HARARE – Harare City Council (HCC) has resolved to have deals signed between the city and Augur Investments investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to check their authenticity.
The decision comes after councillors argued that some of the deals had been signed without following the requisite processes.
HCC and Augur have been at loggerheads for more than 10 years over various deals that have failed to take-off due to allegations of corruption.
“If council and Augur cannot resolve the matters amicable because there is too much suspicion into how the deals were signed, it is prudent that Zacc investigate our concerns before council losses more through shoddy deals,” councillors unanimously agreed upon.
According to business committee minutes, town clerk Hosea Chisango updated city fathers on the lawsuits and other litigation that were going back and forth between council and Augur.
“Following City of Harare’s termination of its contract, Augur Investments claimed from council payment in the sum of $68 320 000 by way of damages. The resultant dispute was referred to arbitration,” read part of the minutes.
“The arbitrator Justice November Mtshiya awarded Augur $15 063 693 together with interest thereon from the date of award to the date of payment. Council applied to High Court to have aforesaid arbitral award set aside.”
In another case following a dispute between the two parties in respect of Sunshine Developments, Augur claimed $94 189 905 as damages in breach of contract although the case was dismissed by arbitrator Dave Whatman.
The minutes state that Whatman recommended that the dispute be resolved through mediation, but after that failed council applied for liquidation of Sunshine Developments and the two parties are now awaiting consideration.
In another case, Augur sued council for $3 042 498 which it claimed to be the balance due to it for the construction of Airport Road up to the date the contract was terminated by council.
“In response to the aforesaid claim, council contends that it paid Augur Investments $1,205 million in cash but council failed to furnish its external lawyers Messrs Kanokanga and Partners with proof of payment.
“The matter was removed from the pre-trail conference court roll on July 12 as issues raised are similar to those being dealt with by Justice Muremba in the other two cases,” the minutes said.
Another issue was the developments at Mbudzi of which approval of plans and developments were made when other formalities had not been concluded.