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Ex-City of Harare building inspector denies approving fraudulent plan

Local News

HARARE City Council’s formers building plans inspector Roy Nyabvure has denied approving his “friend” George Katsimberis’ fraudulent plan for a showroom that was eventually demolished by the local authority a few years ago.

Nyabvure was testifying yesterday against City of Harare bosses  Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabeze, Lasten Taonezvi, former Pokugara Properties general manager Michael van Blerk, and Pokugara representative Mandla Ndebele, accusing them of malicious damage to the property.

The structure at the centre of controversy was built in Borrowdale under a joint venture deal with Pokugara Properties.

Nyabvure was testifying in the case of former Pokugara Properties general manager Michael Van Blerk, Pokugara representative Mandla Ndebele, City of Harare bosses Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabeze and Lasten Taonezvi.

Despite admitting in another court that he approved the said building plan, Nyabvure denied in court that he was the one who stamped the fraudulent plan.

He also denied appending his signature on the document saying it was a template of his signature.

“Are you the one who approved the said plan?” the accused persons’ lawyer advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara asked Nyabvure.

"I can't comment," he replied.

"Do you confirm this plan is not an approved plan?" Zhuwarara asked.

"Yes, but it's not a permit," Nyabvure answered.

Nyabvure said the date stamp on the building plan could have been abused by someone within council since several officials were responsible for stamping documents.

Nyabvure denied any relationship with Katsimberis, adding he had not heard of that name before.

This was despite the fact that Nyabvure once testified in Katsimberis’ defence against Pokugara Properties.

"Did you have any personal interaction with Katsimberis?" Zhuwarara asked.

"Who is he?" Nyabvure asked.

"Do you know how a house was built on a residential stand in Vainona by Katsimberis? Do you know the material used to build that house? Do you know which building inspector inspected that house? Do you know the reason for demolition?, Zhuwarara asked  and Nyabvure responded in the negative.

Zhuwarara added: "Do you know the value of the property that was destroyed? Do you have any positive evidence to assist the court that whether the demolition was malicious or not?”

In response, Nyabvure again said he did not know any.

"So why are you here? What testimony do you want to give in relation to this case," Zhuwarara asked, to which Nyabvure said he was in court to explain how council by-laws operate.

Magistrate Florence Chakanyuka had initially dismissed an application filed by the accused person to object to Nyabvure’s testimony but later said the court would assess his testimony.

The matter was postponed to next week Monday for continuation of trial.

The accused persons are accused of demolishing a showroom without authority.

Katsimberis had built the showroom in a joint venture agreement with Pokugara Properties but the building was condemned after it was discovered that the plan was fraudulent and the materials used were not correct.

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