By Mutsa Makuvaza
THE Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has detained and charged MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti on charges he physically assaulted an elderly Harare woman at the magistrate’s courts earlier this week.
The arrest comes less than 24 hours after ruling Zanu-PF acting national spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa demanded that police must arrest Biti for assaulting a Ms Tatiana Aleshina, a 54-year-old white lady on Monday.
While the exact circumstances surrounding Biti’s arrest have yet to be revealed, the Harare East legislator revealed that he merely called the complainant in person “an idiot”.
“I have been stuck at CID Law & Order since 11 am being charged with the most spurious, the most desperate of all charges. It is said I called someone an idiot and that is said to be an assault.
“No amount of harassment will prevent us from fighting and exposing corruption,” said Biti on social media.
Police had hinted that the woman in question was having a property wrangle with one of Biti’s clients when the assault allegedly occurred on Monday at the courts.
In his own tweet, Biti hinted that the issue in question regarded corruption surrounding the Joshua Nkomo Road, popularly known as Airport Road, in Harare.
Said Biti: “The Harare Airport Road project was a total stink where thousands of of hectares of land where illegally and fraudulently transferred to Augur Investments and its shelf companies. That land must be returned to the City and its citizens. They want to detain me overnight, so be it,” the abrasive Biti charged.
The City of Harare is involved in several projects with Augur Investments, owned by some Ukrainian business family, but the agreements between the parties had stalled owing to several litigations against each other.
Last year, the Council said it had withdrawn the criminal matter against Augur Investment’s manager Michael Van Blerk, with the parties entering into a deed of settlement to peacefully work together.
It is suspected the legal battle between the city and Augur is what got Biti involved as he has previously represented the city in courts.
Addressing a weekly Zanu-PF press briefing yesterday, Chinamasa expressed dismay that police were taking long and Biti must be arrested already.
“We condemn very strongly the allegations of gender-based violence that are being levelled against Biti where he (sic) mishandled a lady at the Harare Magistrates Court and Zanu-PF calls upon the law enforcement agents to thoroughly investigate that issue without fear or favour and to take the necessary action that is warranted by the evidence that comes out of the investigation,” he said.
Chinamasa said leaders and those like Biti who aspire for higher office should not be in the forefront of abusing women. – Zimbabwe Voice ■