Next week Thursday, Harare magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo is expected to rule on whether or not MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti’s arrest and appearance in court were lawful.
Biti, who is facing charges of inciting violence and contravening the Electoral Act, is challenging the jurisdiction of the court arguing that he was “abducted” by Zimbabwean authorities who returned him to Zimbabwe from Zambia. Biti, who was denied asylum by the Zambian government after he tried to seek refuge in that country, wants the court to determine whether his arrest and appearance in court were proper given the circumstances of his case.
He argued that he was unlawfully arrested in Zambia by unidentified Zimbabwean men. However, Chief Superintendent Jealous Nyabasa said Biti evaded the police fully aware that he was wanted for questioning. He said Biti was lawfully arrested. Biti’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said she would file her written submissions today and the State will respond next Tuesday, while Mr Mapfumo should deliver a ruling based on the written submissions next Thursday.