Zimbabwe: Us$1m Land Dispute - Pokugara Properties Writes to Zacc

18 September 2020

Senior Court Reporter

Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Limited has written a letter of complaint to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) over the delays in the prosecution of Georgios Katsimberis, whom it is accusing of duping it of close to US$1 million in a joint venture agreement to build cluster houses in Harare's leafy suburb of Borrowdale.

In a letter dated September 10 addressed to ZACC chairperson, Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo, Pokugara Properties said it was worried by the slow pace at which investigations into the matter are being carried.

"The case has been stalled for over a year and has progressed at the laxity at which the ZRP and the prosecution teams handling of the matter, especially when considering the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) had given recommendations in a detailed 10-page document to the team as far back as February 2020. Nothing has been done today with no arrests made and no one in the cells," reads the letter written to ZACC.

Pokugara Properties claimed that Katsimberis has since caused the arrest of key witnesses in the matter, allegedly to intimidate them and interfere with investigations.

"Clearly, justice delayed is justice denied and we urge the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to carry out an investigation and inquiry into this particular matter and unjust delay in the handling of this matter.

"Hence we require the urgent assistance of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission in investigating this matter and in ensuring that the accused is brought before justice and that any corrupt activities forestalling the trial and conviction of the accused be exposed without any further delays," it said.

Katsimberis has since been summoned to appear in court for trial on November 2, to answer to fraud charges involving US$883 728.

Accusations levelled against Katsimberis arose from a joint venture agreement he entered with Pokugara Properties in 2016, to develop and construct houses in Borrowdale through his company, GK Properties.

One of the material terms of the agreement was that six residential stands, each measuring 2 000 square metres, were to be consolidated for building cluster houses. It is said that Katsimberis took two years to build one small 166 square-metre show house, using sub-standard materials.

The show house was said to have not been approved by the City of Harare, with stamps on the plan allegedly fake.

Katsimberis is alleged to have failed to build the cluster houses according to the contract, leading to the cancellation of the deal on January 11, 2018.

Pokugara Properties reportedly launched an investigation which revealed that there were no approved plans and they did not exist in their records, leading to the property firm taking the matter to police.

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