The assault trial of Tendai Biti resumed today with him claiming that Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti was making biased rulings and decisions, which were breaching his rights.
Biti, who is facing charges of manhandling a Zimbabwean investor Mrs Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court, said this while submitting reasons why he wanted his matter referred to the Constitutional Court.
The CCC legislator had been making this application for the past two months and is still continuing.
And for these past two months, Biti has been repeating what he had been saying in this application.
He is claiming that the court has persistently abused his constitutional rights.
“Some of the rulings being made by this court are an insult to my constitutional rights,” he said.
The matter was deferred to September 15 for continuation.
Biti recently told the court that he was surprised why his matter was moved from the provincial to the regional court.
“I was shocked about three things, my matter was taken from the provincial court to the regional court under unclear grounds,” he said.
Biti said his matter was taken from Court 3 to the Anti-corruption Court also under unclear circumstances.
“I was also shocked why my matter was taken away from Court 3 to be handled by a senior magistrate Mr Micheal Reza who is deputy prosecutor general,” he said.
However, during the previous sitting, Mr Reza also informed the court that Biti’s application for recusal of the magistrate was not procedural, and lacked merit.
Mr Reza put it to Biti during cross-examination that he abandoned his application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court after the court ruled that his matter be heard on a daily basis to ensure progress.
Mr Reza further informed Biti that if he had any reservations with the court’s ruling, he should have appealed to the superior courts rather than applying for the magistrate’s recusal.
However, Biti insisted that he wanted Mrs Muchuchuti to recuse herself, further alleging that they are protagonists, a position that was dismissed in today’s ruling.
In her ruling to hear the matter on a daily basis Mrs Muchuchuti highlighted that Biti’s application for referral of the matter to the Apex Court started on May 27, and up to date, the application is yet to conclude.
She said she needed to dispose of this matter within a reasonable timeframe, hence the adoption of interventions where the matter will be heard daily with immediate effect.
The magistrate further reiterated that the accused should be reminded that he is the accused in this matter and should give it priority over other matters.
“With the rate we are managing this case it means the accused will need another two months to finish his application,” said Mrs Muchuchuti.– Herald