The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has been asked to investigate allegations that a businesswoman ‘captured’ the police to frustrate a probe into a Harare City Council land deals case.
ZACC was drawn into the matter by a witness in a case where businessman Ken Sharpe is being sued for perjury
The witness Roy Nyabvure has since told Zacc that Sharpe’s business partner Tatian Aleshina has been interfering with investigations since 2019.
Nyabvure is a state witness in a case where land developer Georgious Katsimberis is suing Sharpe and his aide, Michael John Van Blerk Van Beek as well as top Harare City Council officials for perjury and malicious damage to property after the local authority demolished his show house.
Sharpe is the owner of Augur Investments.
Katsimberis sued Van Blerk, Pokugara Properties, former Harare City Council town clerk Hosea Chisango and the City of Harare for perjury after they claimed that the houses he constructed on behalf of Pokugara Properties did not have approved plans.
Katsimberis cited Pokugara Properties, Sharpe and HCC officials Mandla Ndebele, Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabezi and Lasten Taonezvi for malicious damage to property.
He is the key witness in the case, but was arrested on July 28 after Pokugara made a counter-police report that he built a showhouse on their behalf using fake plans.
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In a report filed with Zacc last month, Nyabvure claimed that Aleshina has been interfering with investigations, including commandeering council, police and government officials to sway the case against Katsimberis.
“On or about the 12th June, 2019, Tatiana Aleshina wrote a letter to Engineer Chisango in his capacity as then town cerk for the City of Harare, the same day I wrote my statement to the police,” Nyabvure said.
“The accused person intended by their letter to put pressure on, then town clerk of City of Harare, Eng. Chisango to force me to change my statement to police, well knowing that the police were investigating the commission of a crime.
“What is shocking is that Aleshina got to know about the contents of my statement given to police on 11 June 2019 and in less than 24 hours the former wrote to Chisango reporting me to my superior the town clerk at the time about me having given a statement that implicated Chisango in a perjury case.”
He added: “As how Aleshina had known about a statement given to police officers in the middle of investigations and before a Tatiana colleague Van Blerk was arrested is not clear and remains a mystery, but what is worse and clear is that police uncovered me as the whistleblower and the accused got to know about witness statement before the arrest of those implicated.”
In her letter dated June 14, 2019, Aleshina warned that they would hold Chisango personally liable if Van Blerk was “harassed at the ZRP fraud anti-corruption unit” because of Nyabvure’s statement.
Nyabvure expressed concern that evidence may be tampered with because of the interference.
“The 12th of June 2019 letter referred above shows obstruction of justice by Aleshina in view of the fact it was targeting and responding to a witness, who had given a statement that implicated not only my superior but Tatiana Aleshina's workmate Michael John Van Blerk before even arrest of those implicated,” he said.
“These two letters written by Aleshina, blatantly demonstrate the power she has bestowed upon herself to make every government official jump and name dropping the highest office officials.”
Zacc spokesperson Thandiwe Mlobane could not be reached for comment.
Zacc chairperson Loice Matanda Moyo yesterday said she was attending an event and was not able to respond.
Katsimberis has been appearing in court pursuing cases of perjury and malicious damage to property against those who have now turned out to be witnesses in the case where he is charged with fraud emanating from allegations that he did not have approved plans when he built a house on behalf of Pokugara.