BY CHARLES LAITON
Harare businessman Kenneth Sharpe, who is embroiled in a property dispute with a former project partner, has filed papers at the High Court in Harare seeking the dismissal of a US$300 000 claim against him.
Sharpe is being sued by George Kastimberis, who claims to have lost millions of United States dollars after the mogul allegedly botched three land development deals.
Sometime last month, Katsimberis was dragged to the Harare Magistrates Court charged with fraud after Sharpe and his firm reported him to the police for his actions, which led to the cancellation of the pair’s partnership agreement.
Katsimberis then approached the High Court early this month seeking damages against Sharpe, his firm and his colleagues.
In his application for exception, Sharpe urged the court to dismiss Katsimberis’ claim arguing that his rival filed a “defectively pleaded, vague, and embarrassing civil suit”.
He said the relief sought by Katsimberis and his firm was not clear and specific as to the basis of which they claim that Sharpe and his co-defendants (Castlehorpe Investments (Pvt) Ltd, Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd, Michael John Van Blerk, Mandla Marlone Ndebele, Simbarashe Kadye, City of Harare) should pay US$300 000 or its equivalent.
“Even after reading the declaration, it remains shrouded in mystery why the destruction of the ‘show house’ translate to the patrimonial loss for the plaintiffs, more so considering that the pleaded agreement(s) never conferred no vested ownership of the show house in either of the plaintiffs,” Sharpe said.
“The plaintiffs’ claim is, with respect, defective, incoherent and confusing.
“The plaintiffs claim for US$300 000 ‘being the costs of constructing the show house’ is not cognisable at law.”
Sharpe said the $5 million claim for “injuria, pain, shock and suffering” filed by Katsimberis as aggravated damages, “is also bad at law”.
“In the absence of a contemporaneous declaration of the invalidity or review of the demolition order, the plaintiffs have no cause of action for damages of any kind,” he said.
“Resultantly, there can be no basis at law for the first plaintiff to claim any damages in his personal capacity.
“The property destroyed did not belong to him and the permit he claimed existed was paid for by the very defendant he now seeks to sue.”
Sharpe said there was no basis for Katsimberis to sue for damages in a matter where his firm had footed the bills for the loss that was encountered when the City of Harare demolished a structure constructed by Katsimberis.