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Biti In Fresh Fight For Magistrate Recusal

Citizens Coalition for Change interim vice-president Tendai Biti has filed a second application to recuse regional Magistrate Wongai Guwuriro Muchuchuti from presiding over his assault trial accusing her of bias and consistently infringing on his rights.

He is facing allegations of verbally assaulting a Russian national, Tatiana Aleshina outside Harare Magistrates Court in November 2020.

Biti was last year made to stand trial without his lawyer of choice Alec Muchadehama who was reported to be at the Master of High Court however, Magistrate Guwuriro proceeded with trial.

Previously, Biti filed for both recusal and review of Guwuriro’s judgments at High Court with Justice Tawanda Chitapi dismissing the application, he has since filed a notice of appeal of the Chitapi ruling at the Supreme Court.

“Your Worship I make this application with great respect for you. The reasonable fear that I hold today is that justice will not be done in my case. I also state the point that the issue is not whether you are biased but I have a suspicion

“I ask that you recuse yourself, on the 26th of March 2022, I was remanded in this court after the Chitapi J judgement. We lodged an appeal at the supreme court of Zimbabwe. You go to rule against an appeal for the superior Court, that ruling frightened me. The principal of noting an appeal is an elementary principal of law, Your Worship its elementary law it’s been taught in first year at Law school,” Biti told the court

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He added “The decision to Justice Chitapi was cancelled by our appeal which was noted by the Supreme Court. The appeal is a Constitutional right of an accused person according to a fair trial in section 69 of the Constitution. The right to review and the right to appeal. The Chitapi J ruling remains extant until it has been appealed, it is the common law.

“This Court is biased your Worship, I say this with great respect and it pains me to say this. I want to address things happen on the 14th. On the 11th of April Mr Muchadehama applied for record of proceedings of 13th of October 2021. Several things happened where I was alone without my legal counsel.

“You can’t sit in my case Your Worship. I have sued you many times your Worship. It’s only fair your Worship if you recuse yourself, it’s high time you leave and have someone to be a referee. Your Worship I appeal to you that this is not personal but it’s about justice. Your Worship with the great respect I have lost confidence in you.”

The matter was remanded to 9 May 2022 for continuation.

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