Business tycoon Mr Kenneth Raydon Sharpe has denied ever signing an agreement to buy the shareholding of Emory Discretionary Trust in Augur Investments and challenged Emory to produce a share certificate and shareholders agreement signed by all the parties.
Mr Sharpe said he was surprised that this case appeared in the papers this week as it was over two-years-old and was no longer active.
Emory Discretionary Trust approached the High Court in March 2014 serving papers in the alleged case as reported.
Emory wanted Mr Sharpe, through one of his companies, Hemisphere Africa Limited, to buy its purported shareholding in Augur, in terms of the negotiated agreement.
But on Wednesday Mr Sharpe denied there was a valid agreement between him and Emory, as claimed by Mr Galante.
Mr Sharpe said Emory’s court action was inspired by malice and designed not only to scandalise him, but also to scuttle Augur Investments’ business opportunities in Zimbabwe after he refused to sign a manipulated shareholders agreement drawn up by Emory Trust’s representative Mr Edward Elio Galante, who is an American citizen.
Mr Sharpe availed his opposing papers to The Herald, which were also filed in the High Court in April 2014.
In the court papers, Mr Sharpe denied any mismanagement in Augur stating that Mr Galante seemed to think he had a right to compel the business tycoon to buy the supposed shareholding of Emory in Augur.
“No such right exists in fact or in law,” stated Mr Sharpe in his opposing papers where he also raised several preliminary points in a bid to quash the claim against him before the court heard the argument on the merits.
“The agreement was not signed by either of the Augur entities,” he said. “Nor was it signed by Hemisphere Holdings Ltd.” Mr Sharpe further accused Mr Galante of redrafting the shareholders agreement and making several alterations in his favour resulting in the fallout between the two when Mr Sharpe declined to sign the amended document.
“It was always understood that the transaction would only be effected when a shareholders agreement was signed. It was not signed because of the second applicant’s (Mr Galante) chicanery,” said Mr Sharpe.
Mr Sharpe also denies that he and Mr Michael van Blerk were directors of Augur Mauritius, arguing there were improperly listed as respondents in the suit.
“Applicants have no claim whatsoever against me or Hemisphere Africa Limited,” he stated. “If they have any claim, which is denied, it would be against Augur.”
Mr Sharpe was quoted as saying “We are passionate and committed to develop our city Harare for the betterment of our country and we refuse to be derailed by jealousy and malice. I am proudly Zimbabwean, born in Zimbabwe and have a unique opportunity to encourage investors to partner and grow real estate in the country. I genuinely believed Mr Galante had the same wish. However, it appears from his actions that he may have other agendas which are counter-productive to development and investment for Zimbabwe which is rather sad and disheartening.”