Biti fined US$300 for assault Tendai Biti

Prosper Dembedza Herald Correspondent

Harare Magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro has ordered Tendai Biti to pay a US$300 fine after she found him guilty of assaulting businesswoman and investor Mrs Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court sometime in 2020.

In her ruling, Mrs Guwuriro ordered Biti to pay a fine of US$300 forthwith, with no time to pay or spend six months in prison.

Six months were wholly suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.

The magistrate said the accused is not a first offender and was once convicted for contravening the electoral act.

“There was no premeditation to the commission of this offence”she said.

The accused is a legal practitioner and ought to have managed his emotions.

The Magistrate said the person as an honourable Member of Parliament at that time, means the public expects more from his behaviour.

“The accused abused the court and wasted its time by making his applications for referral to the Constitutional Court on a piece meal,” she ruled.

She added that before the court is an assault which is not a bad one.

“A custodial sentence would be too harsh,” she said.

Community service should be reserved for more serious offences, it would be too harsh.

“The impact of the assault on the complainant cannot be ignored,” ruled the magistrate.

She said more was expected from the accused considering his stature in society.

“The mitigation factors of the defence outweighed the aggravation of the State,” she ruled.

In mitigation Biti’s lawyer said his client is 56 years old and married with five children of which three of the children are attending tertiary education in various universities, he pays school fees for the children.

Mr Muchadehama also said his client takes care of his mother who is widowed and he stays with her.

In aggravation the State led by Advocate Tafara Chirambira said a fine is too trivial for this case and therefore it will not be sufficient.

Advocate Chirambira said the accused is a person of means and a fine will not be punishable.

He added that the court will not be influenced by politics or newspapers.

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