Zimbabwe: Biti Delaying Assault Trial – Reza

Deputy Prosecutor-General Mr Michael Reza last Friday accused Tendai Biti of trying to delay his assault trial, again, after his lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama said he intended to mount another application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court.

Biti is facing charges of assaulting investor Mrs Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court through verbal insults and aggressive and threatening behaviour.

In his objection to Mr Muchadehama’s notification for the application, Mr Reza told the court that it risked being a laughing stock if it entertained such an application.

“This application is a nullity and has no basis,” said Mr Reza.

During the previous sitting, Mr Reza led evidence from Mrs Aleshina.

Responding to a question on how she felt during the attack, Mrs Aleshina told the court that she felt dizzy, shaky and nearly fainted.

“I felt he will physically hit me,” she said. When she went to Trauma Centre to get treatment, her shoulders were very painful, she said.

Mr Reza asked Mrs Aleshina what went through her mind during the incident and she said she was traumatised and thought Biti was about attack her as he was very aggressive and shouting.

When the trial opened last week, a visibly emotional Mrs Aleshina testified in court last Friday as she was narrating how she was assaulted verbally and through threatening behaviour by the CCC vice president sometime in 2020.

Mrs Aleshina told the court that she froze when Biti 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,” she said.

She said she immediately stopped in shock only to see Biti with a crowd of people charging towards her.

Mrs Aleshina said she had never came across that type of unruly behaviour in all her 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 and I asked him: “are you talking to me”, she said.

“But he continued to shout 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.”

Mr Reza asked Mrs Aleshina to describe how she felt in that situation.

“I felt he would physically hit me,” he said. “I believed in that moment I was in danger. I thought he could kill me. I was shaken and humiliated and disturbed.”

After the incident, Mrs Alashina said she felt confused and wondered around the court for some minutes looking for an exit.

“On my way out, someone asked me why Biti was shouting at me and l couldn’t answer that,” she said.

“Someone else said Biti can’t treat women like that, so you need to report him to police. I decided to go to the Russian Embassy and tell them what happened. They calmed me down and advised me to go to the police to report the matter.”


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