Wednesday 17 August 2022


Tendai Biti’s bid to have Harare regional magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti recused from handling his assault case has failed after it was dismissed due to lack of merit.

Biti is facing charges of manhandling a Zimbabwean investor Mrs Tatiana Aleshina at the Harare Magistrates Court.

In dismissing Biti’s application Mrs Muchuchuti said if the court had not dismissed Biti’s application for postponement on August 1, the applicant would not have made an application for her recusal, suggesting that he was aggrieved by that ruling.

Mrs Muchuchuti said the dismissal of Biti’s application for postponement is a question of law.

“The applicant had no substantive grounds to prove that the court was taking away his constitutional rights,” she said.

She further ruled that Biti was busy seeing writings on the wall, which are not there as she asserted that the question of bias does not hold water in this assault case.

In her ruling, the magistrate also said the reasons proffered by the applicant were not reasonable for her recusal.

Biti’s latest application came after Mrs Muchuchuti ruled that Biti’s case must be heard on a daily basis to speed up processes after observing delays.

During the previous sitting, Mr Reza also informed the court that Biti’s application for recusal of the magistrate was not procedural, and lacked merit.

Mr Reza put it to Biti during cross examination that he abandoned his application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court after the court ruled that his matter be heard on a daily basis to ensure progress.

In his response, Biti alleged that the ruling by the court affected his constitutional rights, and he did not want anyone to take away the rights he was given by the constitution.

Mr Reza further informed Biti that if he had any reservations with the court’s ruling, he should have appealed to the superior courts rather than applying for the magistrate’s recusal.

However, Biti insisted that he wanted Mrs Muchuchuti to recuse herself, further alleging that they are protagonists, a position that was dismissed in today’s ruling.

In her ruling to hear the matter on a daily basis Mrs Muchuchuti highlighted that Biti’s application for referral of the matter to the Apex Court started on May 27, and up to date, the application is yet to conclude.

She said she needed to dispose of this matter within a reasonable time frame, hence the adoption of interventions where the matter will be heard daily with immediate effect.

The Magistrate further reiterated that the accused should be reminded that he is the accused in this matter and should give it priority over other matters.

“With the rate we are managing this case it means the accused will need another two months to finish his application,” said Magistrate Muchuchuti as she mapped the way forward. Mrs Muchuchuti ruled that Biti’s case must be heard on a daily basis to speed up processes after observing delays. Herald




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