MDC Alliance vice President Tendai Biti has slammed Harare Regional Magistrate Wongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro for showing bias against him in a case where he is facing charges of assaulting controversial Russian woman Tatiana Aleshina.
Biti’s remarks comes after Guwuriro on October 13, 2021 ordered for trial to proceed despite the fact the Harare East legislator’s legal counsel Alec Muchadehama had requested postponement due to commitments at the Master of High Court.
The ruling did not go down well with Biti who felt his right to legal representation was infringed.
In an urgent High Court application, Biti is seeking recusal of both Magistrate Guwuriro and Prosecutor Michael Reza.
“I made it clear that the decision of the court in ordering that I proceed in the absence of my lawyer was consistent with the ‘attitude with the Third Respondent throughout the hearings. I pointed out that the First Respondent was clearly biased and further that she clearly was weaponising the law against me. I also pointed out right in her face that at times I felt like I was being prosecuted by three prosecutors,
“I respectfully aver that First Respondent has not approached my matter judiciously. The record will show that she has been giving me adverse rulings in almost all my applications before her. However her denial of me of legal representation is inexcusable. In my view First Respondent has now descended into the arena and is now an interested party in my case. I am not safe being tried before her. The First respondent has failed in her duty as a Magistrate,” said Biti
He said he was shocked that despite directing Reza to authenticate with the Master’s office on the whereabouts of Biti’s lawyer, Guwuriro took it upon herself to call the Master’s office.
“I have since learnt with great shock that despite her directive that Michael Reza should phone the office of the Master, the third Respondent herself phoned the office of the Master to verify whether Mr Muchadehama was present.
“I restate that the First Respondents’ decision have been wrong and grossly unreasonable. I refer to her strange ruling in respect of which she turned down my application for the recusal of Michael Reza. I refer to her strange ruling in holding that there was an assault when I had no physical contact with the complainant and when essential elements of the charge were not established,” he said.