the President of Zimbabwe which facilitated the transfer of vast tracts of land to Sharpe’s shelf companies as payment for the Harare Airport road project. Sharpe did not do anything of significance on the project, infact then Local Government Minister, Ignatius Chombo went on to revoke the tender from Augur when he realised that they were outsized by the project.
Boastful Aleshina outlines how she and her overlord, Sharpe expended their influence over senior authorities, especially Local Government Minister and Justice, legal and Parliamentary affairs Permanent Secretary Virginia Mabhiza to an extent of organizing, on their behalf, a visit to the President of Zimbabwe. Suffice this to say, Aleshina and Sharpe used senior government officials at West Properties disposal.
“Tatiana Aleshina on behalf of Augur Investments confesses that she was actively involved in pushing the Ministry of Local Government, its Minister and the Justice, legal and Parliamentary affairs Permanent Secretary, Mrs Virginia Mabhiza to actually visit the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.”
She says it is during this meeting that the Deed of Settlement was inked.
“She makes the shocking disclosure that it was in this meeting with the Head of State that a settlement was ordered. A meeting which according to her was heard when court proceedings were taking place.
“What she is in fact saying is that she used her influence to extract a forced settlement on the City of Harare,” reads the documents.
Markham seeks the reversal of the Harare City Council and Augur Investments deal which involves State land at Stand 654 Pomona measuring 273, 292 300 hectares and other huge hectares of land.
Desperate for exoneration, Aleshina says they devised their expertise in capturing the State.
“During the Supreme Court proceedings and in the spirit of trying to reach a settlement, I accompanied the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government to a meeting with the Head of State during which it was agreed that the parties should try and settle their differences as an out of Court settlement,” said Aleshina.
Legislator Allan Norman Markham states that Aleshina’s revelations are defamatory especially upon the Head of State, President Mnangagwa considering that he has devoted a huge amount of time and effort to fighting corruption to the extent of setting up a Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU), premised in his office.
Markham says the Minister’s actions in the matter are motivated by corruption.
“It is my respectful contention that Minister July Moyo has failed Zimbabwe. He has failed to uphold the Constitution of Zimbabwe. He has failed to be transparent. He has failed to persuade this court (High Court) that his actions are not motivated by anything other than corruption. He is an embarrassment to the country and to the President,” says Markham.
Court papers filed on the 10th of March 2021 reviewed that after a series of litigations between the City of Harare and Sharpe’s Augur Investments represented by Russian lady Tatiana Aleshina, a secret Deed of Settlement was executed on May 28, 2018, at the behest of Moyo who also claimed he had President Mnangagwa’s directive. Former Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba and Josiah Abraham Chisango town clerk, signed for the local authority and Tatiana Aleshina signed on behalf of Augur Investments.
Markham is a former ward 18 councilor, now an MP for Harare North .
This deal gave Sharpe’s Augur Investments dubious and illegal immunity from litigation over disputed vast tracts of of prime land he acquired through the the controversial and then, “unfinished” Airport Road Construction project.
The matter is still ongoing at the High Court of Zimbabwe.
More details to follow.