Tendai Biti Convicted, Faces Jail
26 February 2024
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By Political Reporter-Tendai Biti, the rotational acting President of the Citizens Coalition for Change, has been found guilty of verbally assaulting Russian national and investor Tatiana Aleshina in 2020.

Biti, a lawyer by profession, staunchly denied the allegations, contending that the charges against him did not constitute a criminal offence.

The conviction stemmed from an incident at the Harare Magistrates Court, where a heated exchange of words occurred between Biti and Aleshina.

According to a report by NewZimbabwe.com, Aleshina, who was a witness in criminal cases, claimed that she and her colleague at Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited were victims of Biti’s unsolicited verbal abuse and assaults, describing them as gross professional misconduct. Aleshina detailed the incident, stating:
“While attending to these matters at Harare Magistrates’ Court, I and my colleague…have been victims of Mr. Biti’s unsolicited verbal abuse and assaults which amount to gross professional misconduct.

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…”
In her complaint, Aleshina highlighted Biti’s attempts to belittle her as a woman and a foreigner, alleging a violation of her rights. She claimed that Biti’s conduct, including swearing, shouting, and pointing at her face, constituted a clear act of verbal assault.

Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti, presiding over the case, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating that individuals cannot be allowed to freely hurl derogatory terms at each other. She noted:
“What remains critical is that she went to receive medication. She was prescribed some medication although she refused to be admitted. It is not in dispute that the accused and complainant had a verbal altercation on the day in question and the accused called the complainant a stupid idiot.”

Magistrate Muchuchuti acknowledged the evidence presented, emphasizing that Biti’s actions were corroborated by multiple credible witnesses.

She concluded that Biti’s guilt had been established and stated:
“For those reasons, I find the accused person guilty.”
Biti is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 AM on
Tuesday, facing the prospect of a fine, a prison term of up to 10 years, or a combination of both. His legal representative, Alec Muchadehama, has expressed the intention to appeal the conviction.

The case underscores the challenges faced by opposition figures and highlights the broader implications of legal proceedings involving prominent political figures in the country.