Top lawyer Alec Muchadehama was forced to plead for court protection against controversial businessman Ken Sharpe’s aide, Tatiana Aleshina who had turned abusive after he handed her a torrid time during cross-examination.
Decorated lawyer Alec Muchadehama pleads for court protection againist controversial business icon Ken Sharpe’s aide Tatiana Aleshina. It is said that Tatiana had turned out to be abusive in a heated cross-examination in an ongoing case where the former Finance Minister Tendai Biti is accused of verbally assaulting Tatiana at the Harare Magistrate court in November 2020.
After a fruitless cross-examination with Tatiana, Muchadehama pleaded with the courts to rein her as she refused to answer any of the raised questions.
Aleshina refused to answer any of the questions directed at Mr Sharpe’s company, Augur Investments before bursting out calling the prosecuting process nonsense.
“No, am not able to represent Augur Investments and am here as an investor, I don’t want to seat in Court and listen to this nonsense.”
Born in Ukranian, Tatiana had been in the country since 1997, and she now holds a Zimbabwean passport. After lashing out sucvh words, the Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro told Tatiana to retract her statement for the proceeds to continue.
Aleshina’s tempres rose even more before Muchadehama claimed that the verbal assault charged his client is facing are as a result of Tendai Biti’s involvement representing several companies that had been allegedly defrauded by Augur Investments and its subsidiaries.
“Your Worship, I do not want to answer to questions about Augur Investments. I do not have rights to talk about Augur Investments. I don’t know anything about it, I cannot discuss it, I have no authority to talk about it. I am not the director, CEO or shareholder, I have no authority to talk about it,” Aleshina said.
Mr Sharpe’s close associate Aleshina is facing several cases before the courts where Biti is representing the accusing companies who are suing Augur Investments for fraud. Among those accusing companies is Fairclot Investments that is suing Augur Investments for defrauding them millions of dollars.
Fairclot was subcontracted to construct the airport road on behalf of Augur Investments before the later defaulted payments.
Augur and Fairclot entered into a contract where the latter had to construct the airport road on behalf of Augur Investments before they defaulted on the payments. Further rumours claim that Augur Investments had been fraudulently awarded the project since thet had failed to complete severa; construction projects elsewhere.
Augur in turn went ahead and claimed over 700 hectares of land valued at US$52 million that was agreed on as part of payment by the Harare City Council (HCC). Despite failing to meet the agreed terms in the airport road construction deal, Augur Investment went ahead claimed the land before parceling it out to its associated companies to avoid litigation.
“It is not surprising that the witness is refusing to answer my questions about Augur Investments OU, the cross examination relates to how the two link and relate.
“The questions I am asking about Augur are relevant to the case and I want to prove that the complainant is capitalising on the accused to get back to him for his role on representing companies that are suing the complainant,” Muchadehama said.
In cross examining Aleshina, Muchadehama questioned as COO of Augur if she knew about the shaddy deals her company is involved in.
“You said you are not involved in Augur Investments yet you approached Sekesai Makwavarara as an investor and you were representing Augur Investments OU to the City of Harare.
“So you are linked to Augur Investments OU and other creation companies?
“Can you confirm that you were party of the Harare Airport Road with City of Harare and Augur Investments. Are you aware that Augur did not develop Airport Road the contract it entered with City of Harare,” questioned Muchadehama.
Aleshina declined to answer the lawyer’s questions.
“I will not be able to answer questions which is not assault case. I am not representing Augur Investments OU and am not able to speak about it,” said Aleshina.
Muchadehama did not deter from prying response from the investor.
“Do you agree that West Properties did not buy the land independently.
“You are the one fronting all the companies were the accused person is representing his clients.
“Did you ever wrote any letter representing Augur Investments OU,” queried Muchadehama.
Aleshina again declined to answer
“I am not allowed to talk about Augur Investments OU and am refusing to answer,” said Aleshina.
After the botched agreement, reports by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and HCC recommended that Augur Investments forfeit the land to the local authorities, a submission that was not followed.