Biti assault trial deferred to Thursday

Source: Biti assault trial deferred to Thursday | The Herald

Biti assault trial deferred to Thursday
Tendai Biti

Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent

Harare Provincial magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro-Muchuchuti has deferred to Thursday the assault trial of Tendai Biti following indications that he had a notice of setdown at the High Court.

Biti is facing charges of assaulting businesswoman and investor Mrs Tatiana Alleshina at the Harare Magistrate Court in 2020.

Before Mrs Guwuriro-Muchuchuti postponed the matter, Deputy Prosecutor Mr Micheal Reza had told the court that Biti’s recent review application for referral of his case to the Apex Court had been dismissed by the High Court paving way for trial continuation.

During the previous sitting, Mr Reza accused Tendai Biti of playing a delaying tactic by making another application for referral of his assault case to the Constitutional Court.

In his response for Biti’s request for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court, Mr Reza said it is a tactic being used by the accused to delay trial.

“This is the second application for referral to the Constitutional that the accused has filed in an effort to delay the trial.
With respect, the application is an abuse of process and is frivolous and vexatious,” said Mr Reza in his response.

Mr Reza stated that Biti’s request to stop the trial as stated in para 6 [of his application] is very irregular and has no basis in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Ac

“This court has the power to control its processes subject to the law,” he said.

When the trial kicked off last week, a visibly emotional Mrs Aleshina testified in court last Friday as she narrated how she was assaulted by Biti sometime in 2020.

She told the court that she froze when the opposition legislator charged towards her and felt he will physically attack her.

“As we were walking in the corridor, l suddenly heard a big noise and shouting behind my back.”

Mrs Aleshina said and then she immediately stopped in shock only to see Tendai Biti with a crowd of people charging towards her.

While evidence was led by  Mr Reza, Mrs Aleshina said she had never come across that type of unruly behaviour in her all life.

She told the court that Biti was aggressive and pointing his finger at her face while shouting “you stupid stupid stupid idiot and was shaking his body in an aggressive and angry way”.

“I did not understand what was going on and I asked him are you talking to me. But he continued his unruly behaviour shouting and pointing at my face. After that, my colleague Michael Van Blerk then tried to protect me and stood in front of me, but someone said it’s not right, it’s dangerous here and you need to go,” Mrs Aleshina told the court.

Mr Reza then asked Mrs Aleshina to describe how she felt in that situation and she said: “I felt he would physically hit me. I believed at that moment I was in danger. I thought he could kill me. I was shaken, humiliated and disturbed.”

Mrs Aleshina said after the incident, she felt confused and wandered around the court for some minutes looking for an exit point.

“On my out someone asked me why Biti was shouting at me and l couldn’t answer that. Someone else said Biti can’t treat women like that you need to report him to police. I decided to go to the Russian Embassy to tell them what happened. They calmed me down and advised me to go to the police to report the matter,” she said.