Zambia deports MDC Alliance’s Biti to Zimbabwe, defying court order

Zambian authorities on Thursday deported top Zimbabwe opposition figure Tendai Biti in defiance of a court order after he tried to claim asylum, his lawyer said.

TimesLive

“They have defied the court order to allow him to seek asylum and as I am speaking to you right now he has been handed over to the Zimbabwean police,” lawyer Gilbert Phiri told AFP.

Biti, a veteran figure in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), fled to Zambia on Wednesday, reportedly facing charges at home of inciting post-election violence.

Zambian authorities swiftly refused him asylum, but Phiri said Biti’s legal team had managed to challenge the decision, keeping him there.

But authorities have now ignored the ruling and deported him back to Zimbabwe, Phiri said.

“He is on the Zimbabwe side,” Phiri confirmed. “This is really embarrassing.”

“I am saddened obviously if that is the case. Zambia can certainly do better than that,” MDC lawyer Denford Halimani told AFP when asked about the deportation.

Zimbabwean authorities have yet to respond to requests for comment.

The MDC were defeated in last week’s historic first elections since Zimbabwe’s military ousted Robert Mugabe in November, ending 37 years of iron-fisted rule.

Mugabe’s successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner on Friday by a narrow margin – results the opposition have furiously contested, alleging fraud.


Biti, an internationally-respected finance minister in Zimbabwe’s troubled 2009-2013 power-sharing government, had proclaimed victory for the opposition before the final results came in.

According to Zimbabwe’s state-run Chronicle newspaper, he is among nine suspects sought for inciting protests over alleged rigging which turned deadly.

The army opened fire on opposition protesters, killing six people and prompting an international outcry.

Mnangagwa, who is seeking to reverse Zimbabwe’s economic isolation and attract badly needed foreign investment, had vowed the elections would turn a page on Mugabe’s repressive 37-year rule.

Mnangagwa won with 50.8% of the vote, a knife-edge 0.8% above the threshold to require a run-off against MDC candidate Nelson Chamisa who won 44.3%.

The MDC claim the ruling Zanu-PF party won through “mammoth theft and fraud” and have vowed to challenge the results in court.

“Those results represent a total negation of the will of the people,” MDC lawyer Thabani Mpofu told reporters in Harare on Wednesday, charging that the results “grossly mathematically fail to tally”.

Mpofu said the MDC would reveal “a secret weapon” in court, but analysts said the challenge was highly unlikely to overturn the declared results.

International monitors praised the conduct of the election itself on July 30, although EU observers said Mnangagwa benefited from an “un-level playing field” and a degree of voter intimidation.

As Biti returned to Zimbabwe, a hearing at Zambia’s High Court, where he was supposed to appear, will go ahead on Thursday in his absence, Phiri said.

Zimbabwe and Zambia enjoy strong bilateral relations, with Mnangagwa visiting in January, two months after he took over from Mugabe as Zanu-PF leader.

26 Comments

  1. `HEEE TINOITA JAMBANJA, HEEE WE WILL SHUT DOWN HARARE,HEE NJANI NJANI, ZVINO WAKUTIZEI ,UNODA KUTI ANI AKUITIRE DEMO YACHO IWE WAKATI VAVAVA MUZAMBIA IMOMO
    COME AND LEAD YOUR SUPPORTERS AFTER ALL KANA MOPIWA MA ISUZU NEMA NAVARA HATIDRIVE TOSE SAKA REGA KUTISHANDISA APA CHAMISA ANGA OTI HAVASI VANHU VANGU ASI TAIMHANYA MUROAD TICHIDAIDZIRA ZITA RAKE

    1. taura hako ngaadzoke apedzise zvaakatanga…

  2. The owner of Newsday supports Mnangagwa. Currying favour.

    1. Sizo Makhalima

      @Musona, voetsek cretin!!

      1. @Sizo – swine

  3. Biti is very stupid you can’t go around insulting African leaders then expect them to grant you asylum in kharma times . Im happy that he is back home.Now waiting for the courts to decide whether he is innocent or not.

    1. yes you are 100% right

  4. If only these guys can learn governmental politics and stop being agitators!!!!!!!!

  5. These MDC guys must learn that the politics of violence ended with the ouster of Robert Mugabe, we are in a new era where the President elect is trying to entrench a culture of peace and spirit of constitutionalism

    1. You mean a new era of Mashonaland Gukurahundi? Random firing of live ammunition into crowds by soldiers? Please display your ignorance elsewhere. There is nothing new with this very ancient, stone-age team, only the bleaching cream, masks and fake smiles are new. Only ancient minds can be fooled into believing there is something new here, hapana.

