Tendai Biti, a Harare East lawmaker and former Finance minister, has accused Tatiana Aleshina, a business associate of land baron Kenneth ‘Ken’ Sharpe, of abusing state institutions, including the Office of the President and the judiciary, to protect her corrupt business interests and fight opponents.
Biti made the claims on Friday at the Harare magistrates’ courts where he wants his case of verbally assaulting ‘fraudster’ Ukrainian national Tatiana Aleshina referred to the Constitutional Court, saying his Constitutional right were violated.
Biti, who is also the opposition Citizen Coalition for Change deputy leader, said:
In 2019 Van Blerk was prosecuted.
Sharpe and Sheremet were fugitives during the time. One of the prosecutors was Mr Michael Reza (acting deputy prosecutor general) and the matter was withdrawn due to the influence of Tatiana Aleshina after she wrote letters to City of Harare threatening to report City officials to President Emmerson Mnangagwa after one of the City employee gave a testimony to the CID commercial crimes unit in 2019.
It’s sad that the first issue I have is the clear blatant abuse of the Office of the President, the highest office in the land and this name calling is an abuse to the state institutions. How on earth is someone safe? That’s why my application is important.
These are judicial proceedings. Why are we politicising these proceedings? That’s a clear abuse of state institutions.
Only the National Prosecuting Authority has the power to withdraw any matters, not the Local Government ministry.
We are lucky that we have black-and-white evidence about the judicial and executive interference by the complainant.
Biti also said comments made by former Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Information ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana following his arrest showed that Aleshina wielded a lot of influence in top offices.
Aleshina accused Biti of verbally assaulting her after a court appearance two years ago.
Biti said letters from Aleshina that form court records in a series of cases against Sharpe have exposed her links with the executive as well as her influence over the judiciary.
He further claimed that Aleshina used her influence over the President’s Office and the judiciary to negotiate a settlement agreement inked in 2019 between Sharpe’s business, Augur Investments, and Local Government minister July Moyo that legalised the acquisition of enormous tracts of property in Harare.
Sharpe, Aleshina, and their accomplices, Michael Van Blerk and Alexander Sheremet, among others, were also awarded criminal immunity, according to Biti.
He claimed that the Harare City Council was forced to drop criminal proceedings against Van Blerk owing to Aleshina’s influence.
Biti asked that the case be brought to the Constitutional Court because he believes Aleshina bribed both the state and the Court.
The case has been rescheduled for December 15 by Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro.
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