$5 000 BAIL FOR BITI
10 August 2018
MDC Alliance patron and Harare East MP-elect Tendai Biti was yesterday granted $5000 bail by Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo for declaring false election results and participating in public violence.
Biti was apprehended after fleeing to Zambia before he was dragged back home to answer to the allegations.
The State was led by Justin Uladi, Michael Reza and Jonathan Murombedzi while the defence team was led by Beatrice Mtetwa, Harrison Nkomo, Denford Halimani and other human rights lawyers.
Prosecuting, the State alleges that on July 31, Biti held a press conference at a house in Highlands in which he announced that MDC A leader Nelson Chamisa had won the presidential elections.
“We have now received from our agents across the country results of the 2018 elections, results show beyond reasonable doubt that we have won this election and that the next president of Zimbabwe is Advocate Nelson Chamisa,” he had said at the press conference.
The video of the press conference went viral on social media and was accessed locally and internationally by members of the public contravening Section 66 A (1) of the Electoral Act which mandates Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to announce election results.
In the second count, Biti is being charged of participating in public violence where on August 1 together with Jim Kunaka, he joined about 60 demonstrators along Simon Vengesai Muzenda Street heading towards the northern direction.
Biti, together with the demonstrators, chanted slogans and ordered them to remove a campaign banner for Emmerson Mnangagwa saying, ‘Endai munobvisa banner iro hatidi mbavha munyika muno.’
Acting on the instructions the mob burnt the banner to ashes then proceeded to ZANU PF provincial headquarters where they threw missiles and burnt six cars and a bus all valued at $345 000.
Biti was admitted to bail by consent and the conditions are that he surrenders his passport, tittle deeds to his Chisipite house valued at $200 000 and not to interfere with witnesses.
He was also ordered, as part of bail conditions, to continue residing at his given address and not to address any political gathering or hold press conferences until the matter is finalised.
Biti was also ordered to report twice a day at CID Law and Order.
However, his defence team led by Human Rights lawyer Mtetwa, believes that their client was not legally arrested further submitting to formally highlight their complaints against his arrest today.
“He was not brought in terms of the law, you will hear more in court tomorrow (today)” said Mtetwa.
Mtetwa also requested that the State supplies the list of its witnesses so that their client will not be found contravening the bail conditions.
The matter is expected back in court today.