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Another Trial Postponement For Pokugara, City of Harare Officials

The trial of malicious damage to property accused Pokugara Properties and City of Harare officials has been postponed to the 18th of January 2022 due to the unavailability of defence counsel for one of the accused persons.

According to Zed Chidyausiku standing in for Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara the latter was said to be self-isolating after a family member contracted COVID-19.

Pokugara Properties Private Limited employees Mandla Marlone Ndebele and Michael John Van Blerk together with City of Harare and three of its officials are facing charges of malicious damage to property after they connived to destroy a show house built by Harare businessman Georgios Katsimberis in Borrowdale as part of a joint venture agreement with controversial land baron Kenneth Raydon Sharpe.

Also arraigned before the court for the same charges are City of Harare officials Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabezi and Lasten Taonezvi.

According to the State outline, the six in their individual capacities and as representatives of their organisations destroyed Katsimberis show house on the grounds that it did not have approved plans, claims refuted by the land developer.

Allegations are that on a date unknown to the prosecutor but during the period extending from July 2018 to October 2018 and at Plot 9 of 21 on consolidated stand number 19559 of 19828 Harare township Corner Teviotdale and Whitwell road, Borrowdale, Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited, Michael John Van Blerk, Mandla Marlone Ndebele, City of Harare, Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama, Samuel Nyabezi, Lasten Taonezvi and Kenneth Raydon Sharpe.

“One more of them, knowing that Georgios Katsimberis is entitled to own, possess or control any property or realising that there was a real risk or possibility that another person may be so entitled, damaged or destroyed the property intending to cause such damage or destruction or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that such damage or destruction may result from their act destroyed a show house which had been constructed by Georgios Katsimberis for a joint venture between Georgios Katsimberis and Kenneth Sharpe,” read the summons.

Ndebele who is also charged in his personal capacity had a warrant of arrest issued against him last month revoked by Magistrate Barbra Mateko, he had failed to attend court after testing positive to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the perjury trial of Pokugara properties managing director, Van Blerk has also been postponed due to the same reasons.

Allegations are that Van Blerk deposed an affidavit to the effect that Katsimberis had constructed the show house without approved plans.

Presiding magistrate Taurai Manuvire postponed the matter to January 13, 2022.

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