By Nyasha Mutena
Harare North member of the National Assembly, Legislator Allan Norman Markham (MDC Alliance) has defended President Emmerson Mnangagwa following claims by Pokugara Properties Chief Operating Officer, Tatiana Aleshina that she visited the Head of State’s office to clear their names on corruption allegations whilst the court case was ongoing. He said Aleshina was namedropping the President to evade thorough investigations on how they ended with vast tracts of land for an unfinished job.
Markham seeks the reversal of the Harare City Council and Augur Investments deal which involves State land at Stand 654 Pomona measuring 273, 292 300 hectares and other huge hectares of land.
Following Aleshina’s submissions to court saying; “During the Supreme Court proceedings and in the spirit of trying to reach a settlement, I accompanied the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government to a meeting with the Head of State during which it was agreed that the parties should try and settle their differences as an out of Court settlement”.
Legislator Allan Norman Markham said Aleshina’s revelations are defamatory especially upon the Head of State, President Mnangagwa considering that he has devoted a huge amount of time and effort to fighting corruption to the extent of setting up a Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU), premised in his office.
“Tatiana Aleshina, on behalf of Augur investments confesses that she was actively involved in pushing the Ministry of Local Government, its Minister and the Permanent Secretary to actually visit the offices of the President of Zimbabwe. She makes shocking disclosure that it was in this meeting with the Head of State that a settlement was made.
“She is therefore unfairly and mendaciously name dropping and fingering public officials none more important than the President of Zimbabwe. She is in fact saying to this Honorable Court that do not touch the Deed of Settlement. It was made at State House,” reads his submissions.
Markham goes on to say that Aleshina defamed the government when she said the Harare Airport Road project under their management underwent parliamentary adjudication and approval and also received national project status.
“The two (Sunshine Developments and City of Harare) formed a joint venture relationship, Augur was invited as a partner with access to capital. This was escalated to the parent ministry, then the President’s Office. The transaction went through necessary parliamentary adjudication process and parliamentary approvals were also obtained. The project was granted national status as appears from the certificate from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development attached and marked annexure ‘V’,” said Aleshina.
In response to the above assertions, Markham said:
“The joint venture agreement establishing Sunshine Development was a fraud. It is a subject of separate litigation before this honorable court. It is also a fiction that the Sunshine joint venture received a Parliamentary approval. That is wrong and Tatiana Aleshina is perjuring herself. Furthermore, Cabinet was never involved in this matter and would never be given approval. The project was never granted a national project status. The letter dated 5th of May 2009 to the respondent’s papers is a fraud.
“The letter dated 29th of April 2009 purportedly from the Minister of Finance is also a fraud, I will be making reports to the Police, the NPA and SACU. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance at the time was Mr Willard Manungo. There is no one as M. Madondo”.
Markham said President Mnangagwa is however not being sued in his personal capacity but getting alerted that his land has been stolen.
“The Head of State is not being sued in his personal capacity. Furthermore, no relief is being prayed from him. In fact this application is for the interest of the President. The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe is being alerted to the fact that land that belongs to him has been stolen from him without him signing any document including the Power of Attorney to transfer the land,” said Markham.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa is on record saying to ensure Zimbabwe becomes an upper-middle class economy by 2030 the governing party, Zanu PF should remove impediments, including land barons that stand in the way of the goal.
In December of 2019, a commission led by Justice Tendai Uchena presented to President Mnangagwa said there has been a creation of opportunities for land barons/criminals to sell urban State land and in the process prejudicing government of over 2.9 billion United States dollars and duping thousands of desperate home seekers of their hard-earned cash.
“Land barons are usually politically-connected, powerful, self-proclaimed illegal State land ‘authorities’ who illegally sold state land in and around urban areas without accounting for the proceeds,” reads the report.