    2. concernedcitizen

      you are a big liar. houses are burnt in Mtoko and targeted arrests. how they manage biti but not soldiers terrorising people in surbubs around harare

  6. MAZANU KANA MAKAHWINHA MURI KUROVEREI VANHU. IMBWA

    1. Iwe ukaita basa rekutuka vanhu ucharohwa. Hameno zvako

  7. Chiwenga and Mnangagwa were behind the gukurahundi as well as the killing and torture of people in 2008. They were blaming Mugabe for what was happening bt they were the the ones calling the shorts .Disappearing of people like Itai Dzamara. Yhey are responsible for the death of 6 people that were short in the city last week. how can fire bullets to unarmed person. The Junta is now doing what they are good at. those who kill by a sword will die by a sword. This military government is not going to last long. Torturing and killing people is this what you Zimbabwe is open for business.Open for business of murdering people innocent civilians.

  8. Obviously MDC has more people in Harare and Bulawayo as seen from the results of the just ended election. It is expected of them to demonstrate as they did in their numbers however nationaly they are minority as seen by results. From the above Biti should be arrested for inciting violence which led to 6 fatalities. He wanted to undermine national majority for capital city majority hence not a democrat as he thinks

  9. Not knowing the constraints on Biti’s travel options, he really should have chosen just about any of our neighbours besides Zambia under Lungu – ideally Botswana or South Africa. Even Mozambique would have been a better option. Despite Maputo’s traditional closeness to Zanu-PF, things have not been the same from Guebuza onward (witness the paucity of State visits). He would have at least received a neutral reception and respect for international refugee laws.

  10. @Tafara Zanu got 2.3million The MDC 2million just explain how 2million is a minority the country is now split between the new urban MDC youths and the Old Junta Zanu Pf should I say more…

  11. Zambian authorities on Thursday deported top Zimbabwe opposition figure Tendai Biti in defiance of a court order after he tried to claim asylum, his lawyer said.

    It was Tendai Biti and his fellow MDC leaders who dragged the nation into these elections with no reforms in place to stop Zanu PF rigging and brutal oppression. It is ironic that Biti and his fellow MDC leaders has all disappeared as soon as the Zanu PF thugs appeared. This sickening habit of politicians dragging people into a dangerous situation and then deserting them must be denounced in the strongest language possible!

    1. @Mukori. An important point of correction: it is ZANU PF and ZEC that dragged Zimbabwe into another contentious election. Given what this junta is capable of, an MDC Alliance boycott in 2018 would have, in all probability, been met with an election rigged to manufacture a reasonable, token opposition, e.g. giving 20-30% of the vote to Khupe and Mujuru’s parties. Finally, given the apparent aim of decapitating the opposition we are seeing, it would seem foolhardy not to protect that leadership.

  12. Tichingotonga Vachingovukura

    @ Mukonori the last time i checked you were also hiding outside the country

  13. Biti deserve to be arrested.ndiye akakonzeresa violence apedza otiza nehupenyu hwake saka arikuti aneupenyu husina kukosha ndehwani? uye zvaaiti MDC yahwina iwo maresults asati abudiswa neZEC anga amaonepi uye aishambadza maresults ari ani? dai aiva nema results aifanira kuyenda kuZEC ovapa kuti heyo maresults chaiwo aya kwete zvake zvekungohumana izvo …inga ndiwo malawyer acho wani atinotarisira kuti anoziva mutemo hino kana vodayi haaaa varasika saka isu tinoti pasi nemhanduuuuuuu

    1. Remember thy have V11 forms from thy agents and also be in mind eg soccer players vanogona kukava ndivo vari stobborn

  14. Bit should not be treated with kid gloves he is bad apple in the society. Why running when you cozed the deaths of6 pipo.

    1. Did Biti shot anyone died

  15. Biti has a case to answer.he knows that.Ndiwo malawyer emuZimbabwe.He knew what he was doing.Let him pay for his action.

  16. Varigona Biti Zigwara. Hee i’m prepared to die , richiurayisa vana vevamwe ! Kana uchifunga kuti Biti was a good Minister of Finance uri dofo. He was the worst this country has ever had.Usanyeperwe! Svinura

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