Prosper Dembedza-Court Correspondent
Harare magistrate Mrs Chido Garwe has issued a warrant of arrest against MDC-Alliance vice president Tendai Biti after he failed to appear in court for trial.
Biti is facing allegations of manhandling a Russian national during an altercation outside Harare Magistrates Court. His lawyer Mr Aleck Muchadehama was not present in court to represent his client.
This led senior prosecutor Mr Micheal Reza to apply for a warrant of arrest.
It is the State’s case that Ms Tatiana Aleshina was allegedly insulted and assaulted by Biti outside the courtroom but within the complex premises.
Ms Aleshina filed a report with the police and has also lodged two further complaints with the Law Society of Zimbabwe.
Ms Aleshina wants Biti investigated for alleged gross unprofessional conduct and alleges she and her workmates were intimidated and verbally abused outside the court each time they came for proceedings.
Ms Aleshina is one of the witnesses in case involving building contractor George Katsimberis who is alleged to have defrauded a land developer with whom he had entered into a joint venture to build cluster houses in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.
In the matter, Katsimberis is accused of using plans that were not approved by council which led to the show house being demolished.
Ms Aleshina is the chief operating officer of the land developer.
She claims that on November 30 last year as she was about to leave the court gallery after a court session, Biti allegedly threatened to harm her.
“It was clear to all people who were in the court gallery that Mr Biti took delight not only in verbally abusing me, but in trying to intimidate me and felt that, as a woman and foreigner of Russian origin, he would use every extra judicial means to crush me or harm or destroy me for daring to be a witness in the criminal matter against his client,” she stated in her complaint.