Harare lawyer Tendai Biti has filed a Z$15 million counter-lawsuit against a Russian woman who accused him of assault after calling her a “very stupid idiot,” leading to his arrest in December last year.
Biti is suing Tatiana Aleshina – a Russian national with business interests in Zimbabwe – jointly with CID Law and Order officers, Detective Garauzive, Detective Chief Inspector Chibaya, and Constable Sydney Ndlovu.
In his founding affidavit now before the High Court, the MDC Alliance vice president accuses the detectives of wrongful detention. Biti argues through his lawyer Alec Muchadehama:
On or around November 30, 2020, the first defendant (Aleshina) made false, wrong and a malicious report to ZRP alleging that the plaintiff had assaulted her by uttering that ‘You Tatiana you are stupid, very stupid, stupid idiot.
Notwithstanding the fact that the complaint, even if true (a point heavily contested) was trivial, frivolous and at most a criminal nuisance, the first defendant appointed the second defendant as an IO in the matter.
Biti wants damages broken down as follows;
- Z$5 million for contumelia and injury to his feelings and dignity;
- Z$5 million as constitutional damages for wrongful deprivation of liberty and torture, cruel and degrading treatment, and another
- Z$5 million in damages for wrongful and malicious actions by officers.
Biti’s counter-claim comes days after he was sued for Z$1 million by Aleshina.
The Russian national accused Biti and the MDC Alliance of insulting her and defaming Augur Investments – a company she has interests in – after tweeting that it was corrupt.
The matter is yet to be heard.