BY RICHARD MUPONDE
MDC Alliance vice-president and lawyer Tendai Biti was yesterday arrested and charged with assault for calling a Russian national Tatiana Aleshina an “idiot” after an altercation at the Harare Magistrate Court.
Biti was involved in an exchange of words with the Russian at the Harare Magistrates Court on November 30. Aleshina is involved in a property dispute with one of Biti’s clients.
The firebrand politician has, however, denied wrongdoing, but admits calling Aleshina an “idiot”. He insists there was no physical confrontation.
Aleshina has also filed a complaint with the Law Society of Zimbabwe Gender Commission against Biti labelling her an idiot.
Biti tweeted: “I have been stuck at CID Law and Order since 11am 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. They want to detain me overnight, so be it.”
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday confirmed Biti’s arrest for allegedly verbally abusing and assaulting the Russian.
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“He is charged with (verbal) assault,” he said.
MDC Alliance spokesperson Fadzai Mahere also confirmed the arrest.
“It is true he has been arrested and detained by the Harare Central Police Criminal Investigation Department Law and Order on a spurious charge of assault,” Mahere said. “His crime is unearthing a corruption scandal concerning the Harare Airport land deal involving complainant, Aleshina and business men (name not supplied) linked to Mnangagwa. Biti didn’t assault.”
In a statement, the MDC Alliance said: “Biti’s only crime is unearthing a corruption scandal concerning the Harare Airport Road land deal involving the complainant, Russian national Tatiana Aleshina, and businessmen linked to (President) Emmerson Mnangagwa. Biti didn’t assault her.”
The Russian woman reportedly has very close links with President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his right hand man July Moyo in airport land deal.
Mnangagwa, according to reports, is entangled in a messy secret agreement that gives millionaire Ken Sharpe’s Augur Investments unusual immunity from litigation on disputed vast tracts of land he acquired through the Airport Road construction project in which he is a signatory as a witness.
Aleshina reportedly signed a deed of settlement with July Moyo on 28 May 2019 on behalf of Augur Invstments.
The agreement for the construction of the 20km Airport Road, also known as the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Expressway, which was not completed, was signed in 2008 between Harare City Council and Augur, although the project was later taken over by the government.
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