Tendai Biti’s abuse trial postponed to next month




Ms Tatiana Aleshina

The trial of MDC Alliance vice president and lawyer Tendai Biti, who is facing allegations of manhandling a Russian national during an altercation outside Harare Magistrates’ Court, failed to kick off today following indications that his lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama had other duties at the High Court.

Mr Muchadehama applied for the matter to be postponed, saying he had just received new witness statement this morning and that he wanted to rush to the High Court to attend to another matter where he has a notice of set down.

Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro deferred the matter to June 9.

Ms Tatiana Aleshina and Biti allegedly had a heated exchange during which she says she was assaulted.

She filed a report with the police and has now lodged the two further complaints with the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

In her complaint, Ms Aleshina wants Biti investigated for alleged gross unprofessional conduct and alleges she and her workmates were verbally abused each time they came to court.

Ms Aleshina is one of the witnesses in the Katsimberis criminal cases involving alleged fraud with regards to a joint venture with Pokugara Properties to build cluster houses in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb.

“While attending to these matters at Harare Magistrates’ Court, I and my colleague at Pokugara Properties (Private) Limited have been victims of Mr Biti’s unsolicited verbal abuse and assaults which amount to gross professional misconduct,” said Ms Aleshina, the chief operating officer of Pokugara.

She claimed that on August 29 this year, as she was about to leave the court gallery after the court session and in the company of her workmate Mr Simbarashe Kadye, the company’s chief finance officer, Biti confronted them and said: “I am going to take your house, clothes and panties and leave you with nothing. I am not joking!”

Biti then allegedly turned to Ms Aleshina reportedly shouting that she was very stupid.

“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 and felt that, as a woman and foreigner of Russian origins, I was a nonentity to him and that he would use every extra judicial means to crush me or harm or destroy me for daring to be a witness in the criminal matter against his client,” she stated in her complaint. – Herald