|Born||Kenneth Raydon Sharpe|
January 27, 1973
Kenneth Raydon Sharpe popularly known as Ken Sharpe is a Zimbabwean businessman who is a director of Afritrade International. He also owns a number of businesses that include; Augur Investments and West Property Company.
Kenneth Raydon Sharpe was born on 27 January, 1973 in then Rhodesia now Zimbabwe. He relocated to South Africa in 1978 only to return in 1980 after Zimbabwe gained its independence. He married Joanna Sharpe in 1993 and together they have one daughter named Tatiana who was born three years into the marriage.
In 1990 Ken Sharpe established a confectionery and food distribution business which has over the last 20 years ripened into the Holdings Company “West Group.” Some of the visions have been: West Food Distribution, West Beverages (bottling), West Agencies, Intercrop (Agri Inputs), West Sanitary Pads Manufacturing, West Oils (edible Oils), FellowGold Mining and West Properties and Augur Investments Ltd (Real Estate Development).
In 2007 whilst on a private family vacation to Whistler, Canada, Sharpe was involved in a skiing accident on the 16th of January. After learning the slopes for 3 days, Kenneth decided to ski without a helmet or safety equipment and ended up crushing on a tree and falling unconscious.He was taken to the local Whistler hospital where, several hours later, he was convulsing and had severe internal bleeding. His brain was severed from the skull and it shutdown.
With no Catscan (CT) facilities, the doctors decided to transfer him from the local Whistler hospital to Lion’s Gate Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. The scan revealed that sixty percent of my brain cavity was filled with blood, and after seven hours of emergency surgery, he was kept in a coma state for five days. The Doctor’s gave him a three percent chance of survival with no promise of avoiding permanent brain damage. However Ken came through five days later on the 21st of January, his daughter's 11th birthday.
Sharpe's efforts to avoid paying the government value added tax (VAT) after conducting business by supplying basic commodities under the Basic Commodities Supply Side Intervention (Bacossi) during Gideon Gono's tenure as governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, were thwarted by the Fiscal Appeal Court, which ruled that his firm, Afritrade International (ATI), had an obligation to pay the demanded tax. Sharpe's company, ATI had approached the Fiscal Appeal Court challenging Zimra’s demand for the tax.
Sometime in 2008, ATI (incorporated in May in the British Virgin Islands) entered into an agreement with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to supply Bacossi products to Zimbabwe. This was done through Sharpe, who is a Zimbabwean citizen and founder of West Group Private Limited and director of its subsidiary bonded warehouse, Douglous and Tate (D&T) situated in Chitungwiza after taking into account that Sharpe, through ATI had been doing business in the country way before the introduction of Bacossi.
In April 2009, Zimra appointed West Group and its subsidiaries as agents to collect value added tax owed to it by ATI, but West Group declined to provide Zimra with information on its business profile and shareholders directors amid fears it would implicate Sharpe as a director and employee of ATI.
In a bid to avoid paying Zimra its dues, Sharpe, through ATI, denied ever doing business in Zimbabwe and indicated that the local transactions were imports carried out by the holding company, the RBZ and other local companies, an assertion dismissed by the court.
Airport Road Scandal and Chombo Connection
Investigations done by the Auditor General's office and the City of Harare have revealed that airport deal was awarded to Augur Investments without going to tender. The investigations have also exposed that Augur Investments at one point shared the same address with a company owned by Ignatius Chombo, whose Ministry had overseen the awarding of the deal. Further investigations found that Augur and Chombo’s Harvestnet Enterprises both listed 62 Quorn Avenue, Mt Pleasant, Harare, as their address.
In August 2015, Ken Sharpe was accused of threatening fellow businessman Douglas Walsh over the phone. According to Walsh, Sharpe said,
"If you don’t get this stopped, there will be blood on the streets and I have people in high places to fix you.”
Sharpe pleaded not guilty to threatening Walsh, but admitted to calling and asking him if they could meet and resolve their issues amicably.
Sharpe was acquitted by the Magistrate Court.
Ken Sharpe was among the names in the leaked Panama papers. The Panama papers show how Mossack Fonseca clients were able to launder money, dodge sanctions and avoid paying tax. There were prominent Zimbabweans on the list leaked from a Panama law firm, Mossack Fonseca, which include Zimplats chief executive officer Alex Mhembere, former Aico chief executive Happymore Mapara, plus well known businessmen Billy Rautenbach and John Bredenkamp.
“If it’s not illegal, it’s the moral principles and it’s immoral. The problem is externalisation of cash. Some of you have been named in the Panama Papers"
- Sharpe attends The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where he became Elders Quorum President of the Highlands Ward in Harare in November 2007 and National Affairs Director for Zimbabwe in October 2012
- He has spoke at the Bahamas Christian Fellowship Network (BCFN) in February 2010.
- His daughter Tatiana has written a book called The Lonely Tiger
- Ken has a foster son, Denzel Malikwa, whom he assists with education
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- , Ken Sharpe, Biography, kensharpe.net, published: No Date Given, retrieved: June 14, 2016
- ,Charles Laiton, Ken Sharpe ordered to pay $6,3m taxes, NewsDay, published: November 6, 2015, retrieved: June 14, 2016
- , A road paved with greed and corruption: The story of Harare Airport Road, The Source, published: June 6, 2016, retrieved: June 14, 2016
- , Paidamoyo Muzulu, Ken Sharpe acquitted, NewsDay, published: August 27, 2015, retrieved: June 14, 2016
- , Panama Papers Q&A: What is the scandal about?, BBC, published: April 6, 2016, retrieved: June 14, 2016
- , Panama scandal: RBZ probes 280 execs, The Zimbabwean, published: May 22, 2015, retrieved: June 14, 2016
- , Panama Papers: Zim execs may get off scot-free, Zimbabwe Independent, published: May 12, 2016, retrieved: June 14, 2016