State opposes Biti’s application for recusal of magistrate

Source: State opposes Biti’s application for recusal of magistrate – NewsDay Zimbabwe


THE State yesterday opposed MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti’s bid to have Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guvuriro recused from hearing a case where he is accused of assaulting Russian businesswoman Tatiana Aleshina.

Biti accused Muchuchuti-Guvuriro of bias, but the State, represented by Tafara Chirambira, opposed the application saying there was no basis for her recusal because the case had been postponed several times since December last year.

He said five of Biti’s applications were ruled in his favour, which meant that the magistrate was not biased.

“Prior to the application of recusal, the accused was making a referral application to the ConCourt [Constitutional Court]. In fact, he was (testifying) in the middle of the testimony when he then abandoned that testimony and chose to apply to the Constitutional Court, which he also dumped and is now submitting this one,” Chirambira said.

The State said most of the allegations raised by Biti were hearsay and not admissible before any court of law.

The matter was postponed to Monday for ruling.