By Allen A. Gessen, Esq.
In regard to the recent publicity surrounding Priscilla Chigariro, and associated issues. ———————————
December 13, 2019
My name is Allen Gessen, I am a private person, a citizen of the United States, and a lawyer by profession.
For the past decade I have been representing investors in Zimbabwe from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, UK, India, United States, and other countries.
My clients invested in the most crucial sectors of the Zimbabwean economy: agriculture, transport and logistics, construction, metals and mining and other industries.
I have invested in Zimbabwe and became victim with the rest of the economy.
I have remained mostly silent during the last few weeks as my name was dragged through mud, social media was busy dissecting my life, and the lives of my children were put on display violating their privacy.
Accusations made against me are false.
The public is deliberately misinformed about everything starting from the nature of my relationship with Priscilla Chigariro, to the details of the atrocious treatment of my daughter, who is deliberately being put in danger, subjected to neglect, and made into a bargaining chip.
This public smear campaign has a single purpose: to force the judiciary, the law enforcement community, and others to act illegally. Behind the public plea of a mother in distress stands a group of unscrupulous individuals, represented in courts by Tendai Biti Law, who simply want to enrich themselves at the expense of foreign investors by stealing real estate and assets, which don’t belong to them. They don’t just accuse me. They accuse everyone who stands in their way – all with a single purpose in mind: to take something that doesn’t belong to them.
Priscilla and I have two wonderful children, and I will not place anything into the public domain that will undermine their firm belief that their mother is the most wonderful mother in the world. Our children will live all their lives with the consequences of what we do today. Let me not contribute to the destruction of their happiness.
I am being asked time and time again why is my son in the United States. The answer is this: 1. I am an American. He is an American. United States is our only home. He is here legally with his father under the protection of the US legal system. 2. I am doing the best I can to assure his happiness and I hope that our daughter will be able to join us soon.
Loud accusations simply obscure the legal reality that my son, as expected by both Priscilla and myself, is legally attending a Jewish school in the United States based on my family’s culture, tradition and religion.
In the absence of a meeting of the minds, courts of competent jurisdiction will review all the evidence and will decide their future in regard to custody and place of residence and our suitability as parents. This decision will not be made by Facebook or by the yellow press. In the public eye truth and falsity carry the same weight – and no child’s future deserves to be determined by the misinformed court of public opinion.
Priscilla, as the mother of two American children, also has an opportunity to start anew in the United States, while Zimbabwean economy is going through this rough patch. No one is denying her access to her children.
IMPLICATIONS FOR ZIMBABWE:
The current illegal campaign isn’t about Priscilla or me. It will greatly damage the fragile state of Zimbabwean economy and undermine investor confidence. The affected parties, my clients and business associates, will be reaching out to the embassies of the Russian Federation, Italy, other EU countries, and of the United States for support if we discover that the disinformation campaign precludes the judiciary from exercising its impartiality, and the police from protecting law and order.