Appearing before Harare magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo yesterday, Tendai Biti denied that he ran away from charges of contravening Section 66A(1) of the Electoral Act Chapter 2:13, which prohibits the unofficial or false declaration of election results.
Biti said he ran away because of political persecution. He claimed that gunshots were fired at his brother when he was on his way to Bindura in the company of his minor children. Biti said on August 2, there was an attempt on his life by unidentified people driving unmarked vehicles. He also said he was improperly before the court and should be in a Zambian court. Said Biti:
I then concluded that my life and that of my family was in danger hence I decided to flee. I was unlawfully returned to Zimbabwe despite the fact that my life was in danger. No court in Zimbabwe has jurisdiction over me, I should be in a Zambian court since an order was passed by a Lusaka judge. In light of these violations of international laws, Zimbabwe and Zambian domestic laws, my deportation is a nullity and anything that follows is a nullity.