By Mary Taruvinga
A RUSSIAN citizen living in Zimbabwe, Tatiana Aleshina, who is suing MDC Alliance co-vice president Tendai Biti for US$1 million, is now being counter-sued by the opposition politician for $15 million for unlawful arrest.
Biti was arrested last month facing assault charges after he allegedly called Aleshina a ‘stupid idiot’.
The matter is still before the courts.
Aleshina went on to sue Biti and the MDC Alliance for U$1 million through the High Court claiming her image had been tarnished.
However, Biti is now counter-suing the complainant for $15 million at the same courts over his unlawful arrest last month.
In a court application filed through his lawyers Mbizo, Makoni and Muchadehama, Biti argued his arrest was unlawful adding he never insulted Aleshina.
“The defendant wrongfully detained the plaintiff on a matter or case where even if convicted, the plaintiff would not be subjected to a prison term because of the frivolity of the charge,” Biti, who is also a lawyer, said.
Recalling his arrest and detention overnight at Harare Central Police Station, he said the cell’s toilets had no running water, sanitisers, face masks or gloves exposing him and other accused persons to Covid-19.
“There was overcrowding and lack of social distancing with over 52 inmates detained in that particular night.”
Biti complained about the bedding, mosquitoes and other threats to his health. He said this was unconstitutional and further down-graded his social standing.
“The conditions of Harare Central Police Station are particularly demeaning and in any event amount to torture,” he said.
Also cited as respondents are; CID Law and Order officers, Detective Garauzive, Detective Chief Inspector Chibaya and Detective Constable Sydney Ndlovu who he accused of jumping into a trivial case and torturing him.
According to Biti, his alleged offence did not need detention, but merely a fine if he had admitted guilty to it.
“On or around November 30 2020 the first defendant (Aleshina) made false, wrong and malicious report to ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) alleging that the plaintiff (Biti) had assaulted her by uttering that ‘You, Tatiana you are stupid, very stupid, stupid idiot’” reads the text on the suit.
Biti said the police officers had also traumatised his mother at her place of residence and tried to raid his law offices.
“The matter was a trivial matter, which could not and should not have been processed by the first and second defendants in the Law and Order department.
“The first defendant maliciously failed to afford the plaintiff an opportunity of paying an admission of guilty fine on what was essentially, a criminal nuisance assuming the facts were correct,” he said.
Biti is demanding $5 million for contumelia and injury to his feelings and dignity, $5 million for constitutional damages for wrongful deprivation of liberty and torture, cruel and degrading treatment. The other $5 million is for wrongful arrest and malicious actions.