Biti Arrested, Charged With Assault For Calling Russian Woman “Idiot”

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By Costa Nkomo

OPPOSITION MDC Alliance co-vice president Tendai Biti was Friday arrested after he allegedly called a Russian woman, Tatiana Aleshina, an ‘idiot” at the Harare Magistrates’ Court early this week.

Biti’s lawyer, Alec Muchadehama, told, the top politician had been charged for assault and will be detained over night at the Harare Central Police Station, and is expected to appear in court Saturday.

“He is charged with assault as defined in section 89 of the Criminal Codification Act. He is alleged to have pointed a finger at a certain woman called Tatiana Aleshina at court,” Muchadehama said.

Party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the assault charges levelled against the Harare East law maker were spurious and a “diversionary tactic” by the administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“He did not assault this woman. The real issue is he (Biti) is unearthing corruption scandals relating to a land deal along the (Robert Gabriel Mugabe) Airport Road during Ignatius Chombo’s time,” she said.

“This lady is one of the people who signed that dubious agreement following a court order that set aside the deal. So VP Biti as the chairperson of the Public Accounts Parliamentary Committee was unearthing the scandal. So this is a diversionary tactic.”

Chombo once served as local government minister before he was removed as cabinet after the November 2018 military coup that toppled the now President Robert Mugabe from office.

Biti has been twitting about his arrest from Harare Central Police Station.

“The Harare Airport Road project was a total stink where thousands of hectares of land where illegally and fraudulently transferred to Augur Investments and its shelf companies. That land must be returned to the city and its citizens. They want to detain me overnight, so be it,” Biti wrote.

“I have been stuck at CID Law & Order since 11 am being charged with the most spurious, the most desperate of all charges. It is said I called someone an idiot & that is said to be an assault. No amount of harassment will prevent us from fighting and exposing corruption.

“Awaiting detention. In the absence of sanitizers, PPEs, running water, flushing toilets, repellents and decent food any detention in Zim prisons at the moment is cruel & degrading treatment. A crime against humanity #ZimbabweanLivesMatter,” he added