Biti convicted of assault Tendai Biti

Prosper Dembedza-Herald Correspondent 

Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro yesterday convicted Tendai Biti after she found him guilty of assaulting businesswoman and investor, Mrs Tatiana Aleshina, at the Harare Magistrates Court sometime in 2020.

The matter was postponed to today for mitigation. 

It took four years for the trial to end as it had been characterised by several applications filed by Biti and his lawyer, Mr Alec Muchadehama.

In her ruling, the magistrate said the witnesses corroborated with each other in material facts, which strengthened the complainant’s evidence.

Mrs Guwuriro said it was not in dispute that the words were uttered on the day in question. She added that the incident happened a long time ago and the witnesses might not remember the exact correct words as they were said by Biti.

“The accused cannot talk of perpetrators of assault who are not before the court,” she ruled.

The magistrate added that a law that is in existence must be complied with.

Mrs Guwuriro said what remains critical is that Mrs Aleshina went to receive treatment and medication at Borrowdale Trauma Centre and was prescribed some medication although she refused to be admitted.

“It is not in dispute that the accused and complainant had a verbal altercation on the day in question and the accused called the complainant a stupid idiot,” she said. All four witnesses except the doctor confirmed that the incident occurred.

Added the magistrate: “The State has managed to prove that the accused uttered the words which the accused confirmed himself. The accused’s strategy of raising constitutional issues on a piecemeal (basis) has not paid him.” 

In his closing submissions, Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza, who was prosecuting together with Mr Tafara Chirambira, said the words used by Biti while insulting Mrs Aleshina were not expected from a lawyer of his seniority.

The prosecutors submitted that Biti used disrespectful words to describe Mrs Aleshina.

“He boasted in court that he has more than 30 years of experience in legal field, that he is a lawyer of repute. He used some of the most disrespectful words to describe the complainant.

“Words which are not expected to be used by a lawyer of such seniority,” said the State.

He further stated that Biti’s attempt to paint himself as a knight in shinning armour backfired spectacularly when he let loose the real reasons he assaulted the complainant for.

The State said Biti conceded that he was appearing in other courts where he was representing his clients that are in conflict with Mrs Aleshina.

“Very clearly, he thoroughly disliked her personally because he identified her as a person who is standing between his clients and whatever it is that his clients hoped to achieve,” said Mr Reza.

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