Legal Matters

Pokugara Properties’ 1st title deed transfer challenged

By Nyasha Mutena

In yet another huge blow to business magnate Ken Sharpe and Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd, land developer, Georgios Katsimberis, has approached the High Court seeking an interdict to prohibit the transfer of a stand which was sold at Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd in Harare. The two are embroiled in a nasty land wrangle involving millions of dollars arising from an alleged botched Joint Venture Agreement.

This follows the purchase of a Stand on 19559 of Harare Township measuring 12623 square metres by Erasmus and Sibusisiwe Chindove who are the 5th and 6th Respondents in this matter, from Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd on the 19th of August 2020.

In his submissions to court, Katsimberis, in his own capacity and representing Coolfitch Investments alleges that a call from the Registrar of Deeds to his erstwhile lawyers Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans gave away Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd’s intentions to effect a transfer of land share Number 12 Stand 19559 from Deed Number 4769/2012 to the names of aforementioned purchasers.

Also, a draft Deed had reportedly been prepared by the Pokugara Properties Pvt Ltd lawyers, Chinawa Law Chambers and had almost been signed by the Registrar of Deeds. However, upon discovery of the XN Caveat, which was placed years ago, he did not proceed to sign it.
He said the 5th and 6th Respondents’ behaviour is suggestive of accomplices and not innocent purchasers, given their attitude and the price they paid for the stand.

“The 5th and 6th respondents join first to third Respondents in chorus. Their attitude is disappointing. It is not clear why they want to acquire a property which is subject to a contest before the contest has been resolved. But then they could not have paid for such a valuable property for US$33, 000,00. They are most certainly in on it with the other respondents,” reads his affidavit.

In the meantime, the 5th and 6th Respondents emphasised that this matter is now spilt milk as they had already effected a payment for the piece of land.

“The Applicants cannot seek to interdict transfer in the interim when they are not challenging the sale of the stand to the 5th and 6th Respondents in the final relief sought…. The 6th Respondent and myself have already purchased the land. To this extent, the Applicants are trying to shut the stable doors after the horses have bolted,” reads their heads of argument.

Katsimberis said he was not concerned about the sale, but the land question.

“Applicants have nothing to do with their sale. Their sale is between them and the party that sold it to them….What Applicants are interested in is their taking of transfer. That they can and must interdict. They do not need to invalidate the sale in order to interdict the transfer. There is simply no law that says so,” reads his statement.

Further, the Chindoves vehemently denied knowledge of the on-going legal dispute between Ken Sharpe and Katsimberis pertaining to Pokugara Properties (Pvt)Ltd.

Katsimberis repudiated;
“The 5th and 6th Respondents knew about this Court application before. On the 28th of October 2020 long before they filed their opposing affidavit, they wrote a letter on the same date to the Registrar of the High Court. I attach hereto marked Annexure PP a self explanatory of this letter.

“In that letter, they refer to the decision of Justice Muzenda. That means that therefore they were long aware of the legal dispute between the parties involved….They cannot therefore claim to be innocent. They knew about the dispute,” reads his statement.

He added that this dispute had been heavily publicised in the country such that a simple Google search would have illuminated them.

In his submissions, Sharpe, represented by Simbarashe Kadye said Katsimberis cannot seek an interdict on the basis that he had done so before and his Applications had hit the wall both at the High and Supreme Court, under cause HC 8943/19 and SC800/18 respectively.

Katsimberis denied the same;

The application I brought under case HC8943/18 was one to stop the destruction of the house that I had built. I had set that part of the interim relief sought as an interdict against the Respondents from selling, disposing of alienating or transferring or dealing with the land.

“However, the court never went into the merits. My application was dismissed on technical grounds such as the fact that I had used the wrong form,” reads his submission.

Katsimberis highlighted that the Chindoves transfer is actually the first one.

“As a matter of fact, the attempted transfer to Erasmus Chindove and Sibusisiwe Chindove was in fact the first sale and the first attempt to transfer the property…. Therefore it is only fair that the court should grant a preservatory order until such time as the party’s rights are determined,” reads his statement.

However, if what Katsimberis alleges is anything to go by, one tends to wonder if Jah Prayzah indeed got his title deeds. Few months ago the award winning artiste took to his Facebook page to announce the purchase of his Stand at Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd. He reportedly paid in cash for this acquisition.

Meanwhile, Kadye reiterated that Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd has always been selling land and property from its Incorporation adding that there is nothing peculiar about it.

Again, Katsimberis scoffed at Kadye’s claims that there was never any joint business agreement entered into by both entities. He said such utterances are baffling considering that they admit their Joint Venture Agreement of 15 June 2016 was later cancelled on the 11th of January 2018.