Desperate Biti wants magistrate removed
Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti has made another application for the recusal of Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti from his assault case arguing that she would not give him a fair trial.
Biti diverted from his application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court and now wants Mrs Muchuchuti to recuse herself from handling the matter.
He claimed that the State was conniving with the magistrate and therefore, he might not get a fair trial.
Biti, who is facing allegations of manhandling a Russian woman during an altercation outside Harare Magistrates Court recently, had his application for the recusal of senior prosecutor Mr Michael Reza from the case dismissed.
The State led by Mr Tafara Chirambira said it will respond to Biti’s application for the recusal of Mrs Muchuchuti on October 21.
During the previous hearing, Mrs Muchuchuti dismissed Biti’s seventh application for a postponement of the matter.
His lawyer Mr Muchadehama, said he was engaged at the High Court on that day and sent his representative Mr Jeremiah Bhamu to seek a postponement of the matter to October 21 saying he was engaged at the Master of High Court.
However, the State, led by senior prosecutor Mr Reza and Mr Chirambira opposed the application for postponement arguing that Mr Muchadehama and Biti were trying to delay proceedings.
This prompted Mrs Muchuchuti to request Mr Reza to confirm from the Master of High Court on whether Mr Muchadehama was still engaged and the court briefly adjourned.
When the court resumed at 11:15am, Mr Reza told the court that Mr Muchadehama had been engaged at the High Court but the meeting he attended had ended at 9am.
This led Mrs Muchuchuti to rule that the matter should proceed without Mr Muchadehama.
She said Mr Muchadehama deliberately chose not to come to represent his client.
Biti was called to the witness stand by Mr Muchadehama last week while leading evidence on their application for referral of the matter to the apex court.
He had accused Zanu PF, The Herald, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Mr Nick Mangwana and Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga for trying to destroy his image.
He later turned on to Mrs Muchuchuti whom he started accusing of being biased and grossly abusing his constitutional rights.