MDC deputy chairperson Tendai Biti yesterday accused a Zambian Deputy Police Commissioner of masterminding his abduction in Lusaka, although he was in possession of a High Court order granting his stay in that country.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Through his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, Biti said the Zambian police boss, who was not named, connived with some Zimbabwe security agents to abduct him when the High Court was expecting him to appear before it for asylum processing.
Mtetwa, who was applying for alteration of her client’s bail conditions, said the Zambian police deputy commissioner had also facilitated issuance of a handover certificate, which described Biti and his aides as “five items”.
“Your worship, the State now conceded that the accused was lawfully in Zambia.
The police were called in Zambia to plot the abduction of Biti and that meeting was conducted by the Deputy Commissioner General of Police in Zambia.
He had no powers to deport the accused person as the High Court had already ruled against the decision to deport him,” Mtetwa said.
“The Deputy Police Commissioner even disguised the abduction and described the deportation of human beings as five items on the handover certificate.
The persons cannot be described as items, your worship.”
The lawyer said charges against Biti were trumped-up since there was evidence of Zanu PF legal secretary Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana and President Emmerson Mnangagwa making similar statements to the one Biti is being charged with, but no charges were made against them.
“The laws are being applied discriminately, Paul Mangwana said the same thing, but was not arrested.
The President also said similarly, but was not arrested.
The police must not be used to settle political differences because this is what politicians do, your worship,”Mtetwa said.
Biti sought the release of his passport for him to seek medical attention outside Zimbabwe during this festive season.
Mtetwa said the State would suffer no prejudice if they released the passport since the remand date had been moved to January 21, 2019.
“Many citizens look for medication outside our borders.
Many high-profile people also seek medical attention outside our borders.
Denying him his passport will be discriminatory.
Denying him the passport because of his political participation will be contrary to his constitutional right.”
Mtetwa also wanted the court to scrap the restriction on addressing political gatherings and Press conferences.
She said the conditions were a clear deliberate design to stop Biti from participating in politics.
However, the State, represented by Tafadzwanashe Mpariwa, did not oppose the release of Biti’s passport, but opposed the scrapping of conditions that restrict him from addressing political gatherings, saying the conditions would only be removed at the finalisation of the case.
Magistrate Gloria Takundwa released Biti’s passport and also returned his title deeds, but the condition on addressing political gatherings and Press conferences remains in effect.