By Staff Reporter
Controversial businesswoman and Pokugara Properties chief operations officer Tatiana Aleshina was recently non-commital to questions posed to her about Ken Sharpe’s company Augur Investments during court cross examination as her alleged assault trial against constitutional lawyer Tendai Biti continued.
Aleshina who is alleges that she was assaulted by Biti outside the Harare Magistrates Court in November 2020 despite the latter saying it was a verbal altercation.
Biti has on several occasions sought to non fruition recusal of the Magistrate Vongai Guwuriro and Prosecutor Michael Reza citing that they are biased towards him.
The Magistrate has also dismissed Biti’s application for referral to the Constitutional Court.
According to Biti’s legal counsel, Alec Muchadehama, accusations against his client are closely linked to his role as a representative of companies that are suing entities owned by Aleshina.
During court proceedings, it was established that Aleshina is a chief operating officer of several companies including ones that are being sued by Biti’s clients.
The companies include Pokugara Properties, West Proprieties, Sunshine Holdings, Dorex Properties and Augur Investments OU.
One of the companies, Augur Investments OU is currently being sued by Biti’s clients, Fairclot for allegedly duping them millions of dollars.
The lawsuit emanated from a road construction deal involving Harare City Council (HCC) and Augur Investments OU.
In the initial agreement, Augur was to construct the Harare airport road and in return, HCC would settle 90% payment for the services in form of land.
Following a deal between HCC and Augur, the latter then subcontracted Fairclot to construct the airport road but in return failed to pay them.
After failing to construct the airport road, the deal between HCC and Augur collapsed.
Augur however went ahead and appropriated the land that had been agreed upon as part of payment despite failing to hold their end of the deal.
The land was then parcelled out to Aurgur Investments subsidiaries in alleged efforts to hide it.
Several consultations and inquiries followed resulting in a report by Worship Dumba, which suggested that Augur Investments OU return back the land to the council.
As part of cross-examining Aleshina, Muchadehama queried the businesswoman’s role in trying to silence Dumba over the report by not commenting on anything in the public media and social media.
“Am not going to answer that because I never paid Dumba and am not able to answer questions because I don’t know what you’re talking about, whether it is your imagination or because you continue to hate me,” Aleshina said.
Aleshina also denied going to see President Mnangagwa and the permanent secretary for Local Government as part of an effort to stop the matter from being heard.
But letters produced in court proved that she went to Mnangagwa and was also bragging about her access to higher offices.
“Your Worship, I am not in a position to answer and it’s nothing to do with the assault case. I believe anyone is allowed to see the President and am not in a position to answer your question,” she added.
The trial was postponed to April 6, 2023.
In February, Aleshina also refused to answer many questions from Muchadehama, insulting him in court for asking questions about Augur Investments until the top lawyer sought the protection of the magistrate.