Harare East legislator and lawyer Tendai Biti’s alleged assault trial continued at the Harare Magistrate courts with the legislator telling trial magistrate Wongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro she cannot preside over the former’s trial.
Biti is seeking referral to the Constitutional Court citing that his rights to a fair trial have been infringed by Guwuriro’s conduct, in his submissions Biti alleges that the court has not been fair in dealing with his case.
“I only have two aspects that are new on my issues with the court, so the two issues are obviously the judgement of the 17th of August 2022 and then the fact that the court and I, have now become protagonists and it is not possible for the court to continue sitting and pretend that those proceedings do not exist and that the hint on those papers does not exist, that the court can actually be a fair and neutral umpire in my case given those proceedings and that the court to continue sitting is an infringement of my right to equal protection and my right to fair trial protected by Section 69 (1) of the Constitution,” said Biti
He made reference to October 13, 2021 in which he was forced to stand trial before Guwuriro without his lawyer of choice Alec Muchadehama despite stand-in lawyer Jeremiah Bamu he was engaged at the Master of High Court.
Muchadehama deposed an affidavit confirming that he was indeed at the Master of High Court.
“The issues (in Muchadehama’s Affidavit) are not an invention, he is not perjuring himself and if this kind of allegation is made surely your worship, it is only fair that the court should remove itself from the heat, from the oven let another Court preside over the hearing and this is not a morbid contention and for the court to proceed under the circumstances your worship I would contend justifies reference to the Constitutional court in terms of Section 175 subsection 4 on the basis that the court to continue sitting after these serious contentious allegations is now breaching an accused right a fair trial protected by Section 69 (1)….” Biti charged
The assault allegations against Biti came following a verbal altercation with controversial Russian woman and businessman Kenneth Raydon Sharpe’s aide Tatiana Aleshina outside Harare Magistrates court in December 2020.