Pokugara Properties, owned by controversial businessman Ken Sharpe, which caused the arrest of a State witness testifying against it for malicious damage to property has applied to have the same witness blocked from testifying.
Pokugara’s lawyer, Tawanda Zhuwarara did not state the reasons when he appeared before Magistrate Faith Chakanyuka on Wednesday.
He said he would formally make written submissions to the court regarding his application to stop former Harare City Council (HCC) Chief Building Inspector Roy Nyabvure from testifying.
Nyabvure is is testifying against Sharpe, Russian investor Tatiana Aleshina, John Van Blerk and Harare City Council officials Mandla Ndebele, Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabezi and Lasten Taonezvi, among others, charged with malicious damage to property.
This was after they destroyed property developer George Katsimberis’ show house in Borrowdale on allegations that it was built without approved plans.
Nyabvure, in an anti-corruption case prosecuted by Zivanai Macharaga of the Special Anti- Corruption, claims the housing plans were legitimate. He has also repelled pressure from Pokugara to change his statement against Katsimberis.
In another case, Nyabvure is an accused person in a case Pokugara is the complainant against Katsimberis.
Tue case is prosecuted by acting deputy Prosecutor General Michael Reza, from the National Prosecuting Authority. It was given priority by the courts despite Pokugara having reported the case after Katsimberis.
Pokugara, working in cohorts with Reza, which caused the illegal arrest of Nyabvure in November last year, now wants the same witness who was only released by High Court judge Pisirayi Kwenda after spending a month in remand prison, denied bail by the lower court, to be stopped from testifying against them.
Nyabvure is set to testify on the legality of the building plans that were used by Katsimberis.
“The said witness was warned to appear in court in on November 8, 2022, for the trial however due certain circumstances the witness could not appear in court physically. The witness then appeared on January 13, 2023,” Zhuwarara said.
In November, Nyabvure was arrested at the Harare Magistrates Court when he went to testify against Pokugara, Sharpe, Aleshina and other HCC officials.
This was after Reza misled the police that had finished testifying, a claim that has now forced Katsimberis to apply for his recusal, describing him as not only “biased, but pathetic liar too” who should be put in the witness’ desk and be cross examined to expose his deceit and bias towards Sharpe.
Reza is however refusing to be put to his defence.
To prove Rez/ misrepresentation, Nyabvure was arrested at court. A police officer tried to lure Nyabvure out of the court processions to arrest him before he could take to the stand to testify, but the former council employee refused to come out. He was later arrested outside court, despite a plea from Macharaga that he was a state witness.
Reza is battling allegations that he is doing Sharpe’s biding in court against Katsimeris and his several other opponents. Katsimberis’ lawyers, when applying for Reza’s recusal, questioned by the law officer is the one handling all cases Sharpe is the complainant.