By Staff Reporter
Deputy Prosecutor General Michael Reza is embroiled in a perjury storm after it emerged that he signed a letter that paved way for the arrest of a key state witness in a perjury case involving businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe owned Pokugara Properties.
Former Harare City Council regional building inspector Roy Nyabvure was arrested early November at the Harare Magistrates Court after testifying in a case a perjury case involving Pokugara Properties and its employees.
In the letter dated 14 October 2022 in which Reza copied himself, the acting deputy prosecutor, the special anti-corruption unit and the police anti-corruption unit, Reza said Nyabvure had led evidence and excused by the court.
“Please be advised that Mr. Nyabvure was a State witness in the Perjury trial against Michael Van Blerk and Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd. He has led his evidence in Chief, was cross examined and re –examined. He was thereafter excused by the court as his witness duties were completed.
“If he is a witness in any other case and If I may be favoured with the CRB, I will be able to check and verify for you,” wrote Reza
Nyabvure has since been charged with criminal abuse of office and was denied bail by Harare Magistrate Taurai Manuwere after the State said he was a flight risk.
An investigating officer testifying during the bail application at the Harare Magistrates court said they arrested Nyabvure following a tip off from a staffer at one of Kenneth Sharpe’s company.
Nyabvure a war veteran and suffers from diabetes and hypertension would spend time in remand while his lawyers made frantic efforts to apply for bail at the High Court amid drama that there were no written reasons for the judgment.
The sixty four year old war veteran would spend most of his time admitted at a local hospital and was eventually granted bail by High Court Judge Justice Pisirai Kwenda who castigated police involvement in a way which would have a bearing on the perjury and malicious damage to property case.
Justice Kwenda said it was wrong and uncalled for and raised suspicions on the drama that unfolded.
Reza is not new to controversies involving Pokugara Properties with the law officer prosecuting in a case involving land developer George Katsimberis and the company.
Harare lawyer and politician Tendai Biti who once represented Katsimberis in the case is facing assault charges emanating from a verbal altercation he had with Pokugara chief operations officer Tatiana Aleshina in November 2020.
Again, Reza is the prosecutor; both Biti and Katsimberis’ bid for his recusal on allegations that he was biased were denied by Harare regional magistrate Wongai Guwuriro Muchuchuti.
In 2021, whilst seeking a review of a judgment that barred his application for referral of his case to the Constitutional Court, Katsimberis accused Reza of being a hired gun for Pokugara Properties.
“The prosecutors (particularly Michael Reza) are in fact hired guns, for Tatiana Aleshina, Kenneth Raydon Sharpe, Augur Investments OU and Pokugara Properties. They have in fact been captured by the same. They have lost all kinds of neutrality and objectivity,” read part of Katsimberis’ affidavit deposed at the High Court.