Biti plays political card in assault case

Source: Biti plays political card in assault case | Newsday (News)

By staff report
Citizens Coalition for Change vice president Tendai Biti who is accused of verbally assaulting an investor at the Harare magistrates court has blamed Zanu Pf for his arrest saying if it was not the party he could have been left Scott free.

Biti’s case continued yesterday with him applying for an application for referral to the Constitutional Court saying his right were violated.

Biti told court that Zanu PF member Patrick Chinamasa caused his arrest after holding a press conference after his confrontation with Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare magistrates court.

The CCC vice president went on to blame information permanent secretary Ndabaningi Mangwana for giving the nation a wrong narrative of his assaulting case saying it was a gender based violence.

Biti went further submitting evidence that including newspaper articles about him but magistrate told Biti to stick to the core facts of the assault case.

The opposition vice president who was represented by Alec Muchadehama submitted that his rights were infringed from the day he was arrested.

But Reza had told the court that Biti’s reasons for the application had absolutely nothing to do with the assault case.

Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro ruled that it is now a Constitutional Court requirement that an applicant must submit oral evidence on what Constitutional rights he claims were infringed.

She said a court cannot stop the accused from submitting these.

Biti has on previous application filed his application on two full days without a response from the state.

The court however said it will guide the defense to make sure that non admissible evidence will not be submitted.

“Since the lower courts do not have the power to set time frames within which an accused must make his submissions, and only superior courts have that right. The state also applied that the accused be given limited time to make his submissions,” said Guwuriro.

The court concurred with the state that the accused must not submit evidence that is irrelevant.

“The court will therefore be guiding the accused whenever he submits evidence that is irrelevant,” Guwuriro ruled.

During the previous sitting  Reza told the court that Biti was trying to bring in politics and political names in an assault case, which is irrelevant.

Reza argued that based on the above, there is absolutely no reason for referral of this matter to the Apex court.

“This is a purely criminal case but the accused wants to bring in politics where it doesn’t fit,” Reza said as he underscored that the court is not a political field.

Biti has been on several occasions sought postponement while filing several court applications.

But Reza opposed saying the trial will never resume if the magistrate granted some of the application.

“A time has to come when the court must put its foot down and say enough is enough”,

Reza thundered as he brought to the attention of the court that every single application that the accused person is entitled to has been made to this court, and numerous applications for postponements have been granted at the instigation of the defense, and this is the time for this court to order the commencement of this trial otherwise

“It will not kick off during our lifetime,” Biti said.

Tendai Biti is facing charges of verbally assaulting a Zimbabwean investor  Aleshina at the Magistrates Court.

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