Businessman Katsimberis loses land dispute as legal war with tycoon Ken Sharpe rages on

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By Staff Reporter

BUSINESSMAN George Katsimberis has lost a High Court bid to stop his former business partner Kenneth Raydon Sharpe from selling residential stands on a disputed piece of land.

His company, Coolfitch Investments, had sued Sharpe, in his capacity as the trustee of the Kilimanjaro, Porcupine and Hamster trusts.

Also cited as respondents are Castlehorpe Investments, Pokugara Ecofriendly Estate, Pokugara Properties Pvt Ltd and the Registrar of Deeds.

Katsimberis wanted to interdict Sharpe from transferring the property disposed off by the High Court and Supreme Court in 2020.

The property was sold to a local couple Erasmus and Sibusisiwe Chindove by Sharpe’s Pokugara Properties.

Katsimebris and Sharpe have been at each other’s throats for a while.

They have become regular customers of the courts and their dispute is born out of a joint venture that went wrong.

The two in 2016 entered into a joint Venture Agreement (JVA).

In terms of that agreement, the parties would float a company as a vehicle to realise their dream.

The aim was to develop pieces of land into housing units and apartments to rent out for profit.

Sharpe would, through a nominee company, provide land and Katsimberis would through a nominee company inject money.

Regrettably, the association soon collapsed and the dream became a legal nightmare.

Sharpe maintains the joint venture was a complete nullity while Katsimberis insists it was valid and only required rectification.

Sharpe alleges there was ill performance by his former partner who went on to put inappropriate structures on their land.

The structures were in the end demolished by Harare City Council.

Katsimberis has been fighting the case since 2018.

After his initial court application was struck off the roll for being defective he appealed to the Supreme Court, where his appeal was dismissed.

There were no further legal developments until July 2020.

Katsimebris issued summons against Sharpe and the action is still pending.

The businessman then filed the present application seeking an interim relief barring the transfer of the disputed property to anyone, including the Chindoves .

Sharpe had argued that after the application was struck off the roll, Katsimberis should have taken action within 30 days but did not do so hence the matter was deemed abandoned.

The judge agreed.

“Katsimberi had 30 within which to rectify any such of the defects as might have disqualified his case from being heard on the merits. He did not. Instead he appealed.

“But the appeal failed because he did nothing further after the dismissal. So he was deemed by law to have abandoned his case.

“I uphold the respondents point in limine (preliminary points) that this matter is issue estoppel. The position stands even if there are some respondents who did not oppose the application as alleged by the applicants. The application be and is hereby dismissed with costs,” ruled Justice Jacob Manzunzu.