Harare businessman George Katsimberis has challenged the City of Harare for awarding land to his former partner Kenneth Sharpe’s company, Augur Investments.
Katsimberis has assessed the value of the land at a perhaps overgenerous $2 billion.
The land was awarded by the city as payment for building an airport road less than 10 kilometers long.
Katsimberies argued that Augur Investments received the land by fraudulent means. As a result of omissions and commissions relating to his business affairs, Sharpe is presently facing multiple criminal charges, including a case of malicious damage to property, perjury and fraud, Zimeye reported.
Meanwhile, the land is currently being developed into residential homes.
“One can see that unconsciously and corruptly, Sharpe and his company Augur Investments was awarded thousands and thousands of acres of land, whose value runs into billion of dollars for the construction of a stretch of road that is less than 10 kilometers in extend,” Katsimberis said in a court affidavit. “In fact, in my estimation as a development expert, they are worth at least $2 billion.”
Sharpe is a Zimbabwean real estate tycoon and the executive chairman of West Properties. He owns several businesses, including Augur Investments and West Food Distribution.
Previously, his company partnered with the City of Harare to develop the Harare Sunshine Bazaar, Mbudzi Peoples market and Shawasha Mall in Mbare. As of July, Trendrr pegged his net worth at $690 million.
Katsimberis is also a property developer in Harare and a former business associate of Sharpe. They have both experienced their fair share of controversy.
In the Harare Magistrates Courts in June, Katsimberis was trialed on allegations of defrauding Pokugara Properties of nearly $1 million in a partnership deal to build cluster houses in the upmarket Borrowdale suburb. Pokugara also belongs to Sharpe.
His lawyer Tendai Biti argued that the case was a shareholder dispute that could not be criminalized.
The charges arose from allegations that Katsimberis defrauded the company between June 2016 and July 2018 by presenting fake architectural housing plans.