Legal Matters

Pomona City legal battle takes interesting twist

An officer calculates his options before the cautionary billboard erected by Fairclot Investments was removed

By Nyasha Mutena

The legal case involving Grant Russell of Fairclot Investments and Ken Sharpe of Augur Investments took an interesting turn following Ken Sharpe’s criminal nuisance charges against Russell for erecting a billboard forewarning unsuspecting purchasers of land at Pomona City of an on-going court case involving the land in question and cautioning them of the risk of being duped.

Charges are that Grant Russell (50) and Mark Strathern put up billboards to warn people against buying Pomona City land.

The court heard that Russell and Strathern caused false alarm to the public.

“The billboard erected by accused persons had contents which were likely to interfere with ordinary comfort or convinient (sic) of the clients of the complainant.

However, according to documents seen by this publication, written by T. A Chiurayi of Coghlan, Welsh and Guest, which was Cc’ed to Messrs Mutumbwa Mugabe and Partners (SIM/br and Chinawa Law chambers (DC/mtk) and was addressed to the Minister of Local government, public works and national housing, said:

“Reference is made to your letter dated 5 July 2019. Please be advised that Augur Investments OU ‘(Augur)’ and Fairclot Investments (Private) Limited trading as T &C construction ‘(T&C)’ signed an agreement on the 25th of March 2013 wherein we were appointed as escrow agents with the duty to hold the title deeds in issue in trust.
We are therefore unable to release the title deeds without the consent of both Augur and T &C. Please find the attached letter from T&C’s lawyer objecting the release of the title deeds to you.

“That noted; we regret to advise that we are unable to comply with the request contained in your letter dated the 5th instant,” reads the document.

Against this background, Russell erected the billboard which read;

“Cautionary statement to the members of the public. Pomona city. Land subject to litigation. Title deeds for land has been placed as security, case number, HC4599/19, HC5989/19, HC10315. Purchase of stands is at risk of Purchaser.”

Complainants in this matter allege that on December 10, 2020 at around 2pm at opposite Celebration Centre, Borrowdale, Harare the accused persons erected a billboard which was likely to cause discomfort to purchasers. Meanwhile, it is Russell’s argument that if the complainants are in possession of the original title deeds, they acquired them under fraudulent means.

Both parties are embroiled in an 8 year civil case and are awaiting judgment.

Presiding over the matter, Magistrate Shane Kubonera deferred the matter to July 12 for trial.