Magistrate blasts lawyers

Source: Magistrate blasts lawyers | The Herald

Magistrate blasts lawyers

Court Reporter
Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro Muchuchuti has blasted lawyers representing builder George Katsimberis for exhibiting unprofessional conduct saying they should put their house in order.

This was after one of the lawyers, Mr Charles Warara applied for the matter to be postponed arguing that one of them advocate Tawanda Kanengoni was not available.

The State led by senior prosecutor Mr Michael Reza opposed the application saying the accused has four lawyers and each one of them can take over proceedings at any time.

The magistrate postponed the matter matter to May 9 on the agreement that the lawyers will now be able to proceed with trial, even during the absence of one of them.

She said the lawyers cannot tell the court to postpone trial just because one of them is unavailable when they are able to takeover.
Katsimberis is facing fraud charges.

On the previous sitting, the State called its first witness Mr Michael Van Blerk to the witness stand.

While being led evidence by Mr Reza the witness Van Blerk was Pokugara Properties general manager at the time when the offence was committed.

He said Katsimberis used plans which were not approaved by the City of Harare to construct a showroom.

He went on stating that Katsimberis showed them a fake approved plan which they later discovered after they received a demolition letter from City of Harare.

“We believed that the accused had City of Harare approaved plans.

“City of Harare wrote to us that there were no approved plans but the accused had shown us plans, which he claimed were approaved by them,” said Van Blerk.

Van Blerk told the court that they had a joint venture with Katsimberis to develop land owned by Pokugara Properties.

He said it was not a sale agreement as the land belonged to Pokugara Properties.

“Development was to be conducted on a portion of Pokugara Properties of which I also signed that agreement,” he said.

He said Katsimberis was responsible for obtaining planning authorities on behalf of Pokugara and get approved plans and abide by all the bylaws.

Van Blerk said the building was demolished after the City of Harare discovered that it was built without an approved plan and was constructed with unauthorized material.

Van Blerk also told the court that Katsimberis was hiding the showroom from them as he was using unapproved material to build it.

“The accused for a period encircled the structure to prevent us from viewing it but eventually we saw it.

He used steel frame and concrete tar which was not part of our agreement.

“The house was demolished carefully and without malice by the city council and all materials were recovered by the accused person,” he said.

Katsimberis through his defence advocate Tawanda Kanengoni denied the allegations and told the court that he will file his defence outline in due course.

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