Ken Sharpe makes a last-ditch effort to prevent a crucial witness from testifying against him

Controversial real estate mogul Ken Sharpe, owner of Pokugara Properties, has filed a request to prevent a crucial state witness from testifying against him and his associates on counts of malicious damage to property after he arrested the witness.

When their attorney Tawanda Zhuwarara came before Magistrate Faith Chakanyuka on Wednesday, they did not give any explanations through him.

He declared that he will formally submit written arguments to the court in support of his request to bar former Chief Building Inspector Roy Nyabvure of the Harare City Council (HCC) from testifying.

War veteran Nyabvure is giving testimony against Sharpe, Tatiana Aleshina, Michael John Van Blerk, Mandla Ndebele, and members of the Harare City Council Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabezi, and Lasten Taonezvi, among others, who are accused of willful property damage.

This came after they demolished Georgios Katsimberis’ show home in Borrowdale amid claims that it was constructed without permission.

Nyabvure asserts that the house plans were valid in an anti-corruption case being investigated by Zivanai Macharaga of the Special Anti-Corruption (SACU). Additionally, he has resisted Pokugara’s pressure to retract his criticism of Katsimberis.

In a another instance, Nyabvure is a defendant in a complaint brought by Pokugara against Katsimberis.

The 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, who illegally detained Nyabvure in November of last year with Reza’s help, now seeks to prevent the same witness from testifying against them. The witness spent a month in remand prison before being released by High Court judge Pisirayi Kwenda after being denied bail by the lower court.

Nyabvure is scheduled to give a testimony regarding the validity of the building plans that Katsimberis employed.

“The aforementioned witness was given notice to appear in court on November 8, 2022, for the trial, but owing to a number of reasons, the witness was unable to physically present in court. On January 13, 2023, the witness then made an appearance, Zhuwarara claimed.

When Nyabvure went to the Harare Magistrates Court in November to provide a witness statement against Pokugara, Sharpe, Aleshina, and other HCC officials, he was detained.

Reza allegedly lied to the police after they had finished testifying, which prompted Katsimberis to request Reza’s recusal, describing Reza as not only “biased, but pathetic liar too” who should be put in the witness booth and subjected to cross-examination to reveal his lying and bias against Sharpe.

Reza, though, is reluctant to have his side taken.

Nyabvure was detained in court in order to demonstrate Reza’s misrepresentation.

Before he could take the witness stand to give his testimony, a police officer tried to arrest Nyabvure by luring him out of the courtroom, but the former council employee resisted. Despite Macharaga’s assertion that the man was a state witness, the man was later detained outside of court.

Regarding Katsimeris and his other opponents, Reza is defending himself against claims that he is acting on Sharpe’s instructions in court. When requesting Reza’s recusal, Katsimberis’ attorneys were questioned by the law officer who is in charge of all cases; Sharpe is the complainant.

While Sharpe is still on the run, he is currently being sued for $2 million in fraud, corruption, and name-dropping in local courts.

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